Candidiasis is an infection caused by the yeast Candida (a type of fungus). Candida generally lives harmlessly within the body (in locations such as the mouth, throat, gut, and vagina) and on the skin. Candida can sometimes multiply and cause illness if the vaginal environment changes in a way that promotes its growth. Candidiasis vaginalis is frequently referred to as a “vaginal yeast infection.” The term “vaginal candidiasis,” “vulvovaginal candidiasis,” or “candidal vaginitis” may also be used to refer to this ailment.
Symptoms of vaginal candidiasis include the following:
- Itching or pain in the vaginal area
- Suffering during sexual encounters
- When urinating, there is pain or discomfort.
- Vaginal discharge that is abnormal
Although the majority of vaginal candidiasis cases are moderate, some women develop severe infections that cause redness, swelling, and fissures in the vaginal wall.
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare professional. These symptoms are comparable to those associated with other forms of vaginal infections, which are treated with a variety of different medications. A healthcare provider can diagnose and treat vaginal candidiasis.
Threats and Preventative Measures
Who is at risk of developing vaginal candidiasis?
Vaginal candidiasis is widespread, while additional research is needed to determine the total number of women affected. Women who are at an increased risk of developing vaginal candidiasis include those who:
- If you’re you’re expecting
- Make use of hormonal contraception (for example, birth control pills)
- Possess diabetes
- Possess a compromised immune system (for example, due to HIV infection or medicines that weaken the immune system, such as steroids and chemotherapy).
- Are currently taking antibiotics or have recently taken antibiotics
How can I protect myself against vaginal candidiasis?
Cotton underwear may help minimize your risk of developing a yeast infection. Because taking antibiotics can lead to vaginal candidiasis, take these medicines only when prescribed and exactly as your healthcare provider tells you. Learn when antibiotics are effective and when they should be avoided.
Scientists estimate that about 20% of women normally have Candida in the vagina without having any symptoms. Candida can sometimes multiply and cause illness if the vaginal environment changes in a way that promotes its growth. This can happen because of hormones, medicines, or changes in the immune system.
Candida infection of the vaginal mucosa is quite prevalent. It is the second most prevalent kind of vaginal infection in the United States, following bacterial vaginal infections. 2 In the United States, an estimated 1.4 million outpatient visits for vaginal candidiasis occur each year. 4 In the United States, the number of vaginal candidiasis cases is unclear.