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Candidiasis: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment

Jun 30, 2023

Candidiasis: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Prevention, Diagnosis And Treatment : OBGYN

A fungal disease called candidiasis is brought on by an overgrowth of a type of yeast that naturally lives in the body which is known as Candida albicans. The fact that Candida normally lives in minute amounts on the skin, vagina, or mouth makes these areas common sites for a candidiasis infection.

 There are present beneficial microorganisms in the body which stop the overgrowth of yeast. Imagine a scale that has two arms, one filled with yeast and the other with healthy bacteria. The scale is the balance until a disturbance is brought on by stress, a poor diet, a weakened immune system, or an unmanaged medical condition. When something disrupts the scale, the chances increase of developing a candidiasis infection.

Read this blog further to get a quick overview of this important topic for OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY to ace your NEET PG exam preparation.

Types of Candidiasis

There are various varieties of candidiasis depending on where the infection is since yeast naturally exists in the body. Various forms of candidiasis include:

  • Vaginitis- A typical infection that results in vaginal burning, itching, redness, and discharge is vaginal candidiasis (also known as vaginitis).
  • Cutaneous Candidiasis- It is an infection of the skin that causes a raised, red area with tiny, itchy bumps to appear in the folds of your skin, such as under your arms, beneath your breasts, close to your buttocks or in your groyne (diaper rash).
  • Oral Candidiasis- White sores in the mouth, throat, oesophagus, or tongue are signs of the infection known as oral candidiasis (thrush).
  • Candida granuloma- It is an extremely serious, ongoing infection that affects the skin, scalp, lips, and fingernails.
  • Invasive candidiasis (systemic candidiasis) is a dangerous infection that develops throughout your body as a result of a weakened immune system, frequently in the blood or on the membrane lining of your heart or skull.

Causes of Candidiasis

A candidiasis infection results from the excessive growth of Candida yeast due to the imbalance of good bacteria and yeast in the body. The following factors can throw off the equilibrium between bacteria and yeast:

  • Using antibiotics, steroids, oral contraceptives, dry mouth medications, or medications that inhibit the growth of good bacteria.
  • Stress, Anxiety.
  • Eating a diet rich in processed carbs, sugar, or yeast.
  • Having uncontrolled diabetes, HIV, cancer, or a weakened immune system.
  • Hormonal changes (pregnancy).

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Risk Factors of Candidiasis

You are more likely to get candidiasis if you are suffering from the following conditions:

  • Antibiotic use- In women who take antibiotics, yeast infections are typical. The excess of yeast is caused by broad-spectrum antibiotics, which not only destroy a variety of bacteria but also the good bacteria in your vagina.
  • Oestrogen Levels that are higher- Women who take high-dose oestrogen birth control tablets, or oestrogen hormone therapy, are more likely to get yeast infections than those who have lower oestrogen levels.
  • Diabetes that is Not Under Control- Compared to women whose blood sugar is well-managed, those with poorly regulated blood sugar are more likely to get yeast infections.
  • Immunity Compromised- candidiasis is more common in women whose immune systems have been compromised, for example, due to the use of corticosteroid medication or HIV infection.

Symptoms of Candidiasis

Below are mentioned few of the symptoms of candidiasis:

  • Vaginal and vulvar itching, irritation, and burning, especially when peeing or engaging in sexual activity; vulva redness and swelling
  • Vaginal redness, pain, and a cottage cheese-like-looking, thick, white, odourless discharge from the cervix
  • Watery genital secretion

Prevention of Candidiasis

We can prevent candidiasis by taking the following precautions:

  • Wear pants with a cotton crotch and loose-fitting undergarments to lower your risk of vaginal yeast infections.

Additionally, it might be beneficial to avoid the following conditions:

  • Tight-Fitting Clothes
  • Douching, which eliminates part of the natural bacteria in the vagina that guard against infection
  • Scented feminine items, such as bubble baths, pads, and tampons
  • Hot tubs and really hot baths
  • Use of antibiotics for viral illnesses or colds without a need
  • Wearing wet clothing, such as swimsuits and gym clothes, for an extended amount of time

Also Read:

Cervical Carcinoma: Causes, Symptoms, and TreatmentHYSTERECTOMTY: Indications,ClassificationMenstrual Problems and Precocious Puberty in Young Girls
Infections In Pregnancy (types, causes, and treatment)EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION - NEET PG OBGYNAmenorrhea: Primary and Secondary

Diagnosis of Candidiasis

Your medical professional might:

  • Inquire about your past medical history- Gathering data on prior vaginal infections or STDs may fall under this category.
  • Make a pelvic examination- external genitalia are checked by a doctor for infection. The lower, narrower portion of your uterus known as the cervix is then examined by your doctor by inserting a device (a speculum) into your vagina to hold the vaginal walls open.
  • Checking the vaginal secretions- To identify the specific fungus that is causing the yeast infection, the doctor may request a sample of vaginal fluid for testing.  The doctor may be able to treat recurrent yeast infections more successfully if the fungus is identified.

Treatment of Candidiasis

The severity and frequency of illnesses will determine how to treat candidiasis.

Your doctor may advise the following in the case of mild to moderate symptoms and infrequent episodes:

  • Vaginal Treatment for a Short Period: In most cases, a yeast infection can be cured by taking antifungal medication for three to seven days. The antifungal drugs miconazole (Monistat 3) and terconazole are offered as creams, ointments, pills, and suppositories. Some of these medications can be purchased over the counter, while others require a prescription.
  • A Single-dose Oral Medicine: A single oral dose of fluconazole (Diflucan) may be recommended by your doctor. If you're pregnant, it's not advised to take oral medications. Consider taking two single doses spaced three days apart to treat more severe symptoms.

If treatment is unsuccessful in alleviating your symptoms or if they return within two months, make an appointment with your doctor.

If you frequently get yeast infections or have severe symptoms, your doctor may advise:

  • A long-term Vaginal Treatment Regimen. An antifungal medicine could be recommended by your doctor, which would be taken once a week for six months after being taken once daily for up to two weeks.
  • Multiple-dose Oral Medicine.  Instead of vaginal therapy, your doctor may advise two or three oral doses of antifungal medicine. Pregnant women are not advised to have this treatment, though.
  • Treatment for Azole Resistance. A vaginally implanted capsule of boric acid may be advised by the doctor. This drug is exclusively used to treat candida fungus that is resistant to common antifungal medications and may be lethal if taken orally.

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