Candidiasis, commonly called a “yeast” infection, affects most females at least once during their lives. Candidiasis – also called Vulvovaginal Candidiasis, or VVC – is currently the second most common cause of vaginal infections, after bacterial vaginosis. Most cases (85%-90%) are caused by Candida albicans. Although most patients have no risk factors, frequent infections may be linked to diabetes, corticosteroids, repeated courses of antibiotics, pregnancy, or HIV disease.
Candida infection can happen in almost any part of your body. Usually it develops on mucous membranes (in the mouth, genitals, etc.) but the infection can also be in your bloodstream. When Candida is in your bloodstream, the condition is called Candidemia. Disseminated, or invasive, candidiasis refers to persistent infection after removal of a catheter and/or isolation of Candida from other normally sterile body site
Signs and symptoms of Candida vaginitis
Typical symptoms of Candidiasis include pruritus, vag inal soreness, dyspareunia, external dysuria, and abnormal vaginal discharge. Ten to 20 percent of women harbor Candida sp. and other yeasts in the vagina. Candidiasis can occur concomitantly with STDs. Most healthy women with uncomplicated Candidiasis have no identifiable precipitating factors
Diagnosis of Candida vaginitis
A diagnosis of Candida vaginitis is suggested clinically by the presence of external dysuria and vulvar pruritus, pain, swelling, and redness. Signs include vulvar edema; fissures; excoriations; or thick, curdy vaginal discharge.
The diagnosis can be made in a woman who has signs and symptoms of vaginitis) a wet preparation (saline, 10% KOH) or Gram stain of vaginal discharge demonstrates yeasts, hyphae, or pseudohyphae; ) a culture or other test yields a yeast species. For women with negative wet mounts who are symptomatic, vaginal cultures for Candida should be considered.
Treatment of vaginal candidiasis
Short-course topical formulations (i.e., single dose and regimens of 1 – 3 days) effectively treat uncomplicated VVC. The topically applied azole drugs are more effective than nystatin. Treatment with azoles results in relief of symptoms and negative cultures in 80 to 90 percent of patients who complete therapy.