Do You Know Vaginal Thrush Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

 By: Dr Andrew Napier
Vaginal thrush in women occurs when there is an over growth of the yeast called candida albicans in the vagina. This is a common condition of the yeast infection in women and can be an embarrassing situation to deal with. Thrush should be treated properly in order to avoid it from re occurring time and again. If the symptoms are not fully cured with the proper treatment duration, it can keep reoccurring in many women.

The symptoms of vaginal thrush in women can be seen in pregnancy or during menstrual periods. It can cause irritation of the vulva or vagina, soreness, burning sensation, itching, discharge and pain. Many women experience a white, sticky, thick cheese like discharge in this condition. This discharge may be associated with foul odor in some cases. It can cause pain during urination and during sexual intercourse due to the soreness of vulva and vagina. It can cause discomfort in sitting and walking or appearance of fissure and cracks due to inflammation.

The cause of vaginal thrush is mainly due to the imbalance between the yeast and bacteria that is naturally found in the vagina. When the natural balance is disturbed, the friendly bacteria which keep a check on the growth of the yeast decreases and the yeast overgrow resulting in an infection. This balance gets disrupted easily due to certain factors which are stated below:

1. Pregnancy: In pregnancy the hormonal imbalances may create increase sugar levels in the vaginal secretions which cause growth of yeast in the vagina.

2. Antibiotics: Antibiotics kill the friendly bacteria therefore leading to an increase in yeast which in turn leads to an infection.

3. Poor health: Poor nutrition due to poor diet can affect the health leading to infection. Intake of sugar, dairy products, tea and coffee increases the urinary sugar that enhances yeast growth.

4. Diabetes: In this condition, the blood sugar increases and increases the urinary sugar too resulting in infection.

5. Periods: Menstrual periods affect the acidity of the vagina and create a moist environment for the yeast to flourish causing vaginal thrush.

6. Stress: Physical and emotional stress can lead to low immunity and make you vulnerable to getting an infection.

7. Chemotherapy: This too weakens the immunity and makes one prone to infection.

8. Contraceptive pills: High doses of these pills may cause vaginal thrush.

9. Tight Clothing: Tight synthetic clothing or underwear can create a warm and moist environment for the yeast to flourish.

10. Perfumed products: Some of the perfumed and fragrant products like soaps, bubble baths or sprays can cause vaginal thrush in women.

Vaginal thrush is not a serious issue but can cause a lot of discomfort and embarrassment in women. It is essential to treat all the symptoms in order to stop it from reoccurring. The infection should be treated internally and externally. The treatment can involve creams, medications and steps for prevention of this infection. Some of the treatments are as follows:

1. Anti fungal creams: Many anti fungal creams are available which may be applied directly on the outside of the vagina to get relief from the itching. These work directly on the affected area.

2. Pessaries: These are bullet shaped tablet which are to be inserted into the vagina. These also work directly on the affected area.

3. Oral Pills: These pills taken treat the infection internally.

For preventing vaginal thrush one should wear loose cotton underwear, avoid perfumed sprays and soaps, keep vaginal area dry and clean and eat a well balanced diet. Include fish, rice, nuts, seeds and lentils in your diet. Avoid processed foods, tea, coffee and sugary drinks to prevent vaginal thrush.
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