CLINACASE

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ID: 180
Category: Obstetrics and Gynecology
CreatedBy: 1
UpdatedBy: 1
createdon: 15 Feb 2023
updatedon: 22 May 2023

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Author: Khoa Tran
Published Feb 15, 2023
Updated May 22, 2023

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Vaginal Yeast Infection (vaginal Candidiasis)

Etymology and Pronunciation

candidiasis (kan-di-DYE-uh-sis)
candidus - Latin for "white". Refers to the name of the fungus "Candida", which is responsible for causing the infection.

History of Vaginal Yeast Infection (vaginal Candidiasis)

Vaginal yeast infection, also known as vaginal candidiasis, has been documented in medical literature for centuries. However, the first detailed descriptions of the condition and its causes were published in the late 1800s and early 1900s. 

In the 1950s, researchers began to explore the role of hormones in the development of vaginal yeast infections. This work led to the discovery that high estrogen levels can promote the growth of Candida albicans, which is why these infections are more common during pregnancy or while taking hormone replacement therapy.

Later, the development of molecular biology techniques in the 1980s and 1990s made it possible to identify specific genes and proteins that are involved in the development of vaginal yeast infections. This research has led to better understanding of how the immune system responds to Candida albicans and has helped to guide the development of new treatments for vaginal yeast infections.

Modern Understanding of Vaginal Yeast Infection (vaginal Candidiasis)

A vaginal yeast infection is a common condition that occurs when there is an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina. Yeast is a type of fungus that normally lives in small numbers in the vagina, but when the balance of the vaginal environment is disrupted, yeast can grow out of control, leading to symptoms of infection.

Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection can include itching, burning, and soreness in the vaginal area, as well as a thick, white discharge that may resemble cottage cheese. Some women may also experience pain during sex or urination.

Yeast infections can be caused by a variety of factors, including antibiotic use, hormonal changes, pregnancy, and certain medical conditions. They are also more common in women who have diabetes, weakened immune systems, or who use certain types of birth control.

Causes of Vaginal Yeast Infection (vaginal Candidiasis)

Vaginal yeast infections are caused by a type of fungus called Candida. Normally, the bacteria and yeast in the vagina keep each other balanced and under control. However, if there is an overgrowth of yeast, it can lead to an infection. Some factors that can cause an overgrowth of yeast and lead to a vaginal yeast infection include:

- Antibiotic use: Antibiotics can kill off the bacteria that normally keep yeast in check, which can lead to an overgrowth of yeast.
- Hormonal changes: Changes in hormone levels, such as those that occur during pregnancy, menopause, or before menstruation, can create an environment that is more favorable to yeast growth.
- Diabetes: People with uncontrolled diabetes are more likely to have recurrent yeast infections because yeast thrives in a high-sugar environment.
- Weakened immune system: People with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV, are more susceptible to yeast infections.
- Sexual activity: Sexual activity may contribute to the spread of yeast infections.

Treatments for Vaginal Yeast Infection (vaginal Candidiasis)

Vaginal yeast infection is a common condition caused by the overgrowth of yeast in the vagina. There are several treatments available to help alleviate the symptoms and prevent further infections.

One common treatment is over-the-counter antifungal creams or suppositories, containing clotrimazole or miconazole. These can be applied inside the vagina or on the vulva to alleviate symptoms such as itching, burning and discharge. It is important to follow the instructions on the packaging and complete the recommended course of treatment.

Prescription antifungal medications can also be prescribed by a doctor or healthcare provider. These may be taken orally or in the form of tablets, suppositories or creams. They work by killing the yeast cells and reducing symptoms.

It is also important to practice good hygiene and keep the genital area clean and dry. Avoid using scented soaps, perfumes or lotions on the genital area and wear loose cotton clothing to allow for air circulation.

In some cases, women may need to take additional steps to prevent recurring vaginal yeast infections. This may include dietary changes, avoiding perfumed products, or addressing underlying health conditions such as high blood sugar levels or immune system issues.

It is always recommended to speak with a healthcare provider if you experience symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection. They can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommended treatment plan suited to your individual needs.

Symptoms

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Itching in the vagina and vulva
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Pain or burning during urination/peeing
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Vaginal pain and soreness
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Vaginal rash

Confirmation Tests

- Vaginal swab

Reference

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