Candidiasis, thrush, candidal colpitis … These are the names of the same disease that 75% of women suffer from in one form or another. Candidal colpitis is caused by microorganisms, and fungi of the genus Candida, hence its name. The size of these microorganisms is 1.5-10 microns, they are not visible to the naked eye. They are round or oval in shape and form spores during reproduction.
Previously, candidiasis was attributed to the section with sexually transmitted diseases, i.e. sexually transmitted diseases. Currently, doctors are not so categorical in their classification, since candidiasis also occurs in children and women who are not sexually active.
More than 170 species of Candida fungi are known. Many of them can be found in the body of a healthy woman without causing complaints and inflammation. These women are just carriers of the fungus. In 20% of women, fungi of this genus are part of the vaginal microflora, which does not require their treatment. The disease develops only under certain conditions.
Most often, candidiasis develops in the presence of the following factors:
- Long-term, often unjustified use of antibiotics;
- Taking medications – cytostatics, oral contraceptives, drugs that suppress the immune system;
- Chronic diseases – especially inflammatory diseases of the female genital organs;
- Diseases of the endocrine system – diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypothyroidism, etc.;
- Deficiency of vitamins C, B1, B6, etc.;
- Increased sexual activity, etc.
The microflora of the vagina contains various microorganisms. Thanks to them, the body is protected from the entry of pathogenic microbes into the vagina. At the slightest imbalance, favorable conditions are created for the growth and reproduction of microorganisms that can cause various diseases.
This happens with the long-term use of antibiotics, which are aimed at killing some bacteria, but also kill other beneficial microorganisms, causing the growth of others. Therefore, when prescribing antibiotics, the sensitivity of bacteria to the drug is taken into account. At the same time, an antifungal drug is also prescribed, as already during treatment, and then funds are prescribed to support the body’s natural defenses.
Candidiasis is more common in the warm season, especially when:
- Wear underwear made of synthetic fabrics;
- When wearing too-tight trousers;
- When visiting swimming pools, public baths, saunas;
- Personal hygiene rules are not respected.
Most often with candidal colpitis, the following complaints occur:
- The number of vaginal discharges increases, which is whitish in color, scales stand out or the discharge looks like cottage cheese;
- a specific smell is released;
- Itching occurs on the genitals, which intensifies during washing, sexual intercourse, and urination;
- The mucous membranes are covered with a white or gray-white coating;
- The skin of the genitals becomes inflamed – reddens, and the genitals are swollen.
Despite the characteristic symptoms, the doctor prescribes a microbiological study of vaginal discharge to determine the type of fungus. Different species are sensitive to different drugs. This is also the reason why fungal infections often recur after treatment.
Treatment of candidal colpitis is associated not only with alleviating the condition and eliminating the fungus for a while.
Treatment should be aimed at preventing relapse, which occurs in 15% of women.
Complaints during treatment can be interrupted for a period of several days to several months. That is why it is important to focus on eliminating the factors predisposing to the disease.
Treatment of a sexual partner, according to many experts, is not mandatory if there are no complaints similar to women’s.
Treatment is carried out with specialized antifungal drugs, taking into account the type and manifestation of the fungus, diseases of other organs and systems, and other factors.
Tablets or vaginal globules may be prescribed. Modern drugs are now available, and taking one or two tablets which cures an existing fungal infection.