Thrush in women is an inflammatory process that is localized in the vagina and is caused by fungal flora, namely Candida.
They can cause both acute thrush and recurrent mycoses.
The frequency of this disease has been steadily increasing lately. So, according to modern data, thrush in the structure of infectious and inflammatory incidence of the vagina and vulva is from 35 to 45%.
The main peak of the incidence is in women of reproductive age. Therefore, every woman should know the first signs and characteristic symptoms of thrush (see photo), whose treatment should be started immediately with the help of special preparations.
Causes of thrush in women
The main reason for the development of thrush in women is candida, or yeast-like fungi. They constantly live in the vagina, but they lead to the development of the inflammatory process only with a decrease in immunity.
Main factors, which influence this process are:
- associated inflammatory processes in the vagina;
- common infectious diseases;
- frequent change of sexual partners;
- taking glucocorticosteroids;
- violation of personal hygiene;
- hypo-and avitaminosis;
- long-term use of antibiotics, especially if they were not prescribed by a doctor;
- pregnancy (candidiasis in pregnant women is a fairly frequent condition);
- taking combined oral contraceptives (the estrogens they contain lead to an increase in glycogen in the cells necessary for the growth of fungi) and
However, the dependence of vaginal mycoses on the nature of sexual contacts, for example, anal-vaginal sex, oral-genital and
From a practical point of view It is advisable to distinguish between two types of candidiasis:
- 1) Caused by Candida albicans;
- 2) Caused by Non-candida albicans – it is these strains that explain the cases of recurrence of the disease and the resistance of fungi to the antifungal therapy conducted by traditional means.
Symptoms of thrush in women
Thrush in women, or urogenital candidiasis, can occur in two main clinical options:
- 1) Vulvovaginitis – simultaneous inflammation of both the vulva and the vagina;
- 2) Vulvar dermatitis – a lesion of the skin of the external genital organs only.
Among women the main symptoms of thrush are as follows:
- 1) Itching and burning sensation in the vulva and / or vagina, which may be permanent or periodic;
- 2) Pathological discharge from the genital tract, which have a cheesy-like appearance (see photo);
- 3) The discharge may be from the urethra, given its proximity to the vagina;
- 4) Violations of urination in the form of pain and rapidity;
- 5) Swelling of the vulva;
- 6) Redness and increased bleeding of the mucous membranes;
- 7) Redness, abrasions and macerated areas appear on the skin of the vulva;
- gray-white raids on mucous membranes that are poorly removed even with a spatula;
- 9) Under the raids are defined areas of bright red;
- 10) Pain during intercourse and discomfort.
In the case of frequent recurrences of thrush, the clinical symptoms may be completely different. In this case, the following symptoms are noted:
- vaginal dryness;
- mucosal atrophy;
- increased keratinization in the vulva;
- discharge whitish color in a very meager amount.
See also how to treat thrush in men.
Diagnosis of thrush in women
Diagnosis of thrush in women takes into account not only clinical data, but also the results of laboratory studies. To establish the final diagnosis, the following studies are recommended:
- 1) Microscopic examination of fresh smears taken from the urethra and vagina;
- 2) Microscopic examination of smears that were previously Gram-stained;
- 3) Luminescent microscopy (research in a special glow under magnification);
- 4) Mycological research – the cultivation of fungal cultures in special environments;
- 5) Immunofluorescence methods.
The World Health Organization, identifies certain diagnostic criteria that allow to suspect vaginal mycosis. If three of four symptoms are noted, then this is more likely to indicate the presence of thrush in women.
These symptoms are as follows:
- feeling itchy;
- highlight cheesy character;
- inflammatory signs defined locally (in the area of the external genital organs);
- the presence of mycelium or spores in smears.
What will happen if not treated?
In the absence of timely detection of thrush in women and appropriate treatment, it is possible that certain complications may develop, which pose a threat to reproductive health and overall general health.
To these negative consequences urogenital candidiasis include:
- 1) The development of the inflammatory process in the pelvic organs, namely in the uterus, appendages, circulatory cellulose and
It should be noted that this situation is most often detected when a patient has HIV infection, which is accompanied by damage to the cells of the immune system (CD4 lymphocytes).
Treatment of thrush in women
In women, the treatment of acute thrush and chronic recurrence is somewhat different from each other, which is associated with different susceptibility of fungi to antifungal (antifungal) drugs.
As a rule, the primary episodes of the disease respond well to the antifungal therapy.
With the exacerbation of chronic urogenital candidiasis, the use of not only antifungal drugs, but also other means of adjuvant therapy is indicated. The latter is as follows:
- the use of immune drugs;
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that inhibit the activity of the inflammatory response;
- antihistamines, as in the chronic course of candidiasis a large role is played by the development of allergic reactions;
- vitamin complexes that help increase the state of nonspecific resistance;
- Lactic acid is used only after all of the above activities and their inefficiency.
The main place in the treatment of both acute and recurrent candidiasis belongs to antifungal agents (see candles for thrush). In non-pregnant women, they are prescribed both locally and systemically. This greatly increases the likelihood of curing patients. During pregnancy, only local forms of antifungal agents are used.
They must be taken no earlier than 2 weeks after the end of treatment. If they are re-detected candida, then this is an indication for the appointment of other antifungal agents.
The result of therapy regarded as satisfactory subject to the following conditions:
- 1) Clinical recovery – all symptoms that have disturbed a person before that disappear;
- 2) The normal results of the culture study (there is no growth of the colonies of candidates on special media);
- 3) Normal picture of microscopic examination.
The best drug for the treatment of uncomplicated thrush are tablets or suppositories with the active ingredient Ketoconazole (Livarol, Mycoral, Brizoral) or Clotrimazole (Antifungol, Candizol, Canesten). Depending on the choice of the drug, acute thrush should be treated from 1 to 7 days.
Do not self-medicate, each drug has certain contraindications, besides illiterate or late treatment can lead to unpleasant consequences.
Prevention of thrush in women
Which doctor to contact for treatment?
If, after reading the article, you assume that you have symptoms characteristic of this disease, then you should consult a gynecologist for advice.