Vaginal Thrush treatment is not far-fetched. It is easy to get it treated once diagnosis is made. However, there is every chance it might re-occur after treatment.
Vaginal thrush is a yeast infection that affect the vagina and its surrounding areas due to the imbalance of the micro-flora that lives in the vagina.
It is a yeast infection that occurs when the number of yeasts in the vagina multiply, consequently making them grow to the outside environment of the vagina – the vulva. It mostly occurs in women who are in their child-bearing ages, that is normally between ages 16 and 60, but it can also occur in women outside this age bracket.
In this article, we will explain what vaginal thrush treatment, causes of vagina thrush, and its symptoms.
What is Vaginal Thrush?
The vagina is home to a host of microorganisms; bacteria and fungi. They help to improve the health in the vagina environment by keeping each other in check to perform their functions. The bacteria, lactobacillus helps to keep the fungi, Candida albicans within its safe growth rate in the vagina.
Once candida, the causative agent for most cases of vaginal thrush, outgrows its balance with the other microorganisms in the vagina, it begins to be a problem. This imbalance might be due to many reasons as you will see later but its effect can be mild or intense.
Vaginal thrush irritation of the vagina and vulva, discharge from the vagina, and intense itching. Even though it can be transferred from one sexual partner to the other, it is not considered an STI.
Causes of Vaginal Thrush
Vaginal thrush is caused by the overgrowth of the fungi, Candida albicans. It is one of the many microbes present in the vagina but begin to pose a problem to its host when it multiplies more than the other microorganisms such as the bacteria, lactobacillus.
The bacteria, lactobacillus naturally has the ability to keep the growth of fungi at its minimum in the vagina through the hydrogen peroxide it produces. This helps the vagina to remain in an acidic state – the only inconducive state of the vagina for fungi.
When the fungi grow in the presence of inadequate number of bacteria, they may invade the inner parts of the vagina such as the cervix and ovary or spread towards the outside where their effect can be seen on the vulva.
Candida albicans isn’t the only fungus capable of causing vaginal thrush. Others such as Candida tropicalis and Candida glabrata also cause vaginal thrush. That is why it is also called yeast infection.
Risk Factors of Vaginal Thrush
Vaginal thrush is an infection most women get. In fact, one doesn’t need to have a crappy lifestyle before it happens. However, there are some factors that can increase one’s risk of developing or contacting this infection.
Pregnant women are susceptible to yeast infection due to the high level of hormones they have during this period. Candida thrives in warm, moist and anaerobic environment and due to the increased metabolic activity and reproductive hormones, estrogen and progesterone, it has an enabling environment. C. albicans increases in population in the vagina due to the increase of these reproductive hormones either during pregnancy or the luteal stage of a woman’s monthly cycle.
There is also a risk of having vaginal thrush if you’re on a hormonal medication that helps you to elevate the level of reproductive hormones in your body as in the treatment of PCOS.
The multiplication of C. albicans depends on the suitability of the environment (made possible by higher levels of estrogen and progesterone) and the decline in the number of the bacteria lactobacillus.
The lesser the population of lactobacillus in the vagina, the more the number of candida and the more it multiplies. Therefore, you are at a great risk of having yeast infection when you are on an antibiotic medication as it works to reduce the population of bacteria in your body.
Higher sugar levels give yeast a better growing environment. This is why women leaving with diabetes are at a high risk of developing vaginal thrush.
For pregnant women, apart from the enabling environment created by the reproductive hormones, gestational diabetes could also aid in the growth of Candida.
Weakened immune System
A weakened immune system gives room for the growth of many microorganisms that should be kept in check. One of such is yeast. A deficiency in certain nutrients such as vitamin C may lead to weakened immune system as can treatment regimen of cancers through chemotherapy.
Symptoms of vaginal Thrush
The signs that accompany vaginal thrush isn’t limited to the vagina. It can be seen on the vulva as well, leading to the name vulvovaginal candidiasis. The symptoms include:
- Itchy vulva and vagina
- Pain (usually a burning feel) while urinating or having sex
- Rash on the vagina
- White discharge from the vagina
- Red and swollen vulva
Vaginal Thrush Treatment
Vaginal thrush treatment is quite easy to accomplish on a good day. However, complications can arise when the affected person is pregnant, undergoing other types of treatment, or is diabetic. It is, therefore, important that you visit your doctor for your vaginal thrush treatment.
Vaginal thrush treatment options include using oral medications, anti-thrush pessary and anti-thrush cream.
Oral medication is advisable for people who are not pregnant. However, they can use anti-thrush pessary as well, depending on the best course of treatment the doctor sees.
Pregnant women will get vaginal thrush treatment with anti-thrush pessary as oral medication may affect their babies. Also, the use of these pessary medications must be with care as they will be inserted through the vagina. You will be better off inserting it by hand instead of the applicator, to avoid injuries to the cervix.
The pessary medication will be used for between 3 – 7 days.
If symptoms have spread to the vulva, anti-thrush creams may be prescribed too.
Vaginal thrush is a common infection that affects women who have started their menstruation. It is characterized by irritation, redness and swelling of the vulva and vagina. Whitish discharge from the vagina is another serious symptom. However, it can be treated by using home remedies such as coconut oil and apple cider vinegar.
Medical treatment should be done by a doctor. vaginal thrush treatment in pregnant women can be tricky. Therefore, ensure that you consult your doctor before the use of any medication.