Candidal Vulvovaginitis

What is Candidal Vulvovaginitis?

Candidal Vulvovaginitis, commonly known as a yeast infection, is a type of vaginal infection caused by an overgrowth of Candida, a type of fungus that naturally occurs in the vagina and on the body. It is the most common type of vaginal infection, affecting 3 out of 4 women throughout their lifetimes. This infection can be uncomfortable but is easily treatable.

What Are the Symptoms of Candidal Vulvovaginitis?

The most common symptoms of Candidal Vulvovaginitis include:

  • Intense itching in and around the vulva
  • Burning, especially during urination and sex
  • Redness and swelling of the vulva and vagina
  • Unusual discharge, which may be white, thick, cheesy, and clumpy like cottage cheese

What Causes Candidal Vulvovaginitis?

Candida is naturally present in the vagina and can overgrow and lead to the symptoms of Candidal Vulvovaginitis. This overgrowth can be caused by a variety of factors, such as a weakened immune system, taking antibiotics, using certain medications, and pregnancy.

How Is Candidal Vulvovaginitis Diagnosed and Treated?

Candidal Vulvovaginitis can be diagnosed based on the symptoms and a physical exam. A sample of the discharge may also be sent for testing. Treatment usually involves an antifungal medication, such as miconazole (Monistat), clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin), or terconazole (Terazol). In some cases, the treatment may be applied directly to the vagina, or it may be taken orally.

Can Candidal Vulvovaginitis Be Prevented?

To reduce the risk of getting Candidal Vulvovaginitis, take the following steps:

  • Avoid douching, as this can upset the natural balance of bacteria and yeast in the vagina.
  • Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting pants to keep the area dry and cool.
  • Avoid perfumed soaps and bath products.
  • Avoid scented sanitary products and bubble baths.
  • Change out of wet swimsuits and exercise clothes right away.
  • Wipe from front to back after using the bathroom.