Possible Treatment Options For Recurrent Yeast Vaginal Yeast Infections
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PharmD, Temple University, USA
Correspondence: Mabel Wong, PharmD, Temple University, USA
Received: March 03, 2015 | Published: January 11, 2016
Citation: Wong M. Possible treatment options for recurrent yeast vaginal yeast infections. Pharm Pharmacol Int J. 2016 3:288-289 DOI: 10.15406/ppij.2015.03.00056
Chronic Yeast Infections: Causes Treatments & Prevention Options
Anyone whos experienced the itching, swelling, and vaginal pain of a yeast infection will tell you: One infection is more than enough! Yet some unfortunate individuals experience vaginal yeast infections at least four times a year. Called chronic yeast infection, this womens health condition is not only uncomfortable and may cause embarrassment, it can also make you miss out on life.
Luckily, once you identify whats causing your yeast infections to keep coming back, you can take action to prevent them and return to a fuller, more comfortable life.
In this article, Ill explain what chronic yeast infections are, what causes them, and how to treat and prevent recurring yeast infections. Ill also share when to see a doctor rather than trying to manage the condition yourself.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Vaginal Yeast Infection
There are several tell-tale signs of a vaginal yeast infection. These symptoms can include:
- A thick, white vaginal discharge with the consistency of cottage cheese.
- Small cuts or tiny cracks in the skin of the vulva because of friable skin in the area.
- A burning feeling when you urinate.
In some cases, another symptom of a vaginal yeast infection can be pain during sex.
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Stopping The Cycle Of Genital Yeast Infections
The genital area naturally contains Candida. Once this balance is disrupted, though, Candida overgrowth can happen.
For some people, being prone to yeast infections is simply hereditary. Overgrowth of yeast can also happen as a result of:
- poor hygiene
- antibiotic use
Genital yeast infections are also more common in people with compromised immune systems and who have diabetes. Sexual activity and high estrogen levels are other risk factors.
There are also studies suggesting chronic yeast infections may be due to hypersensitivity to Candida.
A genital yeast infection can cause burning and itching sensations. You may also notice a red rash, especially around the vulva or anywhere . When you urinate, you may see a cottage cheese-like discharge and feel burning on the surrounding skin.
Over-the-counter suppository medications can usually treat vaginal yeast infections. However, if this is your first yeast infection or first recurring yeast infection, you may want to see your doctor. They can rule out the possibility of other infections.
Once treated, you can help keep genital yeast infections from returning by keeping good hygiene habits and promoting normal vaginal bacterial balance. Here are some tips:
- Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing.
- Take daily showers.
Other Uses For This Medicine
Fluconazole is also sometimes used to treat serious fungal infections that begin in the lungs and can spread through the body and fungal infections of the eye, skin and nails. Fluconazole is also sometimes used to prevent fungal infections in people who are likely to become infected because they have human immunodeficiency virus or cancer or have had a transplant operation . Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
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There Are Dozens Of Treatments For Vaginal Yeast Infections Which One Is Right For You
Yeast infections are caused by the Candida genus of yeasts , most often Candida albicans.
Research shows that C. albicans colonizes the vaginas of about 20 percent of women and 30 percent of pregnant women.
Though this colonization doesn’t cause symptoms, symptomatic yeast infections can develop when the balance of microbial communities within the body gets thrown off by things like medication , hormonal changes, and the overuse of feminine hygiene products.
There are numerous drugs that can be used to treat vaginal yeast infections.
They can be purchased over-the-counter or with a prescription, and take the form of an antifungal cream, ointment, suppository, or medicated tampon. An oral tablet is also available.
It’s important to get diagnosed by your doctor before trying OTC drugs especially if you’ve never had a yeast infection before because the symptoms of yeast infections are similar to other types of vaginal infections, including bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis .
Speculum Examination Showing Vaginal Thrush
Of women who develop a first bout of vaginal thrush, about 5 in 100 of them will get problems with recurrent vaginal thrush. In most cases, the reason why this occurs is not known. Some women just seem more prone than usual to develop thrush. However women with high blood sugar and women with weakened immune systems may be more likely to develop recurrent thrush.
There is some debate as to whether women taking hormone replacement therapy or the combined oral contraceptive pill are more likely to develop a recurring yeast infection – the evidence is not yet clear.
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Do You Have To Take A Double Dose Of Fluconazole
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed. Your dose will depend on the infection you are treating. Vaginal infections are often treated with only one pill. For other infections, your first dose may be a double dose.
Conditions Treated By Monistat Vs Diflucan
Monistat formulations are intended for the treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis in females who have been previously diagnosed with a vaginal yeast infection and are having recurring symptoms. Monistat is not intended for use by anyone who has never been diagnosed with a vaginal yeast infection. Women who are having first-time symptoms consistent with a vaginal yeast infection but have never been diagnosed should be evaluated by a physician first.
Diflucan is also indicated for the treatment of vaginal yeast infections but has a variety of other approved uses which include candida growth in the urinary tract, abdomen, heart, esophagus, oral cavity, blood, and bone. Diflucan may also be used in the treatment of fungal growth on the nails and feet. Patients who are immunocompromised may benefit from prophylactic treatment with Diflucan to prevent fungal overgrowth. A rare condition, cryptococcal meningitis, may also be treated with Diflucan. A Diflucan treatment duration for vaginal yeast infections can range from one to 14 days depending on the treatment history and complexity of the patients infection.
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What Could Be Happening
Most yeast infections are caused by a type of fungus called Candida albicans. Other kinds of fungus can cause yeast infections, too, but antifungal treatments usually only target the most common one. If your infection is caused by something different, antifungals used to treat yeast infections may not be effective for you.
Or, while it may seem as though youâre getting new infections, you may not have gotten rid of the first one. Be sure to follow your treatment instructions carefully and finish all of your medicine.
Using antibiotics too often can lower the amount of good bacteria in your . This can allow candida to grow and raise your chances of a yeast infection. The longer you use antibiotics, the more likely you are to get one.
High blood sugar from uncontrolled diabetes makes it easier for yeast to feed and thrive.
Hormonal birth control, including oral contraceptive pills and spermicidal creams and jellies, may alter the balance of bacteria in your , allowing more candida to grow.
Wearing wet or tight clothing, like sweaty gym clothes that you don’t change out of right away, or a damp bathing suit after a swim, creates a warm, damp place that yeast likes.
Chronic Yeast Infections: What Are My Options For Treatment
Do your yeast infections keep coming back? While most women get the occasional yeast infection, if you experience more than four episodes in one year, then you are suffering from recurrent or chronic yeast infections. But whats behind chronic yeast infections, and what treatment options are available.
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Who Cant Take Vivjoa
People who have a chance of getting pregnant cant take Vivjoa because it can cause teratogenic effects: functional or physical defects in an embryo or fetus.
This medication stays in your system for two years, G. Thomas Ruiz, MD, OB-GYN Lead at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California, told Verywell. If you get pregnant with this chemical in your body, that will affect the developing fetus. is now strictly approved for menopausal women or women who have had a sterilization procedure.
In addition, people with renal or liver issues should not take the medication.
Can I Prevent Recurring Yeast Infections
The yeast that causes yeast infections, called Candida spp., thrives in warm, moist, airless environments. General lifestyle changes that help prevent single episodes of vaginal thrush can also help reduce the risk of recurrent thrush.
If you have diabetes, your risk of recurring yeast infections is higher if your blood sugar is consistently high. Working with your diabetes team to bring your blood sugar under control can cut the risk of recurrent bouts of thrush.
If you experience recurring yeast infections, your doctor or nurse may also discuss your current method of contraception with you and suggest a change. There has been talk in the past about the combined oral contraceptive pill possibly making recurrent vaginal thrush more likely. However, the evidence around this is a little unclear.
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Is Monistat Or Diflucan More Effective
Monistat and Diflucan are each effective treatment options for vaginal yeast infections and have been compared in a variety of ways. In some women, vaginal yeast infections may be recurrent and bothersome, and the simplicity of a one-day treatment option may be the most appealing. In a study comparing the single-dose treatment of Monistat and Diflucan, Diflucan was found to have slightly higher cure rates, verified by lab tests and symptomatic improvement, though these differences were not statistically significant. More importantly, short term clinical cure was achieved in 94% of Monistat patients and 100% of Diflucan patients. Therefore, both Monistat and Diflucan are highly effective treatment options for vaginal yeast infections.
Only your physician can diagnose a vaginal yeast infection and decide what course of treatment is best for you in treating initial and recurring infections.
How To Get Rid Of Chronic Yeast Infections: What Are Your Treatment Options
Over-the-counter medications can work for occasional yeast infections. But for chronic yeast infections, its best to see a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and medical advice. They will first determine if youre in fact dealing with a yeast infection or another conditionsuch as a sexually transmitted infection , bacterial vaginosis, or urinary tract infection that has similar symptoms.
Once the doctor confirms you have recurrent yeast infections, they will work with you to identify the underlying cause. If its something that can be changed with lifestyle adjustments , thats a great place to start.
Whatever your healthcare provider recommends, be sure to follow their directions. Doing so gives you the best chance of knocking out the current yeast infection and preventing future infections.
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How Can I Prevent Vaginal Yeast Infections
You often can prevent vaginal yeast infections by making a few lifestyle changes. These changes can include:
- Not douchingdouching can kill bacteria that actually controls fungus.
- Avoiding the use of feminine deodorants.
- Not using deodorant tampons or pads.
- Changing out of wet clothing, especially bathing suits, as soon as you can.
- Using water-based sexual lubricants.
If you have diabetes, it is important to keep your blood sugar level as close to normal as possible. Controlling your diabetes can help prevent vaginal yeast infections.
The symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are similar to other conditions. If you have any questions, a physical exam by your healthcare provider will help.
Why Do Women Develop Chronic Vaginal Yeast Infections
Knowing the causes of chronic vaginal yeast infections is crucial if you want to get rid of the infection for good.
The most common causes of developing chronic vaginal yeast infections are:
- Cell-mediated immunity defects within the vaginal mucosa
- A 2016 study found that obese women may be more prone to recurrent yeast infections, however, more research needs to be done to find exactly why it happens
It also may be caused by certain lifestyle choices, such as:
- Using estrogen-based contraceptive pills
- Using scented soaps and other feminine care products, such as lubricants and moisturizers that contain irritating chemicals
While some chronic yeast infection causes may be difficult to eliminate and manage, others are fairly easy to avoid. If you like swimming, find a UV or ozone sanitized pool in your area. If you take contraceptive pills, try progestin-only pills.
When choosing feminine care products, always read the label to make sure you pick those that contain only mild natural ingredients. If youre HIV positive or you suffer from diabetes, receiving treatment is crucial. Appropriate treatment will significantly cut the risk of suffering from vaginal yeast infections.
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Prophylaxis Of Candidiasis With Bmt
Prevention of candidiasis incidence in patients undergoing bone marrow transplant
400 mg PO qDay
- Patients who are anticipated to have severe granulocytopenia should start prophylaxis several days before anticipated onset of neutropenia and continue for 7 days after neutrophil count rises > 1000 cells per mm³
What Are The Risks Associated With Antifungal Drugs
Antifungal drugs that are applied to the skin or mucous membranes are generally well tolerated. The possible side effects include further irritation of the inflamed areas, burning and itching.
When using mechanical contraceptive devices, it’s important to read the package insert carefully. Some antifungal drugs are oily. This can make contraceptives like condoms more porous, allowing sperm to pass through them.
If antifungal drugs are taken in the form of tablets that you swallow, they can lead to other side effects such as headaches, dizziness, nausea and diarrhea. There are also a lot of medications that shouldn’t be used together with antifungal drugs because they may influence each others effect. These include certain medicines, blood-pressure-lowering drugs and medications for psychological problems. You can find out about these drug-drug interactions in the package insert that comes with the antifungal drug.
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Can A Yeast Infection Be Prevented
You can prevent some yeast infections by doing these things:
- Use good oral hygiene to help prevent yeast infection in your mouth . This includes brushing and flossing your teeth every day and using mouthwash as needed.
- Wear cotton underwear to help to prevent a vaginal or genital yeast infection. If you are a woman and get vaginal yeast infections often, you may want to take probiotics.
- Keep areas where skin rubs up against skin dry and try to reduce friction.
When To Call Your Healthcare Provider
Most over-the-counter yeast infection treatments take anywhere from a day to a week to work. If you are still experiencing symptoms after a week of trying home remedies, see your healthcare provider. Your practitioner may be able to prescribe Diflucan , an antifungal oral medication that can usually treat a yeast infection in one dose.
If a yeast infection treatment is not providing relief, its possible that you do not have a yeast infection. That’s why it’s important to see a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis. Bacterial vaginosis, sexually transmitted infections, skin disorders, and other conditions can sometimes present with similar symptoms to those of a yeast infection. Some of these infections can have serious complications when left untreated, so dont hesitate to see your practitioner.
If you notice that you are experiencing frequent yeast infections, see your gynecologist. You may need a more long-term antifungal treatment to wipe out the infection and prevent future ones.
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Lifestyle Changes That Support Medical Yeast Infection Treatment
While taking yeast infection medication, certain lifestyle changes can help relieve symptoms and prevent worsening symptoms. These include:
- Keeping your genital area clean and dry
- Wearing loose-fitting underwear, pants, or shorts to prevent irritation and sweating, which can lead to the growth of more yeast
- Promptly changing out of wet bathing suits or exercise clothing, and washing sweat-covered or wet clothes after each use
- Keeping your blood sugar level under control if you have diabetes
What If I Forget To Take A Dose
If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless its nearly time for your next dose. In this case, just skip the missed dose and take your next one as normal.
Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
If you forget doses often, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to remember your medicines.
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Who Shouldnt Take Vivjoa
The drug is not intended for people who are pregnant, lactating, or capable of reproducing. That’s because, according to the drug’s prescribing information, animal studies suggest Vivjoa can cause fetal harm.
This data comes from a study conducted on rats, in which the medication caused ocular abnormalities in offspringincluding cataracts, opacities, hemorrhages, and optic nerve atrophy.
“The medication is a teratogen, meaning it can result in birth defects, therefore it cannot be used in who have the ability to get pregnantthis includes using contraceptionand those breastfeeding,” Terri Huynh, MD, gynecologic surgeon with Yale Medicine and assistant professor at Yale School of Medicine, told Health.
The drug takes a long time to be cleared by the body, which is why it is not meant for anyone with reproductive potential. The medication was not studied in adolescents, as the drug has been deemed unsafe in this age group.
Vivjoa is also contraindicated for people who are allergic or sensitive to oteseconazole or other ingredients in the drug.
According to Dr. Huynh, anyone experiencing recurrent yeast infections should consult with a healthcare provider. Before starting treatment, it’s crucial to confirm the diagnosis and obtain a yeast culture, as certain stains may be better treated with alternative therapies.
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