HOW IS VAGINAL CANDIDIASIS TREATED?

Treatment of vaginal candidiasis depends on various factors before effectiveness can be achieved. To achieve effective treatment a systematic procedure needs to be followed. Before treatment can start for any suspected vaginal candidiasis, there should be effective diagnosis (confirmation that indeed the infection is candidiasis). Due to the popular assertion that, all vaginal infections are candidiasis, many women go on to treat candidiasis whenever they experience any episode of abnormal discharge, vaginal itchiness, odour and pain. Although these symptoms give an indication of the present of vaginal candidiasis, they are not definite. In most cases women who base their final conclusion on these symptoms end up treating other types of vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis, trichomonas vaginalis with anti-candida drugs since they all have similar symptoms.

The best bet is to confirm the present of vaginal candidiasis is through series of tests at the hospital. Before a doctor confirms the presence of vaginal candidiasis, he/she may

  1. Ask questions about your medical history. 

Your doctor may ask questions to gather information about your experience with past vaginal infections or sexually transmitted infections and probably the history of medication you took for treatment.

  1. Perform a pelvic exam. 

Pelvic examination will be done on you by your doctor to examines how your vagina and cervix for signs of the infection. This is usually done opening your vagina with an instrument called speculum.

  1. Test vaginal secretions.

Vaginal fluid/ discharge may be sent to the laboratory to test and confirm the presence of yeast cells causing the candidiasis. This will actually help your doctor to know the specific medication that will be effective for your infection.

Treatment of options for vaginal candidiasis

  • MILD TO MODERATE INFECTIONS

If you are experiencing symptoms of vaginal candidiasis, it is important to visit your doctor to confirm that you actually have candidiasis and not any other infection with similar symptoms. Treatment of candidiasis is based on the severity and how frequent the infection is. Mild infections are treated differently from severe infections.

When your vaginal candidiasis is confirmed to be mild, the following treatment program might be recommended by your doctor:

  1. Short-course vaginal therapy 

Since your infection is confirmed as mild, your doctor will recommend a short treatment course where you have to take an antifungal medication for 3 to 7 days. These medications are available in tablets, creams and ointments and suppositories. This antifungal includes miconazole and terconazole. In Ghana, some of these medications are available over-the-counter without prescriptions.

  1. Single-dose oral medication. 

When you have mild infections, your doctor might prescribe a one-time single oral dose of fluconazole. It is usually not recommended for a pregnant woman to use oral medication. To manage more-severe symptoms, you might take two single doses three days apart.

When your vaginal candidiasis is confirmed to be severe or recurring, the following treatment program might be recommended by your doctor:

  • SEVERE AND OR RECURRING VAGINAL CANDIDIASIS
  1. Long-course vaginal therapy. 

Treatment of severe vaginal candidiasis might sometimes need an antifungal medication taken daily for up to two weeks, followed by once a week for six months.

  1. Multidose oral medication

On the other hand, your doctor might prescribe 2 or 3 doses of an antifungal medication to be taken by mouth instead of vaginal therapy. However, this therapy isn’t recommended for pregnant women.

It has been observed that, most women do not complete their vaginal candidiasis medication because as soon as they noticed there is little improvement in their condition, they also stop taking their medication. It is important to note that most recurrent infections are as a result of incomplete treatment. When this happens, the infections are not totally cleared and within sometime, it will reoccur again.

See your doctor again if treatment doesn’t resolve your symptoms or if your symptoms return within two months.

This blog pro­vides infor­ma­tion about vaginal health and related sub­jects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be con­strued as a substitute for, med­ical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or per­son with a med­ical con­cern should con­sult a healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes.

The article was written by Godfrey Yeboah Amoah and published at vagicarekonsult.com. Translation and voice note were done by Mrs. Nancy Boateng

Godfrey Yeboah Amoah
Godfrey Yeboah Amoah

Godfrey Yeboah Amoah is a reproductive health and rights activist and the founder of Vagicare Konsult. A medical Laboratory scientist by profession and specialty in population and health, Godfrey combines his professional knowledge, experience and specialty to educate females on quality reproductive health practices

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