Yes, you have rightly assumed. Candida is regarded as the causative agent of vaginitis. A number of cases of vaginitis are encountered by the clinicians across the world. However, the major problem in dealing with such cases is that the treatment of vaginitis is done mostly on the basis of the symptoms and seldom do the physicians resort to the detection of the actual causative agent.
Since, there may be other agents that can cause vaginitis, mis-diagnosis and incorrect treatment may often take place. It is a well known fact that most of the medications applied in the treatment of vaginitis could enhance the growth of Candida. This just goes on to complicate the already existing problems and symptoms of vaginitis. The detection of Candida should therefore involve a precise system like the CanDia5.
Prevalence of vaginitis:
Vaginitis is a chronic condition of the vagina as a result of the increased inflammatory responses. The thrush infections of the vagina are caused by the yeast Candida (~ 80% of the cases) other than bacteria in some of the cases of vaginosis. According to Dr. Tettersall, the Candida mediated vaginitis becomes a common reason of vaginal discharge during the reproductive years in women. Nearly 75% of the women suffer from the yeast caused vaginal infections and make it a very common yet complicated disease seen by the physicians.
Although the disease is widespread in nature, most of the women feel embarrassed by their problem due to their poor understanding of the situation making it all the more difficult in diagnosis. The actual prevalence of the cases of vaginitis is hard to determine as most of the doctors still prefer to diagnose the cases based on the symptoms and not through a proper detection system. Dr. Fischer suggests that Candida mediated vaginitis has to be precisely diagnosed based on some typical symptoms.
Why can Candida be so common in the development of vaginitis?
Different Candida species could be identified in women in varied numbers depending upon their age and health conditions. It is present in ~ (10-20) % of the healthy women of reproductive age, in pubertal girls (3-6) % and in post- menopausal women (6-7) %.
Given the opportunistic nature of the yeast Candida, getting a chance they cause the infection of the genital tracts in women. The most common of all opportunities is presented to it through the reduction in the population of the other microflora that provides them the chance to overgrow. It leads to the inflammatory responses that result in symptoms of vaginitis.
However, care must be taken while detecting Candida in association with vaginitis as they are the part of the commensal microflora of your body and it is only when their number increases drastically do they cause the undesired symptoms of vaginitis. Watson et al. has found association between the increased colonization of Candida in the vagina with the symptoms of thrush.
What are the symptoms of the Candida mediated vaginal thrush?
There are some common symptoms associated with vaginitis which include frequent itching of the vagina with increased vaginal discharge in some women. Most of the women find such symptoms disturbing and becomes a reason for their distress. Many women experience a feeling of burning itch which becomes intolerable.
The symptoms can even make sexual activity and urination painful and can interfere with sleep because of the distracting continual itching. Dr. Witkin and his team from the Division of Immunology and Infectious Diseases Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York suggest that the release of hyaluronan through vaginal secretion can be regarded as a positive sign of Candida infection in vaginal thrush.
Self-help preventive measures:
There are a number of vaginal thrush medications available in your nearby pharmacy. However, they come with the added disadvantage of giving the Candida a fresh chance to multiply to unmanageable numbers if they are the causative agents behind the symptoms of the vaginitis. Going by the recent estimates, there is indeed a high possibility for this.
Therefore, you should be wary of the situation if your symptoms don’t start subsiding in a day or two and must take care to look for the actual culprit of your problems. The women facing problems of vaginal thrush need to deal with it emphatically. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed in talking about the symptoms to your doctor. There are certain things which you could do to improve your condition and get relieved from the symptoms of vaginitis which include: (i) avoid presenting the opportunist Candida the favorable growth conditions by reducing humidity and providing as much ventilation as possible. (ii) Any damage to your tissues in the vaginal area makes it more susceptible to Candida infection; try to avoid trauma or irritants to the vagina. (iii) The multiplication rate and number of Candida could be kept at check by the maintenance of the normal beneficial microflora of your body.
The administration of specific probiotic strains of Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium in women with vaginal thrush has yielded remarkable results. Probacto is one such probiotic formulation with the desired strains of the aforesaid genera. Such strains produce acid and other compounds that are detrimental for Candida thereby providing them the growth advantage. In due course of time the number of the yeast gets significantly reduced thereby alleviating the symptoms of vaginitis. Dr. Vicariotto from the Gynaecology Unit, Casa di Cura San Pio X Private Clinic, Italy has demonstrated the efficacy of specific probiotic formulations in dealing with vaginitis.