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Infections of vagina and external genital organs – infection caused by yeasts (fungi).

What is vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC)? 

Vulvovaginal candidiasis, also known as the vaginal yeast infection and vaginomycosis, is the second, after bacterial vaginosis, most frequent cause of infections in the genitourinary tract in women.

Vulvovaginal candidiasis is usually caused by excessive growth of Candida:  C. albicans, C. glabrata, C. tropicalis, C. crusei, C. parapsilosis.

Every ten years, the frequency of doctor consultations associated with colonization of female genitourinary tract by yeast-like fungi is doubled. Most women at reproductive age (15-49) experience at least one symptomatic episode of a vaginal yeast infection, and more than a half will be treated due to this illness more than twice a year. 

Diagnostics and symptoms of vulvovaginal candidiasis. 

Vulvovaginal candidiasis is usually diagnosed on the basis of a clinical test. The most frequently occurring symptoms include:

  1. Persistent burning and itching sensation inside the vagina and in the area of the vulva, also when urinating,
  2. Discomfort while bathing,
  3. Reddening and swelling of external genitals,
  4. Pain and itching during sexual intercourse,
  5. Heavy, caseous, odorless vaginal discharge.

 Unfortunately, none of these symptoms is specific for vaginal candidiasis. In differential diagnostics, it is necessary to consider bacterial infections, trichomoniasis, as well as allergic reaction. In many cases, we are dealing with diseases of mixed etiology. In order to make the proper diagnosis, additional tests are often performed, such as vaginal secretion pH test or microbiological test of urogenital smear.

If candidiasis is a recurring disease in a woman, her partner should also undergo treatment. Diseases of this type usually give no symptoms in men – sometimes, they may experience reddening of the glans penis or mild red rash or itching.

Prepared on the basis of:

Stanowisko zespołu Ekspertów Polskiego Towarzystwa Ginekologicznego dotyczące etiopatogenezy i leczenia nawrotowej postaci drożdżakowego zapalenia pochwy i sromu. Niemiec T., Tomaszewski J. Ginekol Pol. 2011, 82, 869-873

Wytyczne postępowania w kandydozie sromu pochwy. AGUM/MSSVD national guideline on the management of vulvovaginal candidiasis. Radcliffe K., Ahmed I. (MP cyt 20.09.2016)


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