Thrush (candidiasis)

Thrush is also called vaginal candidiasis. Thrush is most often caused by Candida, a type of fungus that is normally present in the body. Candida is present on the skin and mucous membranes (in the mouth and intestines) of most healthy people. The transition of Candida to a parasitic state can be facilitated by dysbacteriosis that occurs when broad-spectrum antibiotics are prescribed, a decrease in the body’s defenses with long-term administration of certain products (corticosteroids, immunosuppressants), the presence of serious diseases (cancer, blood diseases, diabetes, etc.). Most often, thrush occurs with a decrease in general and local immunity. If treatment is not started in a timely manner, then this process can drag on for a very long time.

Thrush does not belong to sexually transmitted diseases and is considered together with them because of a similar clinical picture.

Factors contributing to the development of thrush:

  • taking antibiotics;
  • douching;
  • wearing tight underwear (especially synthetic);
  • pregnancy;
  • diabetes;
  • HIV infection.

Symptoms of thrush in women

Candidiasis of the mucous membrane (thrush) manifests itself in the form of white plaques (solid or in the form of isolated areas). The affected areas are traditionally painless, but with the compaction of plaque, the formation of cracks, there may not be a pronounced soreness. With skin candidiasis, redness, maceration of the skin are noted, there may be balanitis, itching in the anus. With vaginal candidiasis, women have white, crumbly (curdled) discharge, there may be itching, burning of the vagina, itching, soreness and redness of the external genitalia, pain during intercourse and urination.

Why is thrush dangerous?

This disease does not cause any particular harm to health. However, it causes a lot of anxiety to the patient and interferes with normal sexual life. In addition, thrush can be a sign of severe general diseases (for example, diabetes and HIV infection).

Once having turned to a doctor and received instructions on how to overcome thrush, many follow them again and again as needed. This course of action will help in the treatment of thrush once, twice, third, but sooner or later the magic wand will break. After all, the root of the trouble is in the weakening of the immune system, and thrush is only its external manifestation. Therefore, simultaneously with the treatment of thrush, it is necessary to look for and eliminate the cause of immunodeficiency, to strengthen one’s own microflora. Without this, thrush will appear again and again. In addition, the symptoms of thrush, discharge, itching and burning may not be so harmless. The same symptoms are characteristic of gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, gardnerellosis, genital herpes, chlamydia, mycoplasmosis, ureaplasmosis and other infections.

Diagnosis of thrush

Diagnosis is based on the clinical picture and the results of light microscopy. Detection of fungi of the genus Candida during sowing, by direct immunofluorescence (DIF) and by DNA diagnostics (PCR) has no diagnostic value, since these methods are able to detect even single microorganisms, and thrush is caused by a large number of fungi of the genus Candida. In small quantities, these fungi are present on the skin and mucous membranes of most healthy people.

Treatment of thrush

B vitamins and ascorbic acid are widely used. For skin lesions, antifungal ointments are used. For lesions of the mucous membranes, a suspension containing nystatin is used topically. Treatment of thrush with antibiotics is quite effective, but with all this, a person’s own (useful) microflora is destroyed.

Thrush and sex

If you have thrush, then having sex is likely to be accompanied by pain. In the absence of pain, you can have sex, but with a condom.

Treatment of a sexual partner in the absence of symptoms of thrush is optional, but desirable.

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