To diagnose your vaginal symptoms, your health care professional will perform a gynecological examination and check your vagina for inflammation and abnormal discharge. A sample of the vaginal discharge may be taken for laboratory examination under a microscope, or for a yeast culture, test to see if candida fungi grow under laboratory conditions. Looking under a microscope also helps rule out other causes of discharge such as BV or trichomoniasis, which require different treatment.
Candida species can be present in healthy women in the vagina without causing any symptoms. In fact, it is estimated that 20% to 50% of women have Candida already present in the vagina. For an infection to occur, the normal balance of yeast and bacteria is disturbed, allowing overgrowth of the yeast. While yeast can be spread by sexual contact, vaginal yeast infection is not considered to be a sexually-transmitted disease because it can also occur in women who are not sexually active, due to the fact that yeast can be present in the vagina of healthy women.
Oral thrush is another common type of yeast infection that occurs frequently in babies, especially during the first 6 to 12 months of life. This yeast infection appears as white or yellowish patches in a baby’s mouth. They may appear on the tongue, gums, roof of the mouth or the inside of the cheeks. Patches caused by a yeast infection in the mouth cannot be wiped away easily, unlike formula or breast milk that may coat the tongue. With thrush, bleeding may occur if the patches are wiped off. A baby may experience some discomfort or difficulty eating as a result of oral thrush, leading to poor feeding or fussiness during feeding. An antifungal solution may be prescribed to treat oral thrush.
Martinez, R. C. R., Franceschini, S. A., Patta, M. C., Quintana, S. M., Candido, R. C., Ferreira, J. C., . . . Reid, G. (2009, March). Improved treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis with fluconazole plus probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 48(3), 269–274. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1472-765X.2008.02477.x/full
Infections of the mouth occur in about 6% of babies less than a month old. About 20% of those receiving chemotherapy for cancer and 20% of those with AIDS also develop the disease. About three-quarters of women have at least one yeast infection at some time during their lives. Widespread disease is rare except in those who have risk factors.
A: It sounds like your baby may have a yeast infection diaper rash, which can happen if a mild diaper rash gets infected with yeast. This is especially likely if your baby recently took antibiotics. If your baby's had the rash for more than a few days and go-to diaper rash treatments (like Desitin or A+D ointment) haven't helped clear it, call your pediatrician. You'll probably need an anti-fungal cream (there are over-the-counter and prescription versions, but you shouldn't use them without your doctor's approval), which usually helps beat the rash quickly. Your baby should also be evaluated to make sure it isn't something more aggressive than diaper rash.
Oral hygiene can help prevent oral candidiasis when people have a weakened immune system. For people undergoing cancer treatment, chlorhexidine mouthwash can prevent or reduce thrush. People who use inhaled corticosteroids can reduce the risk of developing oral candidiasis by rinsing the mouth with water or mouthwash after using the inhaler.
C. albicans was isolated from the vaginas of 19% of apparently healthy women, i.e., those who experienced few or no symptoms of infection. External use of detergents or douches or internal disturbances (hormonal or physiological) can perturb the normal vaginal flora, consisting of lactic acid bacteria, such as lactobacilli, and result in an overgrowth of Candida cells, causing symptoms of infection, such as local inflammation. Pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives have been reported as risk factors. Diabetes mellitus and the use of antibiotics are also linked to increased rates of yeast infections.
Despite the lack of evidence, wearing cotton underwear and loose fitting clothing is often recommended as a preventative measure. Avoiding douching and scented hygiene products is also recommended. Treatment is with an antifungal medication. This may be either as a cream such as clotrimazole or with oral medications such as fluconazole. Probiotics have not been found to be useful for active infections.
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