Vaginal Yeast Infections

by Eric Bakker N.D. on February 17, 2012. Updated July 26, 2013

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Thrush – Vaginal Candidiasis Diagnosis

Candida infections are notoriously difficult to diagnose, in particular vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC). Vaginitis is the most frequent gynaecological diagnosis encountered by clinicians who provide primary care to women. Symptoms are non-specific and neither self diagnosis nor diagnosis from a physician is reliable without laboratory confirmation.

In particular, try my 5 different yeast infection home tests to determine if yeast may be playing a role with your vaginal infection, these tests can detect candida infections resulting from overgrowth in the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract and in other areas of your body. It may help to provide a preliminary analytical result after which clinical consideration should be observed, especially where there is one or several positive results from these tests.

Vulvo-Vaginal Candidiasis (VVC)

This condition is so known as Thrush, Monilial or yeast infection is a common cause of vaginal irritation. Thrush affects up to 75% of all women during their reproductive years (age 15 – 45) and is characterised by symptoms of burning, itching, redness and soreness of the vulva or vagina. In severe cases, the infection may also be associated with abnormal discharge which is typically described as cottage cheese like in nature although may vary from watery to thick in consistency. Thrush is caused by an overgrowth of yeast cells, most commonly candida albicans although several other species are known to be involved. A thrush overgrowth occurs as a result of a change in the vaginal pH, and this is particularly apparent around menses time, when the pH changes are most discernible under the influence of various hormones.

Other factors which can influence the pH are diabetes, oral contraceptives or antibiotics, increased frequency of sexual intercourse and even with the use of douche or hygiene sprays.

Pregnancy can be a peak time

One of the most significant pre-disposing factors for thrush is pregnancy, since regular and quite significant changes to the vaginal pH can occur during this time.

Sometimes thrush is relatively difficult to distinguish from other common vaginal infections such as trichomonas and bacterial vaginosis (gardnerella), and it is important to have a convenient and reliable diagnostic tool to aid with differential diagnosis. Incorrect diagnosis may lead to the overuse of anti fungal or antibiotic drugs with the subsequent risk of digestive problems as beneficial bacteria are destroyed.

Quick blood test available

There is a quick blood test for candida albicans I recommend which only requires one drop of blood from a finger prick test. The results only take five minutes and the accuracy is greater than 90%. The CanDia5 Candida Rapid Test is a highly sensitive immune test device intended for the rapid detection of IgG antibodies to candida in fingertip whole blood, plasma and serum. You will be able to do an online search for a provider for this home test kit, otherwise contact your local health care professional.

Recurrent thrush

Occasionally candida albicans infection persists despite adequate conventional therapy. I discuss this in greater detail in my e-book called Candida Crusher. In some women, recurrent thrush may be a sign of iron deficiency, yet in others it could be that they have undiagnosed diabetes or an immune problem, and the appropriate tests should be done to more accurately determine the origin.

Research validates that women who experience recurrent thrush candida infections do so because of persistent infection and a general depletion or weakening of the immune system.The main aim of an treatment in this situation is therefore to avoid the overgrowth of candida that leads to symptoms, rather than necessarily being able to achieve complete eradication or cure. The Candida Crusher Diet and Treatment Program in chapter 7 my most comprehensive 718 page e-book will be found to be the best diet and natural treatment protocol, designed to ensure a thorough and complete eradication of those annoying vaginal thrush and yeast infections. Chapter 5 specifically explains the best treatment for chronic vaginal yeast infections.

Vaginal Implant Treatment

Don’t be afraid of trying home treatments for local conditions like vaginal thrush. Here is a great treatment for those who have:  

  • -  Chronic vaginal thrush
  •  - Candida yest infections
  •  - Bacterial infections

Remember, Candida Crusher has a whole chapter devoted to vaginal thrush. This chapter describes in detail the  Probiotic Implantation Protocol as well as an Antimicrobial Implantation Protocol, and it is best to read this chapter carefully to ensure you get the best possible results.

Follow a good cleansing protocol 2-3 times a year as suggested in my e-book to help maintain a very healthy vaginal environment. This is a good measure to take particularly if you are looking at enhancing your fertility and optimising your chances of falling pregnant. Follow the Antimicrobial Implantation Protocol if you have thrush and want quick relief, then follow-up with the Probiotic Implant Protocol to put things right.

The following local measures will be found to be the most helpful:

  • Treating a vaginal yeast infection holistically, ensuring that the diet and lifestyle factors are considered in addition to local treatments.
  • Cotton or moisture-wicking underwear and loose fitting clothing – avoid nylon pantyhose.
  • Soaking in a salt bath. Avoid soap – use a non-soap cleanser or aqueous cream for washing.
  • Treat with an antifungal cream before each menstrual period and before antibiotic therapy to prevent relapse. Tea Tree oil cream is a good choice, or try the Intimate Care cream from Kolorex, containing a New Zealand plant called Horopito which is a very powerful natural anti-fungal.
  • A prolonged course of a topical antifungal agent is occasionally warranted (but these may themselves cause dermatitis or result in proliferation of non-albicans candida).
  • A tampon with yogurt as a suppository at night may help to acidify the vagina and reduce the presence of yeasts (albicans and non-albicans candida).

The following have NOT been shown to help in the long term.

I have never recommended drugs routinely until other means have been exhausted, and have rarely if ever had to rely on a drug to help a patient with a yeast infection.

  • Applying hydrocortisone creams to reduce itching and treat secondary dermatitis affecting the vulva.
  • Oral antifungal medication (itraconazole or fluconazole) when taken regularly and intermittently (e.g. once a month). The dose and frequency is quite variable, depending on the severity of symptoms. Oral antifungal agents may be unsuitable in pregnancy, they require a prescription and have several side-effects especially long-term. Drugs such as these have many untoward side-effects and will only worsen your condition in the long run. Besides, all you are doing is treating the symptoms whilst ignoring the actual causes. Doesn’t it make more sense to treat the actual cause of your vaginal thrush? Than way you will eradicate it – forever.
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