VAGINITIS, MONILIAL (Vaginal Yeast Infection; Vaginal Candidiasis)
(Vaginal Yeast Infection; Vaginal Candidiasis)
DESCRIPTIONMonilial vaginitis is an infection or inflammation of the vagina caused by a yeastlike fungus (monilia or candida albicans). The vagina and adjacent skin are involved. Monilial vaginitis causes at least 50% of the infections found in the vagina. Monilial vaginitis can affect females of all ages, especially after puberty.
Appropriate health care includes: self-care after diagnosis; physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSWhite, "curdy" vaginal discharge, (resembles lumps of cottage cheese). The odor may be unpleasant but not foul.
Swollen, red, tender, itching vaginal lips (labia) and surrounding skin.
Burning on urination.
Change in vaginal color from pale pink to red.
Severity of the following symptoms varies between females and from time to time in the same female:
Monilia (or candida) live in a healthy vagina, rectum, and mouth. When your daughter's vaginal hormone and pH balance is disturbed, the organisms multiply and cause infections. Monilial vaginitis tends to appear before a menstrual period and improves as soon as the period begins. Factors that may disturb the vagina's balance include: pregnancy; diabetes mellitus; antibiotic treatment; oral contraceptives; high carbohydrate intake; hot weather or non-ventilating clothing, which increase moisture, warmth, and darkness, fostering fungal growth; immunosuppression from drugs or disease.
Factors listed under
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCEInstructions for your daughter:
Keep the genital area clean. Use plain unscented soap.
Take showers rather than tub baths.
Wear cotton panties or pantyhose with a cotton crotch. Avoid panties made from non-ventilating materials.
Don't sit around in wet clothing--especially a wet bathing suit.
Avoid frequent douches and vaginal sprays.
Ask your doctor about eating yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk, or taking acidophilus tablets when you take antibiotics.
After urination or bowel movements, cleanse by wiping or washing from front to back (vagina to anus).
Lose weight if you are obese.
If you have diabetes, adhere strictly to your treatment program.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam (including pelvic exam) by a doctor.
Laboratory studies, such as a Pap smear (See Glossary), and culture and microscopic exam of the vaginal discharge.
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSSecondary bacterial infections of the vagina and other pelvic organs.
Usually curable with 2 weeks of treatment. Recurrence is common.
HOME CAREInstructions for your daughter:
Follow the first 4 instructions under PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCE.
Don't douche unless your doctor recommends it.
If urinating causes burning:
-- Urinate through a tubular device, such as a toilet-paper roll or a plastic cup with the end cut out.
-- Urinate while bathing.
MEDICATIONYour doctor may prescribe anti-fungal drugs, either in oral form (rare) or in vaginal creams or suppositories (usually). Keep the creams or suppositories in the refrigerator.
After treatment, you may want to keep a refill of the medication so you can begin treatment for your daughter quickly if the infection recurs. Follow the prescription carefully.
Your daughter should avoid overexertion, heat, and excessive sweating.
DIET & FLUIDS
Your daughter should increase consumption of yogurt, buttermilk, or sour cream.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?Yes.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your daughter has symptoms of monilial vaginitis.
Despite treatment, symptoms worsen or persist longer than 1 week.
Unusual vaginal bleeding or swelling develops.
After treatment, symptoms recur.