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Vaginal Yeast Infection

Vaginal Yeast Infection is among the most common conditions for which women seek medical care. Although vaginitis can have a variety of causes, it most often is associated with infection or atrophic changes. Common infectious forms of vaginitis include bacterial vaginosis, fungal vulvovaginal candidiasis, and trichomoniasis, which is caused by a parasite. Although these infections generally respond to treatment, misdiagnosis and more rarely, pharmacologic resistance may occur. Most experts believe that up to 90 percent of vaginitis cases are caused by bacterial vaginosis, vulvovaginal candidiasis and trichomoniasis.

 

Candida isolation from samples of vaginal secretion is very common. It has been estimated that it can be found in some 20% of healthy non-symptomatic women during their reproductive pre-menopausal years. This rate shows a dramatic decrease after menopause. Some 75% of women will have a VVC during their life span, and approximately half of them will suffer a second VVC event. Approximately 5% of cases will develop a recurrent VVC, showing frequent and refractory episodes. Candida albicans is the infecting agent in 80 to 90 percent of patients. Recently, the frequency of non-albicans species (e.g., Candida glabrata) has increased, possibly due to a greater use of over-the-counter antifungal products. Regarding incidence, some characteristics can double its frequency and should be mentioned. During pregnancy, Candida may be isolated from 30 to 40% of women, and the infection is particularly virulent in the last trimester. There are some other conditions that may put a woman at risk for genital candidiasis: diabetes mellitus, use of broad-spectrum antibiotics and use of corticosteroid medications.

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