Vaginal Thrush


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Vaginal Thrush

  1. 1. Thrush & Your Vagina Facts & Misconceptions
  2. 2. Your vagina <ul><li>Your vagina naturally contains several bacteria strains and one or more yeast (fungus) strains that live in harmony </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes women experience uncomfortable symptoms, which indicate that something is wrong </li></ul>
  3. 3. Common symptoms <ul><li>Itching (pruritus) </li></ul><ul><li>Discharge </li></ul><ul><li>Burning sensation during urination </li></ul><ul><li>Discomfort during sex </li></ul><ul><li>Rash on outer lips of the vagina </li></ul><ul><li>Soreness </li></ul><ul><li>Dryness </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why are there symptoms? <ul><li>Symptoms are caused by infections or other factors that affect the walls of the vagina leading to inflammation: a condition known as vaginitis </li></ul><ul><li>Inflammation is the body’s response to deal with the infection and repair any damage that is caused </li></ul>
  5. 5. Infections causing vaginitis <ul><li>Thrush </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fungal (Vulvovaginal Candidiasis) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Europe, this is the major cause of vaginitis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>BV </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bacterial (Bacterial Vaginosis) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Europe, this is the second most common cause – it is the major cause in the US </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trichomonas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Parasitic (Trichomoniasis) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Europe and the US, this causes symptoms the least </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sometimes vaginitis can be caused by more than one infection </li></ul>
  6. 6. Other causes <ul><li>Steroid creams </li></ul><ul><li>Douching </li></ul><ul><li>Chemical irritation </li></ul><ul><li>Contraceptives </li></ul><ul><li>Increased humidity (e.g. during summer) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Misconceptions & bad habits <ul><li>Women confuse thrush with: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>other vaginal infections and causes of vaginitis (vaginal inflammation) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>other conditions such as bladder infections (Cystitis) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>other problems, such as sexually transmitted infections, not relating to vaginitis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most women: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>assume they have thrush </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>buy thrush treatment without knowing what is wrong </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>do not have thrush in the first place </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Misconceptions & bad habits <ul><li>Many women: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>do not complete the full course of treatment, which can increase resistance of the fungus to medication </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A culture of treating before testing has emerged: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>unfortunately, medical professionals promote this behaviour </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>patients and professionals don’t tackle thrush properly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>women can take the incorrect treatment several times leading to recurrent infection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>misuse of medication promotes resistance </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Key facts in women <ul><li>3/4 get thrush once in their lifetime </li></ul><ul><li>3/8 get thrush twice in their lifetime </li></ul><ul><li>1/20 have at least 4 episodes of thrush every year </li></ul><ul><li>1/100 have it almost continuously </li></ul><ul><li>Recurrence of thrush may indicate diabetes </li></ul><ul><li>Thrush and other vaginal infections increase during pregnancy </li></ul>
  10. 10. Other facts <ul><li>Up to 2/3 women who buy treatment don’t have thrush </li></ul><ul><li>Healthcare professionals and individuals cannot diagnose this condition based on symptoms alone </li></ul><ul><li>The only way to know is to use a medical test (UK: available online or at a GUM/STI clinic) </li></ul><ul><li>Other causes require different treatment or action to be taken </li></ul><ul><li>Misuse of thrush medication promotes the survival of treatment-resistant fungal species and other health complications </li></ul>
  11. 11. What do you do if you have symptoms? <ul><li>Obtain an accurate diagnosis either by using a home self-test or visiting a GUM/STI clinic </li></ul><ul><li>If you are thrush positive then proceed with thrush treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Treatment can be bought online or from a pharmacy </li></ul><ul><li>A thrush negative result means avoid thrush treatment and seek proper medical advice </li></ul>
  12. 12. 10-minute home self-tests are now available – click the link below Yeast Infection Test (Home Self-Test Kit)