Yeast infection treatment for the vagina depends on the type
of yeast involved. Many women self-diagnose and use over-the-counter creams or suppositories. What they don't realize is that they may or may not actually have a vaginal yeast infection, or they may have a mixed infection. More information about diagnosis can be found here.
Especially if you have recurrent vaginal yeast infections, it is best to see a healthcare practitioner to have the types of yeasts identified so that proper treatment can be started.
Researchers are starting to realize that over-the-counter vaginal yeast infection treatment must be reduced if the yeasts are to remain sensitive to the medications. Too many women are self-medicating, but not using the medicine for a long enough period to significantly suppress the yeast so that it can be kept under control.
Or, the infection temporarily gets under control, only to occur again due to an unbalance in the body. Or worse yet, the wrong type of anti-fungal medication is used as a yeast infection cure and it does nothing, wasting time and money and prolonging the uncomfortable symptoms of the vaginitis.
When most women think of a vaginal yeast infection, they immediately think of Candida. And when most women think of Candida, they think only of Candida albicans as the cause of their yeast problem.
Candida albicans is
especially hard to find a yeast infection cure for, because although it can live under
control in many women, when it gets out of control it can spread into
tissues similar to tree roots in soil. But Candida albicans is not the only Candida yeast that causes vaginal yeast infections. Candida glabrata, Candida krusei, and Candidia tropicalis are some of the other Candida species that can cause you vaginitis. In addition, yeasts from a genus other than Candida can also cause problems. That's why a correct diagnosis is the key to a yeast infection cure.
For a yeast problem that isn’t chronic (on-going), the success rate for vaginal yeast infection treatment with conventional drugs, either orally in tablet or capsule form or in topical (applied) form is approximately 80%-90%.
Note that oral anti-fungals can cause hypoglycemic episodes in some diabetic patients taking sulfonylureas such as Diabinese (chlorpropamide), Amaryl (glimepiride), Glucotrol or Glucotrol XL (glipizide) and others, including combination products such as Glucovance and others. If you are diabetic, be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any oral anti-fungal medications.
Oral anti-fungals can also cause gastrointestinal symptoms, headache, and increased chances of abnormal results on liver function tests. Some of the oral anti-fungals are not permitted in pregnancy. For example, the FDA stated that treatment with chronic, high doses (400-800mg/day) of Diflucan (fluconazole) during the first trimester of pregnancy may be associated with a rare and distinct set of birth defects in infants.
Vaginal preparations are usually effective against yeasts while they are being used, but are unable to significantly protect against possible future recurrences once the medication is discontinued. As a result, chronic yeast infections can occur. Typically these types of treatment for vaginal yeast infections contain the drugs:
However, C. glabrata and C. krusei are resistant to the usual dosages of anti-yeast medications, showing once again, that accurate diagnosis is critical to success. Boric acid vaginal suppositories and vaginal flucytosine (Ancobon is the oral brand-name of this drug) are usually recommended in these cases, although they are not available in every country.
Probiotics for Candida and other yeast infections are very promising. Read about them here.
Return to vaginal yeast infection diagnosis.
Read more about Candida yeast infections here.
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