Genital candidiasis is an infection caused by candida, which is a type of fungus (mold). Candida naturally exists on the skin, inside a mouth, intestines, genitals of healthy people, and usually does not multiply.
It can grow when the immune system is low, shows inflammation. For women it develops vaginitis and vulvitis, and in men it develops balanoposthitis.
Symptoms of candida-induced vaginitis and vulvitis include strong itching in the vagina and vulva, increased white yogurt-like (cottage cheese-like, sake lees-like) vaginal discharge, and pain during sexual intercourse.
In men, the main symptoms of balanoposthitis are itching, sores, redness, small blisters, white coating-like on the skin and flares off. In rare cases, urethritis may develop.
Genital candidiasis is a sexually transmitted disease that is often seen in women, but it does not develop just by having candida in the vagina, but when the immunity is low. Most men do not have much subjective symptoms, even if theres candida inhabiting the genitals.
Route of infection and prevention
You can get infected by having sex with a person who has candida in their genitals and the risk of infection is particularly high among women.
Refraining from sexual activity is important when you have symptoms. It's important to use condoms correctly to prevent infection through sexual activity.
Another common cause is through oneself, when bacteria multiplies due to decreased immunity and when the balance of microorganisms living in the vagina is disrupted, genital candidias can also develop. A lot of lactic acid bacteria live in the vagina, and it suppresses the growth of harmful bacteria by decomposing sugar and producing strong acid (lactic acid). This is called "self-cleansing action of the vagina".
However, if lactic acid bacteria are reduced due to poor health and overwork, changes in hormonal balance due to menstruation, pregnancy, taking pills or taking antibiotics, will counteract production of self-cleaning action of the vagina and candida grows.
To prevent the grow of candifa, avoid overworkinig and stress and try to balance daily life to mainatain health.
In addition, candida is easy to increase turbidity in wet areas, so wear breathable underwear and keep the genital area clean. Such preventive measures are also effective for men.
For women overwashing the genital can also cause candidiasis. Frequent vaginal washing with a disposable bidet is undesirable.
Genital candidiasis can also cause mother-to-child infection. It is easy to develop genital candidiasis due to changes in the hormonal balance during pregancy.
If you are infected with genital candidiasis, the vaginal discharge and the lesion is examined for the presence of candida spores using a microscope. The collected sample may be cultured and examined further.
However, if a woman has strong itching in the vagina or vulva, or a yogurt-like vaginal discharge, or if a man has symptoms specific to genital candidiasis, such as itching, sores, or white coating in the glans, diagnosis will be based on the symptoms.
Antifungal drugs are the effective treatment. For women, standard treatments are vaginal cleansing and vaginal tablets (tablets to put into the vagina), and others include, ointments, creams, oral medications. Ointments and oral medications are also used for men. The duration of treatment is about 1 week, but if sufficient therapeutic effect is not achieved, the treatment can be prolonged. It will not naturally heal without any treatment. It's not possible to completely eliminate candida, from our bodies as it its fungus that naturally exists in our body, and so, preventing recurrence is necessary. Management of daily physical condition and good sanitary should be practiced.