Information on Vaginal Candidiasis

What is vaginal Candidasis infection?

  • Genital Candidiasis is common in women of childbearing age and it is causes by the overgrowth of a naturally occurring yeast-like fungus called Candida albicans in the genital area.
  • Under normal conditions, small amount of Candida is always present in the vagina. If there is a change in the acidic environment of the vagina, there will be overgrowth of Candida, women may have a higher chance of getting vaginal candidiasis infection.

Is treatment necessary for Vaginal Candidiasis?

  • Majority of women have no symptoms at all, therefore treatment is not necessary.
  • Minority of women have vaginitis symptoms such as increase yellowish or cheesy vaginal discharge with vulva itchiness, vaginal soreness, or discomfort during sexual intercourse. In severe cases, the vulva, perineum and groin areas may have inflammation and lesions, accompanied by acute pain.
  • If you have signs and symptoms of vaginal Candida infection, please seek advice from a General Outpatient Clinic or private doctor. After consultation, please follow your doctor's instructions for the appropriate medication such as vaginal pessaries, topical cream or oral medication.
  • It can recur after treatment.

Does my partner need any treatment?

  • There is no evidence to support treatment of asymptomatic partners.
  • If your partner becomes symptomatic at the same time, you should both undergo treatment in order to prevent cross infection.

What are the risk factors?

  • It is normal for women and men to have small amount of this type of yeast in the genital area but there are a number of factors may cause it to overgrow.
  • Factors that can cause overgrowth of the Candida include:
    • You are using antibiotics.
    • You are pregnant.
    • You are suffering from diabetes mellitus.
    • Your immune system is weakened by an immunosuppressive condition, such as infection of Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

How is vaginal candidiasis prevented?

The following suggestions below may help to prevent vaginal candidiasis developing or recurring:

  1. Maintain good personal hygiene. Wash your panties frequently.
  2. Avoid nylon or overly-tight underpants, wear cotton panties instead.
  3. Do not use antiseptics to clean your vagina. This will only irritate your skin and make germs more easily infect the irritated skin.
  4. Do not use douches.
  5. Avoid using scented sanitary pads and perfumed toilet paper.
  6. After using the toilet, wipe from the vulva to the back. This may help to prevent the bacteria that normally live in your rectum from getting into your vagina.
(Published 08/2010)