Thrush Infection Treatment Vaginal

Vaginal yeast infection (yeast vaginitis) and vulvitis may be treated with antifungal medications that are applied topically in and around the vagina or with antifungal medications taken by mouth. Sometimes, infections can require a combination of treatments.

Topically Applied Antifungal Creams

Over-the-counter topical treatments are an option for some women when yeast is the cause of the infection. However, it should be noted that infection other than yeast can cause similar symptoms. These include bacterial vaginosis, chlamydia and gonorrhea. If symptoms are not eliminated by over-the-counter products, patients should see their doctors for evaluation.

The most common vaginal yeast infection antifungal creams include:

  • butoconazole (Femstat 3®)
  • clotrimazole (Lotrimin®)
  • miconazole (Monistat®)
  • terconazole (Terazol 3®)

Antifungal Tablets

Antifungal tablets are also popular treatment options for vaginal yeast infections, but they are most often used in conjunction with creams, as creams generally absorb and work more quickly.

Common antifungal tablets include:

  • clotrimazole (Lotrimin®, Mycelex®)
  • miconazole (Monistat®, Micatin®)
  • nystatin (Mycostatin®)
  • terconazole (Terazol®)

Oral Medications

For yeast vaginitis and vulvitis, oral medication prescribed by a medical professional is most often fluconazole (Diflucan®). Again, this medication may be used in conjunction with antifungal creams.

Treatment Regimen

Most doctors prefer to treat vaginal yeast infections with vaginal tablets or suppositories rather than oral medications. Oral antifungal medications can cause side effects such as headache, nausea and abdominal pain, while vaginal treatment is unlikely to cause these side effects. Oral antifungal medications are also not recommended for use during pregnancy.

Treatment of sex partners is not usually necessary, since most vaginal yeast infections are not transmitted sexually. However, if a male sex partner shows symptoms of yeast infection, a physician should be consulted.

Male yeast infection symptoms include redness, irritation and/or itching at the tip of the penis. These infections may need to be treated with an antifungal cream or ointment.

Although many medications used to treat vaginal yeast infections are now available without a prescription, people should use these medications only for treating repeat infections, not for the first episode. Any woman who experiences symptoms of a vaginal infection for the first time should visit a doctor. This will ensure that the vaginal discharge and discomfort is caused by yeast and not sexually transmitted infections.

Also, if vaginal yeast infections occur regularly or very frequently, a doctor’s advice should also be sought to rule out a more serious condition and to get tips for preventing these infections.

Call your doctor whenever you have vaginal discomfort or an abnormal vaginal discharge, especially if you are pregnant.

Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis

About 5 percent of women with vaginal yeast infections develop recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC), which is defined as having four or more vaginal yeast infections in a one-year period. Although RVVC is more common in women who have diabetes or weakened immune systems, most women with RVVC have no underlying medical illness that would predispose them to recurrent Candida infections.

Medical experts still are trying to determine the most effective way to treat RVVC. Currently, most doctors treat this problem with two weeks of oral medication, followed by up to six months of a lower maintenance dose.

Medications cure most vaginal yeast infections. Only about 5 percent of women develop RVVC and may require further treatment with prolonged antifungal therapy.

Resources

Aetna InteliHealth (2007). Vaginal Yeast Infection. Retrieved July 11, 2007, from the Aetna InteliHealth Web site: http://www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/9339/10956.html.

Cornforth, Tracee (n.d.). Yeast Infections. Retrieved July 11, 2007, from the About.com Web site: http://womenshealth.about.com/cs/yeastinfections/a/getridofyeastin_2.htm?terms=Yeast infection.

MedicineNet.com (n.d.). Yeast Vaginitis. Retrieved July 11, 2007, from the MedicineNet Web site: http://www.medicinenet.com/yeast_vaginitis/page4.htm.

National Institute of Health and the National Institutes of Health (n.d.). MedlinePlus. Retrieved July 11, 2007, from the National Institute of Health Web site: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001511.htm.