Recurrent vaginal thrush (vaginal candida). How can this be prevented?

Swab tests should be taken to confirm that you really are having bouts of thrush. Whilst most people have heard of thrush, relatively few know about bacterial vaginosis and this is more common than thrush (Q12.13).

About one per cent of women will have more than six episodes of vaginal candida a year. It is prudent to exclude underlying illness and to correct other causes of vaginal discharge such as cervical ectropion (erosioncervical erosion).

Preventative measures include avoiding clothes that keep the genital area moist. Natural fibres such as cotton are preferable to nylon. Underclothes should be thoroughly rinsed. Daily bathing/showering may be helpful but frequent vaginal douching should be avoided as this may remove protective organisms. Irritant soaps and bubble baths should be avoided. Shampoos should not be used in the bath. Use a soft clean towel and dab rather than rub. Rough flannels should not be used.

One of the orally active agents may eliminate the reservoir of candida in the bowel although this may subsequently recur. Wiping the anal area from front to back may help to prevent transfer of candida to the vagina; soft toilet paper should be used. The objective is to prevent recurrence. As antibiotics may be associated with acute episodes, those particularly at risk should re quest treatment for candida at the same time. The male partner should be offered local or oral treatment. Some women will require regular preventative treatment usually administered after each period.


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This is the personal website of David A Viniker MD FRCOG, retired Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist - Specialist Interests - Reproductive Medicine including Infertility, PCOS, PMS, Menopause and HRT.
I do hope that you find the answers to your women's health questions in the patient information and medical advice provided.

I do hope that you find the answers to your women's health questions in the patient information and medical advice provided.

The aim of this web site is to provide a general guide and it is not intended as a substitute for a consultation with an appropriate specialist in respect of individual care and treatment.

David Viniker retired from active clinical practice in 2012.
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