Patients who suffer recurrent vaginal yeast infections feel frustrated, and rightly so. Here is an update on what you need to know to get rid of chronic yeast infections:
1. In patients with chronic candida (yeast) infections, the first thing your doctor should do is a vaginal culture.
2. Make sure that what you are dealing with is really fungal. About 70% of what we think are candida infections aren’t yeast infections at all. Be sure your doctor considers other diagnoses before proceeding with treatment.
3. If the culture confirms the chronic candida (yeast) diagnosis, fluconazole is the traditional first line treatment. Fluconazole is an oral antifungal tablet prescribed by your doctor.
4. What has changed in the last few years is the evidence piling up for probiotics for prevention of vaginal candidiasis.
5. Probiotics administered over a fairly long time seem to make those infections stop.
6. Probiotics work in a couple ways: they secrete a surfactant that keeps the candida from adhering to tissues. The probiotic bacteria also act as competition for the yeast forms.
7. A recent study using probiotic capsules of Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus fermentum showed significantly decreased yeast, and a significant increase in healthy vaginal lactobacilli.
8. Another regimen shown to cure vaginal candidiasis is a standard dose of fluconazole plus probiotics (L. reuteri and L. rhamnosus.)
9. Probiotics are appealing because they have almost no adverse effects and there is no resistance that develops to probiotics.
10. A standard oral probiotic with lactobacillus and bifidobacteria is worth a try, if you suffer from chronic vaginal yeast infections
- Dr O.
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