Thrush symptoms, causes and treatment
Almost all adult women have heard of a disease such as thrush. Unfortunately, a large number of representatives of the fair sex personally faced with this problem. In some cases, the fight against the disease is delayed for months, and the disease returns again and again, reducing the quality of life and forcing again to take medications.
What is thrush in women?
Thrush in women is a disease of the vagina, called in science - candidiasis. Associations with milk among the population arose due to the fact that the women on the genitals appear white discharge, similar in its consistency to cottage cheese.
The causative agent of the disease is Candida albicans fungus. Scientists have calculated that this microorganism is present in the body in 80% of people as its own microflora, without causing any problems. The woman's vagina is not normally sterile. On its epithelium there are microorganisms, including this fungus. It is involved in maintaining the normal pH of the vagina, which is very important for the epithelium itself, the process of fertilization.
The vaginal flora, in addition, competes with other unwanted microorganisms and reduces the likelihood of developing infectious diseases. At the same time, the immunity of the female body strictly monitors the state of affairs and, if necessary, depresses the reproduction of "one's own" bacteria. If for some reason this does not happen or conditions are created for their active reproduction, the probability of thrush development increases.
The causes of thrush in women
There are many reasons that can lead to a breach of a delicate balance in the body of a woman and create conditions for the development of thrush.
- Taking antibacterial drugs is one of the most common causes. Many diseases now have to be treated with antibiotics. This is an effective group of drugs that has allowed many deadly diseases to be eliminated in just a few days and prevent the development of serious complications. However, antibiotics have their side effects. They do not act selectively on one microbe and can badly affect their own vaginal microflora.
- Fungi have a completely different structure of the cell wall and antibacterial antibiotics are not dangerous for them. The result is a situation: fungi, pathogens thrush, remain intact and safe, and the bacteria suffer and partially die. No niche in nature is empty, and the place of dead microbes is occupied by Candida albicans, which simply does not have competitors. As a result, a woman develops candidiasis.
- Decreased immunity, which inhibits the growth and reproduction of opportunistic pathogens. Candidiasis is the most common opportunistic infection in patients infected with HIV. If patients develop candidiasis in many places (oral cavity, vagina, intestine) and poorly treatable, there is a high probability that the root cause is HIV. Chronic inflammatory diseases and long-term bacterial infections, too, can adversely affect the immune defense of the body. (List of the best products that increase immunity!)
- Disrupted metabolism - almost always this condition is caused by diabetes. Few know that with this disease in the human body, not only is the failure in regulation of sugar levels, but fat and protein metabolism also suffer. Development of candidiasis diabetes promotes immediately by two mechanisms.
- In the absence of proper control by a person (taking drugs or insulin, monitoring glucose levels), his blood contains a lot of carbohydrates. This can not but affect the content of them in the intercellular space and in the mucus of the vagina. It turns out that the bacteria and fungus Candida albicans find themselves in a sweet environment, which is ideal for their nutrition and reproduction - the probability of thrush development increases.
- Immunoglobulins are substances through which the immune response of the human body is realized. Violation of protein metabolism, which takes place in diabetes mellitus, affects their formation only in the negative direction. The result is a decrease in immunity and lack of necessary control over the condition and composition of the microflora. Fungi are readily used, given a good nutritional environment, and multiply uncontrolled, causing candidiasis.
- Unbalanced and inefficient nutrition - normally a person should take protein, fat and carbohydrates on a daily basis in a certain mass ratio. Many girls and women call themselves sweet and eat an inadmissibly large number of sweets, flour products, sweet fizzy drinks. Their pancreas tries, but can not produce enough hormone to lower the blood glucose level to at least the upper limit of the norm. Then everything happens approximately as described in the case of diabetes mellitus: a lot of sugar in the blood - a lot of sugar in the epithelium of the vagina - good conditions for the reproduction of Candida albicans. In addition, people who abuse sweets increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is much more serious and dangerous than thrush.
- Hormonal background. The state of the female genitalia, including the vagina, depends heavily on the hormonal background in her body.
- Pregnancy can lead to a significant change in it, which increases the likelihood of thrush development.
- Improperly selected hormonal contraceptives can change the level of hormones in the blood so that the likelihood of developing candidiasis increases.
- Many diseases of the endocrine system can lead to the development of thrush. Experienced doctors always remember this and try to find the very original factor. This allows not only to prevent the development of candidiasis in the future, but also to eliminate hormonal pathology, which is important.
- Wearing close synthetic underwear or improper use of sanitary napkins (they need to be changed often enough) creates conditions in which heat and moisture do not escape, and these are ideal conditions for the reproduction of fungi.
Symptoms of thrush in women
The disease has quite specific manifestations, which allows doctors to quickly make a correct diagnosis. Often, the women themselves before the doctor's visit understand that they have a disease and begin to make their own attempts at treatment, which is unacceptable.
So, for a thrush are characteristic:
- Curd extract from the external genitalia. Especially well they are visible on dark underwear. They are mucus with a lot of white lumps.
- Feeling of itching and burning in the vagina. In no case should you try to strongly scratch the affected area, because it can damage the tender inflamed epithelium and create conditions for the penetration of pathogens into the depth of tissues. Also, when combing the excretions spread to a larger surface and cause additional inflammation.
- Pain and discomfort during urination - are due to a decrease in the protective properties of the mucus of the vagina and the urethra. Epithelium is exposed to such an aggressive liquid as urine, and inflammation increases the sensitivity of receptors.
- Pain and burning during the time of sexual intercourse is only one of the reasons why it is necessary to give up sexual life until the disease recedes.
- Smell - it should be discussed separately. It is not strongly expressed and has an acidic tint.
In most cases, it is felt only by a woman, but for her it is a very big problem. Patients believe that all her interlocutors will certainly be able to catch him. Many venereal diseases and bacterial vaginosis are accompanied by a really unpleasant odor, but it has virtually nothing to do with thrush.
With erased (atypical) flow of thrush and mildly expressed symptoms of women, only one of the indicated signs can disturb. To know about the disease in such cases is impossible without professional help. Candidiasis often accompanies many gynecological diseases, including hidden and dangerous infections that are sexually transmitted. Only a qualified physician is able to analyze the symptoms and prescribe the right treatment. Self-diagnosis in severe cases of manifestation of the disease is useless, and self-treatment is dangerous.
A comparative table of characteristic symptoms for thrush, bacterial vaginitis and trichomoniasis can be seen in the table. Consider it as a help in diagnosis is not worth it. The diagnosis is made by the doctor on the basis of the patient's tests, examinations and complaints. Even in such cases, the presence of other sexual infections associated with thrush is not ruled out. Self-medication is unacceptable. All appointments should be made by the attending physician.
The first signs of thrush in women
The first signs of the development of thrush, which make a woman prick up, are:
- Acute burning and itching in the area of the external genitalia;
- Hyperemia (reddening) of the external genitalia and vagina;
- Appearance of abundant vaginal discharge in white;
- Painful urination;
- Painful sensations during intercourse.
Typically, the first symptoms appear a week before the onset of menstruation. Burning and itching are greatly enhanced in a warm environment, especially after taking a bath, often prevent sleep. And the appearance of white discharge removes all suspicions of a woman about the disease and is forced to see a doctor.