Vaginitis is the official term for vaginal infections, and there are many causes, but most are due to yeast, bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. Most of these conditions are straight forward, easy for your gyno to diagnose, and they resolve promptly. On the other hand, there are those who seem to pop up with one infection after another and either fail to find a cause or a treatment, and this was the subject of a review in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
The 5 mosst common Diagnoses were actually
1. Contact dermatitis
2. Actual chronic yeast
3. Atrophic Vaginitis
5. Physiologic Discharge
First an accurate diagnosis is important as overuse of antibiotics is unhealthy. And won't be effective for conditions such as atrophic vaginitis which could be treated non-medically with CO2 fractional therapy called MonaLisa Touch. If you have struggled with what you think are chronic yeast infections the authors wanted women to know than normal discharge, contact dermatitis, atrophic vatinitis. and vestibulodynia were often a few causes that women had not considered. One in 20 women with a yeast infection will develop chronic and recurrent infections. Gynos define recurrent and chronic as more than 4 a year. Most yeast infections are due to pesky and pervasive Candida albicans. Some experts say albicans are 95% of those infections we see, others knock that percentage down to only 75%. And random healthy women sampling find that 25% of those women walking into any office at any time will culture positive for yeast. If you try to self diagnose, you’re probably right somewhere between 1/3 and 50% of the time.
So if your symptoms don’t resolve promptly with your goo of choice, inaccurate diagnosis can be the culprit as often as inaccurate treatment. And the first test that may be helpful is the pH test. If the pH is elevated your gyno will think about of other causes: even the presence of semen! It is also possible that hormone levels and cycles are related to the numbers of infections. Women are more likely to get yeast infections in the second half of the menstrual cycle, when estrogen is lower, and progesterone is more dominant. Douching, more a cosmetic than a health practice, doesn’t cause yeast infections. In some studies receptive oral sex causes more yeast infections, and in some studies not, but few studies really culture the partner’s mouths! You can’t always eat your way to a clean vagina either. Dairy diets really haven’t changed the rate of yeast infection in most women. For more information, see us for a gyno check at Women’s HealthPractice. a few new options you may want to consider: probiotic medication and a new antibiotic medication. It is good news for these patients as they typically try many medications and the good news is that they have brought back a sulfonamide cream for chronic yeast.