Vulvovaginal Candidiasis (Vaginal thrush): Causes and Symptoms
Updated: Jan 10
You may have heard of the terms “vaginal yeast infection” or “vaginal thrush”, but did you know that these are not the scientific names for this female urogenital infection? The proper scientific name for a female urogenital yeast infection is actually Vulvovaginal Candidiasis. As Vulvovaginal Candidiasis is a bit of a mouthful, it is usually abbreviated as VVC.
VVC is mainly caused by the yeast Candida Albicans (hence the ‘Candidiasis’ in its name), but other yeasts belonging to the Candida species can also cause VVC¹. These yeasts infect an individual whenever the opportunity arises, such as during periods of decreased immunity or after the use of antibiotics. The risk of getting VVC is increased when one is:
Using oral contraceptive pills
Women between 15 to 45 years old are also more prone to VVC as their bodies produce higher levels of estrogen (a hormone responsible for maintaining the female reproductive system) and glycogen (a compound that stores energy in the body). These two substances favor yeast growth, which can contribute to VVC.
As a result, VVC is the second most common cause of vaginal infections, the first being Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)⁴. In fact, it is estimated that 75% of women will experience VVC at least once in their lifetime1.
How do we know if we have VVC?
VVC is characterized by the following symptoms:
Itchiness or irritation of the outer regions of the vagina
Thick, white discharge with a texture similar to cottage cheese
Potential burning sensation when urinating or during sexual intercourse
VVC also does not cause any fishy odor, unlike BV.
If you showcase such symptoms, you may be experiencing VVC. Thus, you may want to pay a visit to your doctor to assess your symptoms. Depending on your condition, your doctor may prescribe antifungal tablets to consume or creams to apply.
However, antifungal treatment has its downsides.
These antifungal tablets or creams may be effective in treating VVC, but they carry multiple downsides. Antifungal tablets may have side effects such as nausea and diarrhea, while topical creams may cause a burning sensation at the areas where it is applied. Additionally, VVC can occur again as our immune system may weaken from time to time depending on our habits and lifestyle, leaving us vulnerable to another potential yeast infection. A greater concern is that one may still suffer from symptoms of VVC even after they have been cured. This is due to the overstimulated immune cells at the vaginal area⁵. Antifungals are then no longer able to help, as these symptoms are not due to Candida yeast infection but from an overactive immune system.
Is there a way to mitigate these downsides?
Fortunately for us, there is. Though treatment will still be through antifungal tablets and creams, probiotic strains such as GR-1® and RC-14® can help reduce the downsides associated with these treatments of VVC. GR-1® and RC-14® are specific probiotic strains for women’s urogenital health.
GR-1® and RC-14® probiotics have demonstrated that they can increase the cure rate of VVC when prescribed together with antifungal tablets⁶. Both of these patented probiotic strains also showcased their ability to reduce VVC occurrences, especially with their long term use which can help maintain optimal urogenital health⁵. On top of these benefits, both probiotic strains also do not cause the side effects that antifungal treatments are associated with⁶.
For women experiencing symptoms even after treatment of VVC, GR-1® and RC-14® probiotic strains can be used to address these symptoms, as they are able to help reduce inflammation, thus helping with vaginal itch and discharge⁵.
Not just for the treatment of VVC, GR-1® and RC-14® probiotics can also restore vaginal flora to maintain optimal urogenital health without side effects in the long run.
Evidently, these two probiotic strains GR-1® and RC-14® in Pro-Uro™ display safety and efficacy in treating VVC together with antifungals6 and can aid in maintaining urogenital health.
Where do I obtain these probiotic strains?
To obtain these two patented strains, you can consider the probiotic, Pro-Uro™. Pro-Uro™ contains both GR-1® and RC-14® and has received good patient and physician feedback for more than 15 years in helping women manage their urogenital health.
Pro-Uro™ is clinically proven urogenital probiotics and can be obtained from selected medical clinics and retail pharmacies. Do refer to our Pro-Uro™ website to find out where you can get it from. At the same time, do check back next week for the next article on common urogenital infections that women face!
1. www.cdc.gov. (2021). Vulvovaginal Candidiasis - STI Treatment Guidelines. [online] Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment-guidelines/candidiasis.htm#:~:text=VVC%20usually%20is%20caused%20by
2. Meyer, H., Goettlicher, S. and Mendling, W. (2006). Stress as a cause of chronic recurrent vulvovaginal candidosis and the effectiveness of the conventional antimycotic therapy. Mycoses, 49(3), pp.202–209.
3. Gonçalves, B., Ferreira, C., Alves, C.T., Henriques, M., Azeredo, J. and Silva, S. (2016). Vulvovaginal candidiasis: Epidemiology, microbiology and risk factors. Critical reviews in microbiology, [online] 42(6), pp.905–27.
4. Martin Lopez, J.E. (2015). Candidiasis (vulvovaginal). BMJ Clinical Evidence, [online] 2015. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4360556/
5. Anukam, K.C., Duru, M.U., Eze, C.C., Egharevba, J., Aiyebelehin, A., Bruce, A. and Reid, G. (2009). Oral use of probiotics as an adjunctive therapy to fluconazole in the treatment of yeast vaginitis: A study of Nigerian women in an outdoor clinic. Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease, 21(2), pp.72–77.
6. Martinez, R.C.R., Franceschini, S.A., Patta, M.C., Quintana, S.M., Candido, R.C., Ferreira, J.C., De Martinis, E.C.P. and Reid, G. (2009). Improved treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis with fluconazole plus probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosusGR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteriRC-14. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 48(3), pp.269–274.
Disclaimer: The article content is intended for informational or educational purposes only, and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals. The disclaimer also provides that no warranties are given in relation to the medical information supplied in the article, and that no liability will accrue to Miraco Nutripharm Pte Ltd or any affiliated authors in the event that a user suffers loss as a result of reliance upon the information.