Candidiasis: Yeast Infections and Their Role in Vulva Pain
The Low-Down on Vaginal Yeast Infections
Vaginal yeast infections (AKA vaginal candidiasis or yeast vaginitis) are a widespread issue. The most reported symptoms comprise vulva pain, that is to say, irritation and itching of the vulva (and the region around the vagina opening). Generally speaking, these yeast infections arise infrequently; however they can reappear with alarming frequency, and generate unrelenting long-term, symptoms. Moreover, “symptoms of a yeast infection are similar to a number of other conditions, including bacterial vaginosis (a bacterial infection of the vagina), trichomoniasis (a sexually transmitted infection), and dermatitis (irritated skin)” , which is why getting an accurate diagnosis from a Vulva Specialist as soon as possible, is the smart way to go. They will review your medical history, ask you pertinent questions, and then devise a Holistic Personalised Treatment Plan, which you will be able to get started on right away.
Did You Know?
“Yeast infections occur mainly in women who are menstruating, and are less common in postmenopausal women who do not use oestrogen-containing hormone therapy. Symptoms of a yeast infection are similar to a number of other conditions. A physical examination by a [Vulva Pain Specialist who will also arrange laboratory sample testing] is needed to determine the cause of symptoms” 
What Vaginal Yeast Infection Symptoms Should I Report to a Vulva Doctor?
The most reported symptoms relayed to a Vulva Consultant, comprise:
●Irritation or itching of the vulva, and around the opening of the vagina
●Vulvar irritation or soreness
●Painful sexual intercourse
●Swollen and reddened vaginal tissues and vulva
●Curd-like, white clumpy; or watery vaginal discharge. Note: not all women with candidiasis experience abnormal vaginal discharge [1, 2], yet another reason why having a consultation and any any necessary tests with a Vulva Doctor, are essential to getting your health back on track
Did You Know?
As any Vulva Doctor will tell you: “there is no evidence that eating yogurt or other ‘probiotic’ products containing live Lactobacillus acidophilus, or applying these products to the vagina, is of any benefit in women with recurrent vaginal yeast infections’ 
Shining a Light on Recurrent Vaginal Yeast Infections
“Between 5% and 9%of women have recurrent yeast infections, defined as three or more confirmed infections per year” [1, 2], this needs to be rectified
When it comes to getting an accurate diagnosis from a Vulva Pain Consultant – just as with determining a woman’s first yeast infection, it is vital to re-visit a Vulva Doctor in order to have any recurrent yeast infections professionally confirmed. To that end, if you are experiencing frequent symptoms and signs of vaginal or vulva itching or irritation, you must make sure that your new symptoms are generated by yeast, as opposed to other factors (for example: eczema, sensitivity, an allergic reaction, or another type of vaginal infection) .
Of note, the majority of vaginal yeast infections are due to Candida albicans (the well known fungus). However, recurrent or unrelenting infections may the result of being infected by one of the less commonplace Candida species (for instance: Candida krusei or Candida glabrata). In the case of women suffering from recurrent or persistent symptoms: if they visit a Vulva Pain Specialist, they can guarantee that the latter will conduct the appropriate vaginal culture tests, and send them off to the lab by courier. This will verify the diagnosis made by the Vulva Doctor, and determine whether the patient has been affected by any uncommon Candida species. This procedure is very important, as different pharmaceuticals need to be prescribed depending on the particular species. Of note, generally speaking, patients with persistent symptoms are normally prescribed a longer course of treatment .
. Sobel, J. D. (2023). “Patient education: Vaginal yeast infection (Beyond the Basics).”
https://www.uptodate.com/contents/vaginal-yeast-infection-beyond-the-basics/print#:~:textnfections are a common problem in women.&text=Itching is the most common,swollen
. Collins LM, Moore R, Sobel JD. Prognosis and Long-Term Outcome of Women With Idiopathic Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis Caused by Candida albicans. J Low Genit Tract Dis 2020; 24:48.