With candidiasis, or, more simply, “thrush” at least once in their lives, 3/4 of women face. Moreover, the disease can affect completely different parts of the body and organs, bringing significant discomfort to the patient. The disease affects men to a lesser extent, but they also occasionally have to ask the question: “What is this?” The symptoms of vaginal candidiasis are sometimes mistaken for a manifestation of a sexually transmitted infection. In fact, in addition to some similarities in symptoms, candidiasis is not a sexually transmitted disease.
Causative agents of candidiasis
In everyday life, a person constantly encounters yeast-like fungi of the genus Candida spp ., Without noticing it. They are everywhere – in the air, in water, in soil, in food. Being even in the human body, microorganisms do not detect their presence until a certain point. As long as the immune system controls their reproduction. As soon as the body’s defenses weaken, yeast begins to accelerate colonization of the mucous membranes of the oral cavity, vagina and rectum, causing inflammation.
The second provoking factor is taking antibiotics. As a result, not only pathogenic, but also beneficial bacteria are suppressed. The natural balance of microflora is disturbed. The vacant place is immediately occupied by Candida mushrooms, because nothing is holding back their growth. In this case, candidal infection is interpreted as a complication of drug therapy.
At risk are people with diabetes, hormonal problems, malignant tumors and pregnant women.
Being a non-life-threatening disease, candidiasis, nevertheless, can spoil intimacy, create physiological and psychological discomfort.
What organs are infected?
The favorite place of “residence” of Candida fungi is the mucous membrane of the oral cavity, genitals, intestines, skin and nails. It is in these organs that the inflammatory process begins as a result of the uncontrolled multiplication of microbes.
The skin lesion usually concentrates in the places most often in contact with water, for example, when visiting the pool and sauna (skin of the toes, nail plates on the legs). If untreated, dermatomycosis (a skin form of a fungal disease) may develop a complication – microbial eczema.
Vaginal candidiasis is diagnosed with inflammation of the vagina, and urethrogenic – the urethra in men.
The microorganism can feel great in the intestinal tract (intestinal form) with the development of specific symptoms.
Oral candidiasis is characterized by the occurrence of inflammatory foci on the mucous membrane of the pharynx and esophagus.
Depending on the site of localization of the infection, superficial, visceral and intermediate mycosis are distinguished.
Fungal infection can complicate granulomatous inflammation, often accompanied by the formation of abscesses. In this case, the disease is difficult with general malaise, joint pain, bowel disorder. Ulcers can form not only on the surface of the skin, but also on internal organs such as the liver and lungs.
Most mycoses pass against the background of a weak immune reactivity of the body. However, additional factors for the development of infection in the oral cavity are mucosal trauma, improperly placed dentures, excessive consumption of simple carbohydrates and foods containing yeast.
Candidiasis in the mouth can be both acute and chronic. In the first case, the duration of the disease should not exceed 2 months. The course of inflammation is possible both with the formation of a whitish plaque in the form of a curdled film, and without it ( pseudomembrane and atrophic forms, respectively). The plaque is easily removed with a spatula, after which an eroded, edematous surface remains . Most often, the patient experiences a sensation of a tightly tightening hoop around the throat.
If the patient experiences a sore throat, then we are talking about an atrophic form. It proceeds without plaque formation. The mucous membrane at the same time looks fiery red and dry, acute soreness is typical. In this case, candidiasis can be distinguished from other throat diseases due to the absence of other body reactions – the temperature does not rise, the lymph nodes do not increase.
Recently, doctors have recorded the growth of vaginal candidiasis almost twofold. At the same time, the number of his relapses also increases. Some patients have to constantly take antifungal drugs, which increases the resistance of the pathogen to antimycotic drugs.
The development of fungal infection of the vagina is additionally promoted by: non-compliance with hygiene rules, overweight, prolonged use of intrauterine contraceptives and birth control pills.
The clinical picture with vaginal candidiasis is pronounced: itching, burning, profuse white discharge. The unpleasant sensations intensify after intercourse, taking a bath and while sleeping. The urinary tract may also be involved in the pathological process, which entails a urinary disorder.
Pregnancy and vaginal candidiasis
Fungal infection is especially active in causing vaginal candidiasis in pregnant women, since pregnancy leads to hormonal changes. This category of women is vulnerable to almost all pathogens of chronic intrauterine infections, which is fraught with infection of the fetus, the development of placental insufficiency, malformations and threats of termination of pregnancy.
Of course, the placenta becomes a powerful barrier to the entry of fungi. However, with a particularly neglected “thrush” and it will be overcome. But when a child passes through the birth canal, the risk of infection increases significantly. The crumbs will have a white coating on the gums and tongue. The discomfort will make it difficult to suckle at the breast, and as a result, crying and loss of appetite. Development of stomatitis, glossitis, gingivitis is possible.
Treatment of any infections, including parts of the urogenital tract, in pregnant women is associated with certain difficulties – drugs should not have a negative effect on the fetus.