Candida

Candida is a yeast infection that women can get even if they don’t have sex. The vagina contains harmless bacteria and yeast-like fungi. A fungal infection can occur when they are out of balance. Candida causes an overgrowth of fungi of a specific species, disrupting the natural balance. The inflammation is located around the vagina or in the vaginal mucous membrane. Candida usually goes away on its own. The doctor may prescribe medication if necessary.

Candida is a yeast infection that women can get even if they don’t have sex. The vagina contains harmless bacteria and yeast-like fungi. A fungal infection can occur when they are out of balance. Candida causes an overgrowth of fungi of a specific species, disrupting the natural balance. The inflammation is located around the vagina or in the vaginal mucous membrane. Candida usually goes away on its own. The doctor may prescribe medication if necessary.

What is Candida?

Candida, also known as Candidiasis or Candidosis, is a harmless yeast-like fungi overgrowth in the vagina. Candida albicans infection is commonly diagnosed in women with vaginal complaints. This occurs in approximately 85-90 percent of cases. Although the symptoms can be similar to those of an STD, Candida is not an STD. An STD is caused by something that is not normally found in or on the vagina or penis. If you have a lot of fungi, they can get on your sex partner’s penis and glans, which can sometimes lead to glans inflammation. The complaints often go away on their own.

How do you get Candida?

It is not always clear why a woman develops a yeast infection like Candida. There are certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of a Candida infection. For example, using soap to clean the vagina, hormonal changes, pregnancy, or a weakened immune system (due to diabetes, stress, STIs). Medication (antibiotics, corticosteroids) also sometimes leads to an overgrowth of fungi. There is no evidence that the infection is caused by clothing that is too tight or by using panty liners or tampons.

Did you know that although the symptoms sometimes resemble those of an STD, Candida is not an STD? The widely held belief that Candida is caused by poor hygiene is also incorrect. Washing the vagina with soap or special rinses, on the other hand, can allow the yeast to grow.

Did you know that although the symptoms sometimes resemble those of an STD, Candida is not an STD? The widely held belief that Candida is caused by poor hygiene is also incorrect. Washing the vagina with soap or special rinses, on the other hand, can allow the yeast to grow.

Signs and symptoms of candida

About 15 to 20% of women with Candida are unaware that they have it. The rest have the symptoms listed below. Please keep in mind that these symptoms could also indicate another vaginal infection or STI.

  • The vagina is swollen and red on the inside, sometimes also at the labia
  • A burning sensation or pain while urinating or having sex
  • Itchiness
  • Clumpy, white vaginal discharge. It doesn’t smell any different.

What are the risks?

Candida is a harmless condition. Usually the body manages to restore the balance of the bacteria and fungi within a few weeks. If this does not happen and medicines do not help, it is wise to check if it’s another kind of vaginal infection. There may also be an underlying cause. If you have symptoms such as abdominal pain and fever, consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Pregnancy

When you are pregnant, a Candida infection is more common and more likely to reoccur. In most cases, this has no harmful consequences. However, if you are pregnant and have symptoms that may indicate a Candida infection, you should see a doctor. Do you have a yeast infection before or during pregnancy? Your baby could then become infected during childbirth. The baby might develop a mild infection in his or her mouth (thrush) or on the skin.

Numbers

Three-quarters of Dutch women contract at least one Candida infection during their lives. Some never get symptoms and usually the body is able to get rid of the fungal infection itself. About 24 out of 1000 female patients are diagnosed with Candida every year in The Netherlands.

Risk factors

Candida is not known to be a contagious disease. Women are more likely than men to get yeast infections. Although it can be transmitted during sex, the bed partner usually does not experience any symptoms. Women who wash their vagina with soap or other means on a regular basis, use certain medications, or have a weakened immune system (diabetes, pregnancy, stress) are more likely to become infected with Candida.

Preventing Candida

There are several ways to prevent a Candida infection.The most important thing is that the vaginal bacteria and fungi are in balance. When washing the vagina, avoid using soap or other liquid detergen. The inside of the vagina is cleaned by the body itself. Only wash the outside with lukewarm water and dry well. Don’t suddenly wash yourself more often. Only by testing you can be sure that you don’t have a fungal infection.

Test yourself for Candida

If you have vaginal complaints such as itching, swelling, pain, or a white discharge, you should get tested. This can be done quickly, easily, and anonymously from the comfort of your own home. Even if you have no complaints or symptoms, it’s still a good idea to test. Three-quarters of women will develop a Candida infection at some point in their lives. One in five women do not experience any symptoms, so they are unaware that they have this fungal infection. Our Candida test is simple to use and painless. The instructions in the package explain how to take your own sample and how to send it to our laboratory anonymously. The results will be available in a few days.

How often should you test for Candida?

Get tested if you have symptoms or complaints that could be Candida. About 5 to 8% of women (of childbearing age) have a recurrent Candida infection. This means they are infected with Candida more than three times per year.

How does our test work?

Our self-test includes a collection kit that allows you to take a vaginal sample at home, with the help of a vaginal swab (smear). After collecting the swab, place it in the provided liquid-filled tube and return it to our laboratory. The material is examined in the laboratory for the presence of Candida’s genetic material (RNA). This way a possible Candida infection can be diagnosed.

Where to test?

You can order the anonymous self-test online and test yourself quickly and easily from home. The test is user-friendly and painless. You will have the results within a few days. We always recommend to see a doctor in case of symptoms and when you’re in doubt about an infection.

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