Three-quarters of your female patients will present with vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) at least once in their lifetime. This year, diagnosis and treatment of the condition is estimated to cost more than $3 billion in the US.4

Although you know that VVC is common, your patients may not. In fact, in a survey of 1,000 women aged 16-24, more than half didn’t know how to handle a yeast infection (including those who had already experienced one), and 2 out of 3 didn’t know it can be cured with over-the-counter treatment.5 Explaining the condition may help patients feel better about their diagnosis, and help restore their confidence. To learn more about patient perceptions and misperceptions related to VVC, watch our webinar.

VVC develops from an imbalance of natural flora

Small amounts of Candida species exist naturally in the body’s gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts. Changes in vaginal acidity or hormonal balance can lead to Candida overgrowth, causing VVC to develop—along with a variety of symptoms.6


Tell your patients:

Yeast is a type of fungus that is a normal part of the skin and vagina. When too much yeast grows, infection can occur. Yeast is the second most common cause of infection in the vagina, and affects 3 out of 4 women at least once in their lifetime.


There are various VVC-causing yeast species

Although Candida albicans is the most common cause of VVC, the number of infections caused by non-albicans Candida have been increasing. These infections are more likely in women with an underlying debilitating medical condition, such as diabetes or lupus, or those reporting current antibiotic use—and they often coincide with routine use of oral fluconazole.2,4

Non-albicans Candida is also prevalent in women with recurrent VVC. In a recent study of 103 women with recurrent symptoms and confirmed vaginal candidiasis, 50% (15/30) tested positive for C. albicans and 50% (15/30) tested positive for a non-albicans species.4

 


Tell your patients:

The majority of yeast infections are the result of one specific yeast species, although others do exist. These other species, called non-albicans Candida, are often found in patients experiencing recurrent yeast infections; taking antibiotics; suffering from a debilitating medical condition such as diabetes or lupus; or routinely using prescription fluconazole. If a yeast infection with non-albicans Candida is suspected, your treatment may include a topical therapy like MONISTAT®, which has been shown to be more effective at treating these types of yeast species than oral prescriptions, with less drug resistance.2,3


Certain symptoms may suggest that VVC is present

Common indications include:

  • Vaginal or vulvar itching, burning, redness, swelling, pain, or soreness
  • Pain when urinating or having sex
  • Vaginal discharge that may be thick, white, and lumpy like cottage cheese

Tell your patients:

Contact our office if you develop any of these symptoms. Our staff can confirm it’s a yeast infection and recommend an appropriate treatment. If you wish to confirm you have a yeast infection before coming into the office, you can purchase the Vaginal Health Test from the MONISTAT® Complete Care™ line of feminine care products.


VVC infections are treatable—but may be preventable

In a recent survey, 67% of women who have had a yeast infection in the past said they didn’t know it could be cured.5 In general, VVC is highly treatable, although certain treatment regimens have been shown to be more effective than others, when more resistant Candida species—such as non-albicans Candida—are present. However, a yeast infection can sometimes be avoided by following a few simple tips.


Tell your patients:

Always

  • Wipe front to back after using the toilet
  • Wear breathable cotton underwear
  • Change out of wet swimsuits and exercise clothing as soon as possible

Never

  • Use products that may upset the normal balance of the vagina, such as:
    • Scented detergents, feminine sprays, or powders
    • Scented toilet paper, tampons, or pads
    • Scented soaps, including body washes, or bubble baths
  • Wear clothing that is wet or tight in the vaginal area for extended periods of time, including:
    • Wet bathing suits
    • Sweaty exercise clothing