Vulvovaginal candidiasis is the second most common cause of vaginal infection and affects mainly women between the ages of 20 and 45. Although it is not a severe infection in healthy women, it can become serious. Its symptoms (itching, burning and irritation) can be very uncomfortable and have an impact on quality of life.
Why does vulvovaginal candidiasis occur?
candidiasis is caused by different species of the fungus Candida. The
most common is Candida albincans, which is responsible for 9 out of
10 cases, although there are other species that are becoming increasingly
prevalent (C. tropicalis, C. krusei, C. guillermond and C. glabrata).
microbiota that protects the vaginal mucosa is made up of different bacteria in
perfect balance, and among them may be Candida albicans. 20-50% of asymptomatic,
healthy women have their vaginas colonized by this fungus, which is part of the
normal flora, without infection. The problem arises when, for various reasons, there
is an overgrowth of colonies of candida and a decrease in lactobacilli species,
which is when candidiasis is triggered.
What factors may trigger candidiasis?
several hormonal and external factors that may increase the risk of developing
- The use of broad-spectrum antibiotics that destroy
the normal microbiota of the vagina.
- The increase in estrogen levels, either for contraception
or during pregnancy, enhances the adhesion of the fungus to the cells of
the vaginal microbiota.
- Treatments with corticoids or immunosuppressors
that affect the immune response.
- Diabetes, due to the high content of glucose that
enhances the colonization of the genital tract.
What natural alternatives may help us?
treatment to deal with vaginal candidiasis uses antifungal drugs, but relapses
are quite common due to the resistance of the fungus to that treatment or the
permanence of risk factors. To cope with this situation and help in the prevention
and treatment of this infection, supplementation with probiotics may contribute
to regenerating vaginal flora, recovering it and keeping it balanced.
of probiotics have proven to be efficient here, mainly Lactobacillus
crispatus, Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus rhamnosus.
Food can also be a great ally for recurrent infections.
Candida is a fungus that feeds mainly on carbohydrates, so it’s advisable to
avoid ultra-processed foods, foods with a high glycemic index, or those
containing yeast, gluten cereals or refined carbohydrates. Instead, the diet
should include green-leafy vegetables, cruciferous, asparagus, artichoke and