Do I Have A Candida Infection?

Candida or Thrush is a common infection of female and male genitalia which starts as a mild irritation and progresses to persistent itchiness, burning that is exacerbated by scratching, abnormal discharge (with no smell) and mild to high pain during sex.

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The physiological manifestion is inflamed and swollen vaginal walls and labia.

The sooner it is treated with medication, such as Clotrimazole, the better. If there is no improvement within seven days, book a doctor’s appointment with our doctor gynaecologist, Dr Nitesh. Treatment usually lasts 14 days to avoid a quick recurrence.

Why Do I Get Candida Infections?

Candida fungus is a problem when it becomes overgrown from:

  • High consumption of sugar (sucrose and fructose) and gluten (wheat, rye, barley and spelt), some deli, processed meats, refined oils, coffee and alcohol.
  • High temperatures from weather or poor interior air-conditioning combined with tight clothing.
  • Persistent stress and lack of sleep
  • Long or lots of travelling
  • Taking antibiotics
  • A compromised immune system

The extra moisture and physiological stress from a menstrual cycle can trigger a bout of thrush.

Recurring Candida is a sure sign of a battling immune system, so talk to your doctor or gynaecologist about it.

How Do I Know I Have A Candida Infection?

Usually, the itchiness starts at the same time as a vaginal discharge, which can be white, yellow, or greenish. Its texture has been described as cottage cheese in appearance. It also may sting when you urinate as well.

How Do I Treat My Candida Infection?

There are multiple treatment actions to take. Firstly, ONLY wear cotton underwear and use glycerine, unperfumed soap. Using water only for washing your genitalia would be preferable to avoid further irritation.

Apply your vaginal cream internally and externally as specified or use the vaginal tablets or suppositories (prescription) as per your doctor’s instructions. Clotrimazole cream helps relieve the burning and itchiness, with improvements occurring within three days. If things are not improving, chat with Dr Nitesh and let’s sort it out quickly.

How Do I Stop Candida Infections?

Keeping the discomfort of Candida out of your life will probably require a lifestyle change. For example, it is recommended you avoid:

  • Sucrose and fructose
  • Gluten
  • Alcohol
  • Simple carbohydrates (which turn into sugar):
    • Potatoes – regular and sweet
    • Beetroot
    • Parsnips
    • Peas
    • Carrots

It is recommended that you include these items in your diet:

  • Lean protein
  • Cranberry juice
  • Green vegetables
  • Coconut oil
  • Sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Garlic
  • Chia and flaxseeds
  • Cultured dairy (kefir)

If you have been Candida-free for a few months, then you can slowly re-introduce some of the excluded foods. It is always best, however, to choose sugar-free or low-sugar options.

Chat to Dr Nitesh today, Durban’s favourite gynaecologist, if you need a doctor’s help with candida infections.