Thrush is said to be recurrent thrush if the woman experiences four or more attacks in a year. Majority of women who have recurrent thrush do not necessarily have new infections, but may have underlying factors that interfere with local vaginal immune functions, which provoke a relapse.
One common example of this situation is an allergic reaction in the vaginal area. Occasionally, women may be allergic to seminal plasma and as a result may experience attacks after sexual intercourse. This has little or nothing to do with repeat infection from their partners.
Thrush is very common and fortunately, it is highly sensitive to over the counter antifungal agents.
However some species of thrush on the other hand are commonly resistant to the usual medications. Infections with these other types of recurrent thrush are more likely to be recurrent because of treatment failure. Conditions that effect the woman’s immune system, such as pregnancy and antibiotic use are associated with recurrent thrush, whilst diseases such as diabetes, cancers and HIV, or drugs such as steroids, immunosuppressants, and the combined pill may also affect immune function leading to recurrent thrush.
Since Thrush thrives in warm, moist, and airless parts of the body, women who wear tight fitting nylon, Lycra and other non cotton fabric underwear or swimsuits for long periods of time, may be promoting the favorable conditions for the growth.
See a specialist with an interest in recurrent thrush to exclude other causes of the symptoms as they may not necessarily be due to thrush. The specialist should be able to determine the type of Candida and what medications it is sensitive to.
The doctor will obtain a comprehensive and detailed history of the patient’s lifestyle, her hygienic practices, dietary habits, medications, allergies, and sexual practices to try and characterize the precipitating factors.
Austin Ugwumadu has a special interest in recurrent thrush. You can ask your doctor for a referral to his clinic at St Georges Hospital in Tooting, London or you can see him privately at Parkside Hospital on Wimbledon Common, London.
For more information about recurrent thrush or for a consultation with Austin please call or complete the form on the right.