Candida is a yeast (usually called a fungus), candida is found in the normal microbial flora (secretions) of the woman.

It is estimated that 75% of women will have a candida infection at least once in their lifetime.  In about 45% of these (often young) women, this infection occurs more frequently. Some of these (5-8%) have a regular candida infection.

In postmenopausal women, no vaginal candida infection is usually found.
This is because they produce less estrogen and little glycogen. Postmenopausal women who are administered estrogens are the exception. In women with diabetes, candida infection of the vulva sometimes occurs.

Causes may include:

Use of antibiotics
Use of the pill, especially those with high estrogen content
Not well regulated diabetes mellitus (especially a candida on the vulva)

To a lesser extent, it may also be due to:

Use of immunosuppressants (suppressors of the immune system)
Use of glucocorticoids (these are corticosteroids with an effect on the metabolism of glucose)
Orogenital (=pipe or goatee) sex
Presence of an:
contraceptive sponge


What complaints do you have?

Itching and/or irritation of the vulva and/or vagina
Irritation of the vulva and/or vagina
You may experience pain during intercourse
A burning sensation when urinating


What can you see?

Vaginal discharge (without odor)
The discharge may be crumbly white (looks like cottage cheese)
The discharge may also be watery
Redness and/or swelling

Is more investigation needed?

The above symptoms can also occur with other conditions, so it is recommended that you see your doctor with this.

How do you get rid of it?

For a first or sporadic candida infection, treatment can usually consist of:

One-time 1 vaginal tablet of clotrimazole (500 mg) or
Once-daily 1 vaginal capsule of micozanol (1200 mg) or
Orally 1 capsule of fluconazole (150 mg)

A regularly recurring candida infection is more difficult to treat and will be considered on a patient-by-patient basis by the physician. Often a maintenance treatment is needed, e.g. every 2 weeks a capsule of fluconazole.

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