RVVC is frequently ignored in the medical community. Its symptoms are relatively common and can be very frustrating for both patients and physicians.
You may be experiencing symptoms and not know what they are related to. Establishing a proper diagnosis will allow your doctor to lay out a functional therapeutic plan to getting better.
This article will detail how to tell if you suffer from RVVC and what you can do about it.
What is RVVC?
Vulvovaginal candidiasis, or VVC, is a symptomatic inflammation of the vagina and/or vulva. This inflammation is commonly caused by a fungal infection, most commonly candida albicans.
Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis, or RVVC, is described as a woman having four or more episodes within a given year, with at least partial symptom resolution in between episodes.
It is estimated that around five percent of women of reproductive age with a primary episode of VVC will develop RVVC. More than 50 percent of women age 25 and older will experience an episode of vulvovaginal candidiasis in their life.
Women who experience persistent or recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis will often present to their physician with intense vaginal discomfort as their main complaint.
Other symptoms of RVVC include; pruritus, odorless vaginal discharge, dyspareunia or dysuria. By the time most women get around to making an appointment with their family physician, they have already tried every over the counter cream and treatment available and are frustrated with their lack of results.
More often than not, a woman can call her doctor and receive an initial diagnosis over the phone and be prescribed treatment. However, in the case of RVVC, clinical evaluation is essential.
Women often self-diagnose themselves with yeast infections which puts them at risk for missing other concurrent infections that may be happening at once. There are often two or more organisms that require different treatments.
When a physician performs a physical examination on a women complaining of vaginal discomfort, a patient who suffers from vulvovaginal candidiasis will typically have vulvar erythema as well as a thick, white to yellowish discharge.
Causes of RVVC
Candida albicans is the most common pathogen that is identified in patients with RVVC. There are other possible pathogens including candida tropicalis and candida glabrata.
Many recurrent infections are believed to be caused by the resistance of non-C albicans species to antifungal agents. Essentially, the antifungal treatments that are being prescribed to treat this condition are sometimes ineffective due to the pathogen’s resistance to it.
Another cause of RVVC is failure to follow treatment plans to completion. Many times, women will take just enough of their antifungal therapy treatment to see symptoms diminish and then not finish the course of treatment.
This is dangerous because if the entire prescribed treatment course is not followed, there is a high likelihood of the infection recurring.
Another cause of RVVC is improper or inadequate treatment. Many women are prescribed medication that does not treat their specific strain of infection which causes the infection to reoccur.
Talk to your doctor if you are displaying symptoms of RVVC so they can help you discover a treatment plan that works.
If you are interested in participating in research studies aimed at finding a cure for RVVC, visit Miami Clinical Research at https://miamiclinicalresearch.com