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Recurrent and persistent thrush in pregnancy

02 November 2014
Volume 22 · Issue 11


This article looks at the diagnosis and management of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC) in non-pregnant and pregnant women. This is a distressing condition that can cause a variety of different symptoms, including preterm labour. Although it is a commonly occurring infection in up to 40% of pregnant women, it should not be treated lightly. There is a range of anti-fungal medications although some cannot be used in pregnancy. This article is a helpful reminder of what can be prescribed.

One of the most common causes of yeast infections in the vulvovaginal area is Candida albicans (Holland et al, 2003; Sobel et al, 2013). During their childbearing years, 75% of women will experience at least one episode of vulvovaginal candidiasis (Hurley and De Louvois, 1979) and about 5–8% of these women will have recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC) at least once during their lives (Hurley and De Louvois, 1979; Sobel, 2007). However, 10–20% of women may be colonised with Candida but be asymptomatic (British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH), 2007). Vulvovaginal candidiasis can be found in 40% of healthy pregnant women (Hay and Czeizel, 2007). With these high numbers it is important to consider the impact that candidiasis can have on the pregnant mother or baby.

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