Recurrent yeast infections, also called Recurrent Vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC), can be super frustrating. No matter what you do, they just keep coming back. You know you have a recurrent yeast infection if your vagina is constantly burning, itching, and releasing a thick, white, odorless discharge.
Yeast infections are considered recurrent or chronic when at least four discrete episodes occur in one year or at least three episodes occur in one year and are not related to antibiotic therapy.
Did you know?
- 9% of women report having had four or more Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis (RVVC) infections in a 12-month period.⁴,⁵
- Although less than 5 % of women have RVVC, they are among the most difficult to treat.
- Diabetic and immunocompromised women are at higher risk for RVVC.
- 30-50% of women will have RVVC after maintenance treatment is discontinued.
- 10-30% of women with RVVC are infected with non-albicans Candida.
If you’re getting recurrent yeast infections, it could be that yours is being caused by a different type of fungus (fungus other than Candida albicans) that does not respond to the treatments you have been using.
If you’re getting recurrent yeast infections, it could be that your infection is being caused by a different type of fungus (other than Candida albicans) that is resistant to the current treatment you are using
Recurrent infections may be caused by the resistance of non– C. albicans species to antifungal agents. Although Candida albicans is the pathogen identified in most patients with vulvovaginal candidiasis, other possible pathogens include Candida tropicalis and Candida glabrata. In fact, increasingly, Candida species other than C. albicans have been found to cause yeast vaginitis (i.e., 9.9 percent of cases in 1988 and 17.2 percent of cases in 1995).⁴
Candida species other than C. albicans may now account for up to 17 % of yeast infections which are resistant to traditional yeast infection treatments⁴
Studies have shown that standard imidazole antifungal agents such as miconazole and clotrimazole, normally found in your local pharmacies, are not as effective against non– C. albicans fungi. In fact, certain strains of fungi such as C. tropicalis and C. glabrata are 10 times less sensitive to miconazole than is C. albicans.5 If you have chronic or recurrent yeast infections — four or more within a year — you may need a treatment that is not an imidazole antifungal agent as well as a maintenance plan. If you’re one of those women, you need to take a different approach in treating these recurrences.
If you have chronic or recurrent yeast infections — four or more within a year — you may need a NEW treatment that is not an imidazole antifungal agent
- Workowski KA, Bolan GA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2015. MMWR Recomm Rep 2015; 64:1.
- Geiger AM, Foxman B, Gillespie BW. The epidemiology of vulvovaginal candidiasis among university students. Am J Public Health. 1995;85:1146–8.
- Sobel JD. Candidal vulvovaginitis. Clin Obstet Gynecol. 1993;36:153–65.
- Geiger AM, Foxman B, Gillespie BW. The epidemiology of vulvovaginal candidiasis among university students. Am J Public Health 1995; 85:1146.
- Foxman B, Muraglia R, Dietz JP, et al. Prevalence of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis in 5 European countries and the United States: results from an internet panel survey. J Low Genit Tract Dis 2013; 17:340
Antifungal Resistance: The growing concern over the risk of resistance is the primary reasons most healthcare practitioners are now turning towards new approaches to prevent recurrent yeast infections. Click here to learn more about using antibiotics wisely!