Sheath fungus is the colloquial term for a vaginal mycosis. This disease is a fungal infection of the vaginal mucosa.
The infection may also spread to the external female genitalia, the vulva. To distinguish the fungal infection from the mere colonization with mushrooms, which does not yet make any symptoms. In 80% of cases of fungus, the fungus Candida causes disease. Therefore, in addition to vaginal mycosis, we also speak of vaginal candidiasis.
The disease can affect women of all ages and may recur several times in their lives. Certain circumstances favor the appearance of vaginal thrush because they make the body more susceptible to it. For example, vaginalpillitis occurs three times more frequently in pregnant women than in non-pregnant women, since pregnant women are under a certain hormonal influence, which favors the growth of fungi.
Prerequisite for a fungal infection is the pre-existing colonization of the vagina with mushrooms or the Neuansteckung with mushrooms.
The new infection is rare and the idea that the vaginal yeast infection is "caught" by sexual intercourse is a false myth .For many women, fungi, along with various bacteria, are a natural part of the vaginal flora of the vagina are called microorganisms, which are mainly lactic acid bacteria, the so-called Döderlein bacteria.
These bacteria do not make you sick but perform an important function. They serve as placeholders and prevent so that dangerous bacteria or fungi can spread. The lactic acid bacteria absorb other bacteria and also fungi in the growth. Another protection factor against fungal infections is, in addition to the colonization with lactic acid bacteria, the acidic environment of the vagina. Mushrooms can spread poorly in an acidic environment. The acidic pH is also achieved by the lactic acid bacteria.
Especially in pregnancy, there are some factors that favor a fungal infection. During pregnancy is a hormone that naturally raises estrogen. Estrogen causes more sugar to be released in the vaginal mucosa. The sugar unfortunately promotes the growth of mushrooms. In addition, the pH of the vagina is often less acidic during pregnancy. The acid protection from mushrooms is unfortunately gone.
So it comes in pregnancy increasingly fungal infections. This has nothing to do with a lack of hygiene and otherwise the pregnant woman does not have to blame for a fungal infection. The infection is usually due solely to the fact that the vaginal flora by the pregnancy gets out of balance. Mostly it is an infection with the yeast Candida albicans.
The diagnosis is made by the woman doctor asking the various symptoms. These include itching, pain when urinating, pain during intercourse and a whitish-crumbly, but odorless discharge.
There will also be a vaginal examination. The vaginal fungus can be visually recognized and possibly confirmed by a smear. The smear can be evaluated either directly under the microscope if the fungi are visible here. Alternatively, the material can also be put into a laboratory. There, the smear secretion is placed on a nutrient medium and after a few days can be evaluated whether and if so which fungal species grows there.
A few weeks before birth, such a swab is also routinely performed in pregnant women, even if they have none of the above symptoms. The goal is to recognize just before the birth of a mere colonization with mushrooms.
The characteristic symptoms are severe burning and itching in the area of the vaginal entrance. The skin of the vagina is red and covered with whitish, crumbly evidence.
The discharge may be increased and, unlike the bacterial infection, is completely odorless.
In addition, pain during urination, also known as dysuria and pain during sexual intercourse, the Dyspareunie occur.
Accompanying symptoms include swelling and redness of the external genital area. In addition, the mucous membrane can be cracked and stretch. It is also typical that the symptoms slowly get worse and reach their maximum only 3 days after onset. It is also important to know that the symptoms can be individually very different. For one sufferer, the itching can be unbearable, while in the other woman, the infection remains almost unnoticed.
Overall, the symptoms of the infection do not differ between pregnant women and non-pregnant women. Possibly, pregnant women feel limp and impaired faster. It usually does not come to fever, as the fungal infection only locally affects the vagina. While the fungal infection is very unpleasant, it does not pose a serious threat to the mother or the unborn child. Pregnancy progresses normally under the infection and the child's development is not disturbed by the vaginal infection.
The fungal infection can easily be treated during pregnancy. Although the infection alone is harmless and does not pose a threat to the mother and child, it does not want to cause any additional infection of the vagina with bacteria that could be harmful to the child.
The fungal infection attacks the mucous membrane and thus creates entry ports for bacteria. If it comes next to the fungal infection in addition to a bacterial infection is called a superinfection. Therefore, a fungal infection should always be treated.
The therapy has 3 goals: Relief of the mother's complaints, Prevention of a superinfection, the child should be protected from infection during childbirth.
There are various drugs available in suppository or ointment form, which can be introduced by the person independently in the vagina. It is advisable to introduce medications such as suppositories in the evening, so that the drug is well distributed and does not expire prematurely. The therapy is limited to a local therapy.
An improvement in the symptoms usually occurs after a few days. Afterwards prophylaxis can be considered. These are preparations that restore the natural vaginal flora as part of a multi-day treatment with lactic acid bacteria.
Some antifungals in tablet form are not recommended for pregnant women because there are safer alternatives. Therefore, it is advisable to ask the doctor for a suitable preparation for a fungal infection during pregnancy, even if some antifungals are available for sale.
Especially in pregnancy, many women are very concerned about what drugs. There is a fear of harming the unborn baby. Caution is also good, but there are safe medicines available to treat the fungal infection that can be used safely. For example, suppositories, creams and gels containing the active ingredients clotrimazole, miconazole and nystatin have been well tested. If in addition to the antifungal, ie the antifungal therapy also a pain therapy may be necessary, if there are no intolerances, be used on paracetamol.
Untreated, the fungal infection can last for several weeks. With antifungal creams or vaginal suppositories, it is usually within a few days to get a grip. Wichitg it is also after the symptoms subsided to prevent a relapse.
The following rules of conduct help. Excessive intimate hygiene should be avoided. One-time washing a day is sufficient. Use pH-neutral or slightly acidic washing lotions and skin care creams. For recurring fungal infections, it may help to support the natural vaginal flora by introducing capsules with the good lactic acid bacteria, the so-called Döderlein bacteria into the vagina.
To the doctor, a pregnant woman should already at the first symptoms. For example, with itching and burning, pain when urinating or pain in sexual intercourse or in a conspicuous discharge.
Since the fungal infection can spread quickly without treatment and can be unpleasant, the doctor's visit should not be delayed.
Although the vaginal fungus occurs significantly more frequently in pregnancy than in non-pregnant women, it is by no means a sure sign of pregnancy.
Fungal infections also occur completely independently of a pregnancy, eg more frequently after antibiotic therapies, hormonal fluctuations during adolescence or through the pill or in immunodeficiency.
Fungal infections indicate that the vaginal flora is out of balance. On the contrary, this can even have an unfavorable effect on the desire to have a baby. If the vaginal flora is disturbed, the sperm may not survive and progress as well in the vaginal secretions.
For the treatment of fungal infections circulating numerous home remedies and tips. Examples include garlic, tea tree oil, marigold extract, lactic acid bacteria-containing yoghurt for prophylaxis, chamomile tea-sitting baths for symptom relief, aloe vera ointments, no sugar-containing foods, and many more.
Some home remedies are good and individually bring relief, but do not fight the cause. Other supposedly gentle home remedies, such as vinegar rinses are far too aggressive and irritate the damaged mucosa. In pregnancy and otherwise it should be better avoided.
In pregnancy, it should not be primarily focused on a homeopathic therapy of the fungal infection. Successful therapy is essential to prevent transmission to the newborn whose immune system is not yet fully developed.
If good experiences have been made with homeopathy, this may possibly be an adjunct. Primary, however, is to rely on a local fungal treatment with established drugs. For women who suffer from recurring chronic fungal infections, regardless of pregnancy, homeopathy may be of interest if other treatment attempts were unsuccessful.
As part of a homeopathic therapy is often a very detailed history, which is the medical history, raised. This can help to find possible triggers for the recurring infections. On the basis of the medical history, the so-called globuli, ie small globules, are selected. There are many opponents who deny the effect of these globules, as they contain no clonal drug. For some people, homeopathy has led to reports but already helped. Whether the therapy form individually comes into question, everyone has to find out for themselves. It should not be experimented with during pregnancy.
A vaginal yeast infection during pregnancy is harmless and can be treated well.
It only becomes dangerous if the damaged skin is additionally infected with bacteria. These bacterial infections can ascend and, if necessary, premature labor and thus trigger premature birth. That is very rare.
The vaginal fungus itself harms the child only when it is transferred from the mother's skin to the baby during the birthing process. The baby's immune system is not mature yet, so within the first 4 weeks it may develop so-called oral thrush, a whitish fungal infection of the mouth and diaper dermatitis, an irritant to the skin. Both conditions are not particularly threatening for the newborn, but cause pain and stress for the newborn and can be prevented well by a previous treatment of the mother.
The vaginal milieu plays a significant role in the desire to become pregnant. It should be so created that the sperm are not hindered in their migration towards the cervix and uterus. A fungal infection is usually associated with a disturbed pH of the vagina, which is unfavorable for the sperm. In addition, the fungal infection in most women is accompanied by severe pain during intercourse, which of course also has an adverse effect.
But getting pregnant with a vaginal yeast infection is by no means excluded. If there is no Kinderwunsche, so should be avoided in any case. It is important to note that some of the locally applied antifungal ointments can damage condoms.