Candida albicans: what it is, symptoms, treatment and how the infection happens

Candida albicans it is a fungus naturally present in the body without causing infection or symptoms. Usually theCandida albicans it can be found in several parts of the body, being more frequent in the vaginal mucosa of women, oral cavity, gastrointestinal and urinary tract.

This fungus lives in balance with its host, that is, with people, however when there is any change in this balance, theCandida albicans it can proliferate and cause symptoms according to the location where it is found, there may be the appearance of white plaques in the mouth, throat and tongue, pain and burning when urinating and thick white discharge, for example.

Symptoms ofCandida albicans

Symptoms of infection byCandida albicans vary according to where this fungus developed. In the case of oral candidiasis, white plaques and dots appear in the mouth, cheeks, tongue and throat, and this type of infection is more frequent in newborns whose mother had vaginal candidiasis during pregnancy.

In the case of vaginal candidiasis, the symptoms can be uncomfortable due to the burning and itching that is usually associated with this situation. Take the following test to see if there is a possibility of having genital candidiasis:

  1. 1. Severe itching in the genital region
  2. 2. Redness and swelling in the genital area
  3. 3. Whitish plaques on the vagina or on the head of the penis
  4. 4. Whitish discharge with lumps, similar to cut milk
  5. 5. Pain or burning when urinating
  6. 6. Discomfort or pain during intimate contact
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The diagnosis of infection byCandida albicans it is done initially through the assessment of symptoms, but laboratory tests are required to confirm the diagnosis. It is usually recommended to perform a urine test when there is suspicion of urinary infection by Candida, in addition to urine culture, in which the species is identified and the best medicine to treat the infection is seen. Understand how urine culture is made.

In the case of oral candidiasis, for example, it may be necessary to scrape the lesions from the mouth so that they can be analyzed in the laboratory and the infection can be confirmed. Learn how to identify oral candidiasis.

Candida albicans in pregnancy

Candidiasis in pregnancy is common and occurs due to hormonal changes characteristic of that period. During pregnancy, estrogen levels are quite high, which favors the proliferation ofCandida albicans, for example.

Candidiasis in pregnancy is not serious and can be easily treated with the use of vaginal ointments or creams that should be recommended by the obstetrician or gynecologist. However, if the woman is still with candidiasis at the time of delivery, it is possible that the baby will become infected, which develops the oral form of the candidiasis. See more about candidiasis in pregnancy.

How the infection happens

Infection withCandida albicans it happens when there is an imbalance in the organism that leads to greater fragility of the immune system. Thus, situations such as stress, use of antibiotics, contraceptives or immunosuppressive drugs, lack of proper hygiene of the mouth or genital region, for example.

In addition, diseases such as influenza, AIDS and diabetes mellitus can also favor the proliferation of species ofCandida and appearance of symptoms.

Despite theCandida albicans often found in the vaginal mucosa, transmission of this fungus to another person through sexual contact is rare, but it can happen, and it is important to use a condom in intimate contact.

How the treatment is done

Treatment for infection byCandida albicans it is done through the use of antifungal drugs in the form of a pill or ointment that must be applied directly to the affected region.

The antifungal recommended by the doctor varies according to the fungus proliferation site, sensitivity profile and symptoms presented, and the use of Imidazole, Nystatin, Amphotericin B, Miconazole, Fluconazole or Itraconazole, for example, may be recommended.