Candidiasis (yeast infection) and bacterial vaginosis are two types of vaginal infections. When these infections, or certain STDs, recur even after treatment, they become chronic and may require treatment by a pelvic pain specialist.
Candidiasis and bacterial vaginosis are both caused by an overgrowth and imbalance of bacteria in the vagina. Candidiasis occurs when there is too much yeast present, which can be brought on by antibiotics, poor diet, hormonal imbalances and uncontrolled diabetes. Bacterial vaginosis is most often caused by gardnerella vaginalis, the most common type of bacteria in your vagina. This imbalance occurs when something disrupts the natural pH level of the vagina, such as multiple sexual partners or vaginal douching.
Treatment for chronic candidiasis or bacterial vaginosis starts with first making sure there is an actual infection present. In 33% of cases, patients have negative cultures and their symptoms are actually caused by inflammation of the vagina. Prevention and treatment for bacterial vaginosis and candidiasis may include:
- Better understanding of the vaginal microbiome
- Hygiene to maintain proper pH balance of the vagina
- Safe sex practices
- Oral medications, suppositories, and topical medications