December 2010

December 2010

Many women have a problem with recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis, which consists of recurrent or persistent vaginal candida infections that are unresponsive to standard therapies. To make matters worse, once every therapy offered fails, most of these women stop reporting vaginal infections to their doctors.

Fortunately, a number of studies have demonstrated that C. albicans immunotherapy effectively reduces the frequency and severity of infections. Rigg et al. published a study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1990 which found an improvement in 16 of 18 women with recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis in an open trial.

In 2000, Moraes et al. published a study in the Journal of Investigative Allergology and Clinical Immunology in which approximately one-third of the patients exhibited significant improvement over their baseline, while another third had complete resolution of the recurrent infections.

At Allergy & Asthma Specialists, our own experience echoes these previous studies as we continue to see significant improvement in an overwhelming majority of our patients with vaginal candida infections.

Some of these patients were referred directly to us by their gynecologists or general practitioners. And, some of them were discovered through our routine history taking of new patients who come to us for allergy or asthma help. For this latter group, we require evidence from previous treating physicians that they have failed both topical and systemic treatments.

How we treat vaginal candida infections

During the evaluation period, our allergists perform skin testing with C. albicans to determine both immediate and delayed sensitivities. This allows us to determine a safe starting dose, which is followed by:

• Intradermal therapy is initially given weekly, up to a relatively high dose of C. albicans.

• Once the maintenance dose is reached, the immunotherapy is stretched out to every other week.

• By the end of the first year, patients should have experienced a significant reduction in the frequency of vaginal infections.

• At that point, we extend the injections out to every 3 weeks.

• 6 months later we extend the injections out to every 4 weeks.

• By the end of the second year, the extend the injections out to every 6 weeks.

• After 3 years, most women are able to discontinue the immunotherapy and remain free of the recurrent vaginal infections.

If you live in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Hampton Roads, and may be suffering from vulvovaginal candidiasis, vaginal candida infections, or vaginal infections, please call us at any of our 3 locations listed below. Our Allergists are here to help you.

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About Allergy & Asthma Specialists
Our Allergists specialize in diagnosing and treating vulvovaginal candidiasis, vaginal candida infections, and vaginal infections for patients in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Hampton Roads.