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Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2007 Aug;47(4):262-72.

Comprehensive review of conventional and non-conventional methods of management of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis.

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Gynaecology Assessment Clinic, Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is a condition what causes women a great deal of discomfort, inconvenience, and sometimes has psychological sequelae.(1) This condition is notoriously difficult to manage. Conventional management is generally favoured by medical practitioners. Some practitioners prefer not to offer other options because of significant possible side-effects and the lack of research supporting alternative treatments. There are many studies and much available information surrounding uncomplicated VVC, including two systematic reviews.(2,3) In the area of recurrent VVC however, quality conclusive studies are scarce, and recurrent VVC is featured infrequently in randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Systematic reviews that strongly support a particular pharmacological method of conventional management of recurrent VVC over another are absent from medical literature. Recommendations are largely formed on the basis of scanty RCTs and expert opinion. There is even less conclusive evidence in the area of alternative therapies; yet despite this, anecdotally many practitioners (both alternative and mainstream) continue to advocate certain treatments in the absence of any reliable cure that can be confidently prescribed. As the use of methods other than mainstream medicine becomes more widespread, it is important to be aware of both conventional and non-conventional management of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis. Practitioners need to ascertain their patient's preference and treatment history. It is difficult to find comprehensive literature assessing both approaches. Giving women the most up-to-date and relevant information, and different management options, is essential in allowing them to make informed decisions. This review critically assesses both mainstream and less conventional approaches in the management of recurrent VVC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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