The most prominent symptom is itching and burning in the vagina. Some women also experience pain from intercourse and pain during urination. There may also be discharge . The symptoms develop within one to two days.
How does the doctor diagnose?
The diagnosis is made by a gynecological examination and examination of the secretion from the vagina.
How to treat sponge fungus?
Spoon fungus is treated medically either with suppositories or cream locally in the vagina or with a tablet treatment. However, the tablet treatment must not be used in pregnant women.
Which medicine can be used?
There are several anti-fungal agents (also known as Azole preparations). The treatment effect is the same regardless of the preparation used and whether it is given locally in the vagina or as a tablet that is eaten.
Local treatment is treatment with creams or capsules containing the substance Clotrimazole or Miconaxol.
Tablet treatment, also called systemic treatment, is treatment with tablets that are eaten and which typically contain the drug Fluconazole.
In the case of acute infections, high-dose single-dose treatment is as good as 3-day or 7-day treatment. In over 80 percent the symptoms go away from a single treatment.
In the case of repeated infections, treatment is given partly against the acute infection and partly for preventive treatment against repeated infections. It is recommended that this preventive treatment be given for 6 months. Tablet treatment is given with either Fluconazole 150 mg once a month or Itraconazole 200 – 400 mg once a month.
Vaginal boric acid capsules, which are gel capsules filled with boric acid powder, are sometimes used. They are inserted into the vagina twice daily for 2-4 weeks.
See all preparations at the bottom of the article under ‘Medications that can be used’
What can you do yourself?
Contact your doctor if you have not previously had a fungal infection.
Most women who have had sponge in the vagina will often recognize the symptoms if they have a new outbreak. You can then go to the pharmacy and get Clotrimazole in a combination pack containing a suppository and a cream to lubricate the exterior. Contact your doctor if you are unsure or have a bloody discharge.
Tight-fitting panties of synthetic material or use of panty liners are not recommended if you have a tendency to repeat infections. At the same time, use of soap that degrades the skin’s barrier and displaces the pH balance in the vagina is not recommended. Treatment with penicillin or other antibiotics may increase the risk of sphincter fungus in some women. Most women, however, can get antibiotics without developing symptoms of sponge fungus.
Preventive use of suppositories containing milk bacteria has been recommended. However, it has never been proven that such a preventive treatment has effect. If the woman tends to have repeated infections, Fluconazole 150 mg is recommended immediately before and after antibiotic treatment.
View for the future
The condition is not dangerous, as the fungus cannot go into the mouth and thus cannot cause infection in the fallopian tubes and ovaries.
Yeast fungus has been found in about half of male sexual partners for women with repeated infections. Treatment of the partner is not necessary if he does not have symptoms and thus does not affect the risk of recurrent infections.