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138 million women suffer from recurrent thrush

Friday August 3rd, 2018

An estimated 138 million women across the world suffer from recurrent thrush, according to a research review by University of Manchester scientists.

Writing in The Lancet Infectious Diseases today (2 August 2018), Dr Riina Rautemaa-Richardson said the incidence of recurrent thrush is expected to rise to an estimated 158 million people by 2030.

Chinese, Indian and American women are the world’s most numerous sufferers of thrush at 29.1 million and 23.6 million and 9 million respectively.

Studies reviewed by the research team also show that thrush is a risk associated with menopausal women aged 55 and over, and among women taking hormone replacement therapy and antibiotics.

Dr Rautemaa-Richardson said more work needs to be done to educate both people with the treatable condition and healthcare professionals to ensure the right treatment is used.

“Recurrent vulvovaginal thrush is common, debilitating and complex. Myths, unnecessary worry and stigma are associated with it as medical professionals struggle to understand it,” she said.

“Though thrush is treatable, it often reoccurs and there are often additional causes for the symptoms which all need to be addressed. Antifungal treatment is often only part of the solution.

“Thrush is often thought of as an embarrassing problem woman should accept, rather than a medical problem which needs to be dealt with. But for millions of women, it can have a massive impact on quality of life.”

“We hope this research will give more women the confidence talk more openly about a problem which is distressing and painful.”

Rautemaa-Richardson R et al. Global burden of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis: a systematic review. The Lancet Infectious Diseases 3 August 2018.

Tags: UK News | Women's Health & Gynaecology | World Health

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