Use of complementary and alternative medicine in recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis-Results of a practitioner survey

General Practice and Primary Health Care Academic Centre, University of Melbourne, Australia.
Complementary therapies in medicine (Impact Factor: 1.55). 08/2012; 20(4):218-21. DOI: 10.1016/j.ctim.2012.01.004
Source: PubMed


The mainstream long term management of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC) often results in poor outcomes. It is expensive and unacceptable for many women who therefore have incorporated complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) into their personal care plan.
To ascertain clinicians' knowledge of CAM and their recommendations for the use of CAM and non-pharmacological management in women with RVVC.
Anonymous, single page, self completed survey using convenience sampling at a vulval disorders meeting in New South Wales, Australia in 2009.
Sixty six health professionals (medical practitioners, dermatologists, nurses and allied health professionals).
Most clinicians reported asking about their patients' use of CAM and non-pharmacological management of RVVC, although only around half reported recommending it. CAM management included lactobacillus, oral and vaginal yoghurt, vinegar, garlic, Chinese medicine and tea-tree oil. Non-pharmacological management included dietary changes and use of cotton undergarments. Lactobacillus was the most commonly recommended CAM.
CAM is popular with patients and many clinicians actively recommend its use in RVVC despite limited supporting evidence. Further research in the area of CAM and RVVC is long overdue.

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    • "In Italy, the prevalence of these relapses is estimated to be about 5 out of 16 women (Asticcioli et al., 2009). The discomfort leads most affected women to use natural products or unqualified medicaments for the treatment and/or prevention of relapses (Cassone, 2015; Watson et al., 2012). Among the interventions based on natural substances , those using TTO, as said, are the most suitable both for low toxicity at concentrations <20% (Hammer et al., 2006) and for the fungicidal activity also towards drug-resistant strains. "
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    • "The cost of long-term treatment has been estimated at AUD 900 ($ 862) in Australia [14]. Many RVVC patients turn to alternative remedies like yoghurt and vinegar which only have very short-term palliative effects [15,16]. "
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    Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 10/2013; 11(1):169. DOI:10.1186/1477-7525-11-169 · 2.12 Impact Factor
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    Complementary Therapies in Medicine 10/2012; 20(5):375. DOI:10.1016/j.ctim.2012.07.001 · 1.55 Impact Factor
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