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: 2.22). 08/2012; 20(4):218-21. DOI: 10.1016/j.ctim.2012.01.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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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