Are women who have cystic fibrosis more prone to vaginitis? If so, could you explain why? Is there a way to avoid this kind of infection? Does the pill have an effect one way or the other?
Women who have cystic fibrosis are in fact prone to vaginitis, particularly to vaginal infections caused by the Candida albicans fungus. The vagina normally contains “good” bacteria that play an important role in protecting against more serious infections. People with cystic fibrosis must frequently take antibiotics, either orally or intravenously, which can kill vaginal bacteria, thus upsetting the normal balance and promoting the growth of fungi. Symptoms include itching and a thicker, more abundant vaginal discharge. Infection can also spread to the vulva, causing redness and itching in that area.
Vulnerability to this type of infection varies from one person to the next, so we do not usually suggest preventive treatment. Various kinds of topical treatments, however, such as creams and vaginal ovules, are very effective against these fungal infections. You can also use antifungal drugs. There have been some reports of increased incidences of fungal vaginitis among users of oral contraceptives, but generally, the problem is more serious with antibiotics.