Infection by the fungus, also known as thrush or moniliasis. Candidiasis affects areas of mucous membrane in the body, most commonly the vagina and the inside of the mouth. In infants, it can occur in conjunction with nappy rash. The fungus is normally present in the mouth and vagina but may multiply excessively if antibiotic drugs destroy the harmless bacteria that control its growth, or if the body’s resistance to infection is lowered. Certain disorders, notably diabetes mellitus, and hormonal changes due to pregnancy or oral contraceptives, may also encourage its growth. Candidiasis can be contracted by sexual intercourse with an infected partner. The infection is far more common in women than in men. Symptoms of vaginal infection include a thick, white discharge, genital irritation, and discomfort when passing urine. Less commonly, the penis is infected in men, usually causing balanitis. Oral candidiasis produces sore, creamy-yellow, raised patches in the mouth. Candidiasis may spread to other moist areas of the body and may also affect the gastrointestinal tract, particularly in people with impaired immune systems. Treatment for candidiasis is with topical preparations such as creams, pessaries, or lozenges, or with oral antifungal drugs.


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