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Doctor: It could be anal candida

Doctor,
I am a 41-year-old married woman. I have realised that my anus tends to itch immediately before my monthly periods. I once thought it was worms and dewormed, but the problem persists.

What could it be?
Idah

Idah,

What you are describing may be a case of anal candidiasis. Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by a yeast candida albicans. The commonest type in women involves the vagina and is characterized by a genital itch, a discharge that looks like spoilt milk and may come recurrently usually around your periods.

The correlation between periods and candida is related to the imbalance of PH in the vagina that may favour the fungus to grow unchecked by the usual bacteria. However, some women either because of obesity or poor hygiene may have the fungus extended in the anal area. It’s also highly likely among women who practise penetrative anal sex with their partners.

There is also a possibility that you could be having candida intertrigo which affects wet body crevices, the anal area inclusive especially if you are very fat. In either case, you need to get antifungal treatment. Your doctor may give you some tablets and/or a cream with an antifungal agent of choice. To avoid recurrences, good hygiene as well as weight loss may be helpful.

You may need to do an HIV test as well as test for diabetes as these conditions worsen the episodes and increase likelihood of recurrence. There are many other possible causes of anal itch but usually not associated with your menses. They may include piles, anal fissures, anal tags as well as some worm eggs. Genital lice is also a possibility.

A stool test may also be helpful. Please visit a doctor for a detailed review.

For all your reproductive health queries, write to:
doctor@observer.ug or SMS to 0788026929 or write doctor and SMS it to 8777

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