The newest drug indicated for relief of candidiasis (yeast infection), a predominant form of vaginitis, is Terazol (R) (terconazole), a broad-spectrum antifungal agent. Candidiasis is responsible for up to 40 percent of all cases of vaginitis. Terazol (R) (terconazole), manufactured by Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation, is available in both cream and suppository forms.
“Clinical tests indicate that Terazol (R) (terconazole) therapy affords rapid symptomatic relief, outstanding microbiological cures, and low rates of relapse,” notes Carole Sampson-Landers, M.D., director of clinical research at Ortho. “These tests have shown Terazol to have a significantly lower incidence of burning and itching than the low rates experienced with miconazole nitrate, a clear benefit to women already suffering from the discomfort of a yeast infection.” In laboratory tests, Terazol has proven active against other harder-to-treat fungi (T. glabrata, C. tropicalis) as well as an imidazole-resistant strain of Candida albicans.
“The importance of the rapid relief of vaginitis afforded by Terazol (R) (terconazole) cannot be overemphasized,” Dr. Sampson-Landers said.
Emotional Aspects to a Women’s Sexual Health
“The emotional impact of vaginitis and other sexual health problems can touch on many aspects of a woman’s life — not just her self- image but her relationships with her family and her husband or partner,” according to Ruth Westheimer, Ed.D., noted sexual health advisor and psychotherapist who spoke at today’s seminar.
“If intercourse frequently proves painful, or if there is an irritant that prevents her from achieving orgasm, a woman may feel reluctant about entering or continuing a sexual relationship,” said Dr. Westheimer. “An ‘avoidance pattern’ may emerge, wherein a woman may resist situations where a sexual relationship is possible.”
In the coming decade, education and the media will help make American women the world’s most enlightened population in terms of sexual health, Dr. Westheimer said.
“Women who want to be part of these positive changes should query their physicians about their sexual health problems, and request information about the latest therapies for vaginitis and other sexual infections,” Dr. Westheimer commented. “Good sexual health should be acknowledged by all women as a very vital aspect of their overall emotional and physical fitness.”
Patient education is also critical to the management of pelvic inflammatory disease and human papillomovirus, noted Dr. Sobel. Patients should be encouraged to discuss any unusual signs or symptoms with their physicians, and feel comfortable discussing their diagnosis and treatment, if any.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Women can help reduce their risk for pelvic inflammatory disease through increased awareness of the varied means through which the disease can be acquired, according to Dr. Sobel. Education through physicians and the media will play a critical role in this, he said.
“Currently available antibiotic therapies are adequate for treating acute pelvic inflammatory disease,” commented Dr. Sobel. “The challenge to the medical community remains reducing the infection rate — primarily through preventing transmission of the disease.” Sexual relations with multiple partners as well as other risk factors play a significant role in the onset of PID, he said.
Human Papillomavirus, or Genital Warts
The increase in cases of human papillomavirus (HPV) is also startling, Dr. Sobel observed. Office visits for the condition increased 580 percent in a recent 17 year period, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
“HPV will emerge as one of the major genital infections of the coming decade as diagnostic techniques improve,” Dr. Sobel predicted.
Other Sexual Health Factors
Women and their physicians should discuss how some vaginal infections can be sexually transmitted, Dr. Weisberg said.
“Understanding a partner’s possible role in sexual illness, and inquiring about the latest treatment can go a long way in maintaining a woman’s sexual health.”