A vaginal yeast infection results when the naturally occurring fungus that lives within your reproductive tract becomes overgrown and irritates the skin of your vulva and vagina. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that 75 percent of women have at least one vaginal yeast infection during their lives. Yeast infections are not normally serious in nature and are easily cured by using medicated vaginal suppositories or creams, such as terconazole. Despite its effectiveness, terconazole is not for everyone as it presents several risks for side effects and complications in some patients.
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Common Side Effects
Approximately 21 to 30 percent of terconazole users report headaches, making this the most common side effects of the drug. Pain in the genital area is also common, occurring in at least 5 percent of users. Other common side effects of terconazole include generalized body pain and menstrual cramps.
Other Side Effects
Terconazole also has the potential to cause a number of other troublesome or annoying, but not dangerous, side effects. Some women experience an increase in vulval itching while using terconazole. Others report flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills and abdominal cramps. During clinical trials, the most common reason women reported for quitting terconazole use was vulval itching, which was very intense when combined with the itching of the yeast infection itself.
Effects on Sexual Health
In some rare instances, men report a burning sensation in the genitals after having sexual intercourse with a woman who was using terconazole creams or suppositories. For this reason and to prevent the spread of the yeast infection to your partner, you should utilize condoms while undergoing terconazole treatment. If you use rubber cervical caps or diaphragms for birth control, talk to your doctor about using an alternate method while taking terconazole, as chemicals in the drug can wear away at these devices, posing a risk for pregnancy.
Though rare, terconazole sometimes causes serious allergic reactions in some patients. The first signs of an allergic reaction are hives and itching around the mouth and lips. Without medical attention, the reaction has the potential to progress to more dangerous effects, such as swelling of the lips and throat or difficulty breathing. If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction at any point while using terconazole, seek prompt emergency medical care.
Terconazole can cause low birth weights and defects, and is typically avoided during pregnancy. In addition, most doctors do not recommend using terconazole if you are breastfeeding. The drug is also not approved for use in children. If you have ever experienced an allergic reaction to a yeast infection cream before, do not take terconazole. Additionally, if your symptoms do not improve within three days or worsen, contact your doctor.