This triple-blind trial examined the effects of Calendula officinalis vaginal cream on the treatment of vaginal Candidiasis (primary outcome) and sexual function (secondary outcome). Married women aged 18-45 years with vaginal Candidiasis (n = 150) were recruited from April to October 2014 and randomized into Calendula and clotrimazole groups, using 5-g vaginal cream every night for seven nights. Clinical and laboratory assessments were conducted at 10-15 and 30-35 days after intervention and the female sexual function index was assessed at 30-35 days. Six women were lost to follow-up. The frequency of testing negative for Candidiasis in the Calendula group was significantly lower at the first (49% vs. 74%; odds ratio (OR) 0.32; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.16-0.67) but higher at the second (77% vs. 34%; OR 3.1; 95% CI 1.5-6.2) follow-up compared to the clotrimazole group. The frequency of most signs and symptoms were almost equal in the two groups at the first follow-up, but were significantly lower in the Calendula group at the second follow-up. Sexual function had almost equal significant improvement in both groups. Calendula vaginal cream appears to have been effective in the treatment of vaginal Candidiasis and to have a delayed but greater long-term effect compared to clotrimazole.
Keywords: Calendula officinalis; clotrimazole; sexual function; vaginal Candidiasis.