It’s not actually JUST during winter, but all year-round, you can get a vaginal infection if fungi, bacteria or viruses grow in and around your vagina. It IS, however, normal for some types of bacteria to live inside the vagina, but other types of bacteria, fungi, and viruses should not be there.
Some vaginal infections are common and they are as follows:
This type of vaginal infection can happen when certain bacteria living naturally inside the vagina grow more than usual. It is the most common vaginal infection. Possible triggers of bacterial vaginosis include:
- Perfumed feminine washes and soaps
- Vaginal douching
Women do not always get bacterial vaginosis through sexual intercourse, although there seems to be a link with being sexually active and having a new sexual partner.
This type of vaginal infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) and it is caused by a bacterium called chlamydia trachomatis. Many women have chlamydia without knowing it.
This vaginal infection is caused by the herpex simplex (HSV) and it can be passed on through sexual contact. Once you have been infected, HSV stays in the body for the rest of your life – sometimes not causing symptoms.
Genital warts are also one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, especially in people under 25. They are caused by human papilloma virus (HPV) which makes cells grow unusually. Genital warts can be caught by having sexual intercourse or genital skin-to-skin contact with someone who has them.
This vaginal infection is caused by a type of bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which a person can get through unprotected sex. Half of the women with gonorrhoea do not show any symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they usually appear within 10 days of getting infected.
Many women have the yeast Candida albicans growing harmlessly in their vagina. If there is some change in the environment in your vagina, the yeast can grow more than usual. This can cause vaginal thrush (vaginal candidiasis). Common triggers for thrush include:
- Taking certain types of antibiotics
- Having uncontrolled diabetes
- Being pregnant
Perfumed feminine washes or soap as well as wearing tight underwear or clothes have also been linked to thrush, although there isn’t strong evidence to prove it.
Having vaginal infections is not to be taken lightly. The moment you realize that something is not right in your vaginal area, you should see a specialist immediately. No one should suffer in silence.