Vaginal Infections to Watch Out For
Women are prone to have vaginal infections. Some women might experience some form of vaginal infection or inflammation at some point during their lifetime. Others seem to be more prone to vaginal infections that other for reasons that are not obvious.
What Upsets the Normal Vaginal Balance?
A healthy vagina, by nature, has many bacteria and yeast. However, there are certain things that can disturb the healthy balance. These include:
- Hormone level changes
- Vaginal intercourse
Most Common Types of Vaginal Infections
According to Cynthia Krause, MD, an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology in New York City, there are three common types of vaginal infections:
- Yeast Infections. A yeast infection is the most common type of vaginitis. It is caused by one of the many species of fungus also known as Candida live naturally in the body in small numbers, including the vagina, and they usually do not cause any harm. However, candida thrive in warm, moist, airless environment. Under those conditions, they can grow in number and this is what causes vaginal infection.
- Bacterial Vaginosis. Aside from yeast, friendly bacteria called lactobacilli also live in the vagina. When the number of lactobacilli gets too low, it can trigger a vaginal condition called bacterial vaginosis (BV). The cause of the changing in levels of bacteria is unknown, but the normal lactobacilli can be replaced by other infection-causing bacteria. Gardnerella is the bacteria that is most often associated with BV.
- Out of the three most common vaginal infections, trichomonas vaginitis is the only one that is a sexually transmitted infection. It is most commonly called ‘trich’, and it is caused by a single-celled parasite (trichomonas vaginalis). It is passed from partner to partner during sexual intercourse.
VAGINAL INFECTION SYMPTOMS
Symptoms of this infection include a thick, white discharge. Some women describe the discharge as cottage cheese-like. It can also cause vaginal itching as well as redness of the vulva and the vagina.
With this type of vaginal infection, a woman might see a thick or whitish discharge, or one that is slippery and clear. It is not likely to itch or burn, but a fishy odour might be present, especially during sexual intercourse.
The symptoms of this infection are similar to other vaginal infections: irritation, redness, burning, and swelling of the vulva. There may also be a yellow-gray or greenish vaginal discharge that can possibly come with a fishy odour. Some women also experience pain as they urinate.
If you are having vaginal problems, see your doctor at the soonest possible time. Vaginal conditions should be treated, not taken lightly.