Vaginal infections are a nasty topic for any woman, but unfortunately, they do occur and many women are bound to experience them at one point or another. Despite these infections occurring normally, women still make the wrong assumptions and purchase the wrong solutions. This article aims to help people understand the difference between two different vaginal infections: yeast infection vs. bacterial vaginosis.
The Most Common Type of Vaginal Infection
Contrary to popular belief, yeast infection is NOT the most common type of vaginal infection. It is actually bacterial vaginosis which is the most common. Yeast infections are found to be the second leading type of vaginal infections, but some women commonly mistake other infections for yeast infections.
Both yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis may result in a vaginal discharge. The discharge for yeast infections is usually thick and whitish – similar to that of cottage cheese. This discharge is typically odourless, and sometimes may have a yeasty smell – similar to bread or beer.
Bacterial vaginosis usually includes a grayish-white vaginal discharge, an elevated pH, and a ‘fishy odour’. Some women say that the discharge appears like yogurt or something pasty.
The most common symptom for these two infections is itching in the vulvar or vaginal area. During intercourse or urination, a burning sensation and pain are also some characteristic symptoms of these infections.
Bacterial vaginosis is caused when there is too much pathogenic bacteria or ‘bad bacteria’. Beneficial vaginal bacteria help keep the bad bacteria under control, but once the beneficial bacteria can no longer keep up and bad bacteria overgrow, a woman can get a bacterial infection. Bacterial vaginosis is also accompanied by an imbalance in the pH because the bad bacteria that cause this infection thrive in elevated pH flourish. Beneficial bacteria, on the other hand, flourish in a healthy pH environment.
Vaginal yeast infections occur when there is an overgrowth of yeast – a fungus that lives in the vagina. Beneficial vaginal bacteria (such as lactobacillus) help keep other organisms under control. However, just like with bacterial vaginosis, once the beneficial bacteria cannot keep up and yeast overgrows, a woman can get a yeast infection.
As a woman, it sure is bothersome to have a vaginal infection, but before rushing to the nearest drugstore to buy treatments, it is important that you are 100% sure of the type of vaginal infection that you have. The best way to find out is by consulting Dr. Fay Weisberg. She will help you with all your vaginal concerns.