Understanding and Managing Vaginal Infection
Vaginal infection, medically termed vaginitis, refers to several diseases that can cause infection or inflammation in the vaginal area.
Some discomfort you may be experiencing need not be new or strange to fix.
Here we will focus on some of the most basic discomfort, the causes and, simple ways to manage it.
The vulva is the portion of your genitals visible from the outside and can be infected just like the vagina itself.
Vulvovaginitis is an inflammation of the vaginal and vulval mucosa, however, let’s break into our main focus; vaginal infections
Vaginal infection; what should I watch for?
Not all infections have noticeable symptoms, there are however a few signs to watch out for. Some of which are:
- Vaginal discharge in:
- a. quantity
- b. color,
- Burning sensation during urination
- Itching in the vagina
- Spotting or bleeding and,
- pain during intercourse
Vaginal Infections have varying causes some of which include:
Yeast infection: this is the most common and causes itching with the presence of thick and white discharge.
Bacterial infection can cause discharge with a fish-like odor that may be yellowish or grayish-white in color.
Trichomoniasis: With vaginal itching and odor, this infection is characterized by a greenish-yellow foamy discharge.
There may be a very recent finding of a newly discovered strain of deadly fungus to be wary of; one exciting part of vaginitis is that it is not life-threatening.
A swab test (where “A sterile, moist cotton swab is inserted into the vagina to obtain a sample of vaginal discharge. While you may feel pressure or discomfort, the test shouldn’t hurt. The doctor then transfers the sample onto a slide. The slide is examined under a microscope to check for infection“) will be done to ascertain what type of infection you have and the best way it can be treated.
As a matter of fact, if you have had some past yeast infection diagnosis, you may not be needing to see a doctor.
You can have an over-the-counter antifungal cream or oral drug used to combat it.
Causes of Vaginitis
Yeast infection is an infection caused by Candida albicans, a fungus present within the female genitals. The vagina in all its glory is home to antifungal bacterias. These bacterias decrease from the use of some antibiotic medication.
A drastic reduction of the antifungal bacteria within the vagina can lead to fungi overgrowth, causing yeast infection.
Trichomoniasis: This is an infection of the genital region. It typically occurs after sexual intercourse from exposure to protozoan parasites.
All Bacterial infections: The overgrowth of bacteria commonly found in the vagina causes bacterial vaginosis.
Prevention and Treatment
Now, you may not be able to prevent all vaginitis, however, there are certain steps to take in order to avoid the worse.
1. Using a condom can drastically reduce the risk of infections and STIs.
2. Wear breathable cotton underwear more and wash in warm water when you can
3. Maintain proper hygiene at all times and avoid contact with the genital region with unhygienic hands.
4. Do not use perfumes, lotion, or deodorant around the vaginal region, as this can irritate the vagina and skin.
5. Do not use disinfectant, bath gels, or toilet soap to wash the vagina. This can lead to deterioration of the naturally self-cleansing bacterias in the vagina, inviting new and unwanted bacterias that can lead to infection.
6. Drink lots of water often.
7. Avoid smoking and reduce alcohol intake.
8. Avoid douching (this is using water or other fluid mixture to wash the inside of the vagina).
9. The human vagina like many organs within the body self cleans. The use of external liquid to flush within the wall leaves the uterus open to infection.