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Vaginal Infections and Treatments to Help You Maintain a Healthy Vagina

vaginal Infections

There are great habits that you can adopt to help you maintain a healthy vagina, and also habits that you should most definitely avoid! So what treatments are available to keep your vagina healthy if you think you might have an infection? Keep reading this blog post to find out!

Infections and Treatments to Help Maintain a Healthy Vagina: Bacterial Infections

Cause

The vagina contains both good and bad bacteria. Bacterial infections occur when the bad bacteria overgrows and begins to outnumber the good bacteria present. Bacterial infections can be caused if you have recently changed sexual partners, use fragranced and perfumed soaps or deodorants on your vaginal area or have an intrauterine device (IUD) fitted. If you have a bacterial infection, you are more at risk of contracting an STD.

Symptoms

Many women who have a bacterial vaginal infection do not experience symptoms, but some women do. Potential symptoms of bacterial infections include grey or white discharge that may have a fish-like smell, a burning sensation while peeing, itchiness or pain during sex.

Treatments

There are a number of medicines that can be prescribed to someone who is suffering from a bacterial vaginal infection. These include metronidazole, clindamycin and tinidazole. Both metronidazole and tinidazole are taken as a pill in the mouth and may have side effects including an upset stomach or nausea. Metronidazole is also available as a cream that can be applied into the vagina. Clindamycin is only available as a cream to be inserted into the vagina. However, some research does show that up to 30% of women with a bacterial infection do not require treatment.

Vaginal Infections

Infections and Treatments to Help Maintain a Healthy Vagina: Yeast Infections

Cause

A fungus called Candida naturally grows in the vagina and the good bacteria also present in the vagina maintain it and prevent the fungus from growing too much. Yeast infections occur when something upsets this balance within the vagina and the fungus is allowed to overgrow. Things that might cause this to happen include taking antibiotics, being pregnant, diabetes, an imbalance of hormones, stress or lack of sleep and a weakened immune system.

Symptoms

The potential symptoms associated with yeast infections include itching in the vaginal region, swelling, pain during sex, white clumpy discharge, a burning sensation when peeing, a rash and redness. The longer that a yeast infection is left untreated, the more severe the symptoms of the infection are likely to become.

Treatments

Antifungal medicine is the most common treatment for yeast infections. These medicines can be applied as a cream to the inside of the vagina, or medicines such as fluconazole can be taken orally as a tablet.

Infections and Treatments to Help Maintain a Healthy Vagina: Viral Infections

Cause

An example of a viral infection that affects the vagina is the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV causes genital warts, growths of flesh in the genital region. Gential warts are a type of STD, but can also be passed by other direct skin-to-skin contact.

Symptoms

Genital warts can appear as clumped together or separate, and they may also bleed. Other symptoms include itching and discomfort.

Treatments

There is no cure for genital warts and although they most often go away, they can reappear later in life. Treatments for genital warts include wart creams such as imiquimod, podophyllin or trichloroacetic acid. Doctors may also remove gential warts via surgery.

Infections and Treatments to Help Maintain a Healthy Vagina: Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Cause

There are many different types of STDs including chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis. Each of these diseases are caused due to sexual contact. Both chlamydia and gonorrhea are types of bacterial infections. Trichomoniasis is caused by a parasite.

Symptoms

The possible symptoms of chlamydia include white, green or yellow discharge, bleeding, and pain while peeing and during sex. However, most people do not experience symptoms with chlamydia. The potential symptoms of gonorrhea are white, green or yellow discharge, pain in the pelvis, swelling and a burning sensation when peeing. Itchiness, pain while peeing, a burning sensation and a high volume of clear, yellow or green, thin discharge are all symptoms of trichomoniasis.

Treatments

Chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis are all treated using antibiotics. Examples of antibiotics used to treat trichomoniasis include metronidazole or tinidazole (the same as other bacterial vaginal infections).

Infections and Treatments to Help Maintain a Healthy Vagina: Non-Infectious Vaginitis

Cause

Non-infectious vaginitis is caused when something comes into contact with the vagina that it happens to be allergic to. Examples of possible items that could cause non-infectious vaginitis include latex condoms, cosmetics that are perfumed, feminine hygiene products, fragranced soaps or deodorants, douches, or sanitary pads.

Symptoms

The main symptoms of non-infectious vaginitis are irritation, swelling, redness, flushing of the vagina and vulva and burning or stinging sensations.

Treatments

The best way to avoid contracting non-infectious vaginitis is to avoid any potential products that could cause an allergic reaction or irritation. You can receive a patch test through your doctor to help establish what might be causing the reaction.

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