Vaginal infections or vaginitis is the inflammation of the vagina that creates discharge, odor, irritation or itching. It is difficult to diagnose and has many causes.
Vaginitis occurs when the vaginal ecosystem has been changed by certain medications such as antibiotics, hormones, contraceptive preparations (oral and topical), douches, vaginal medication, sexual intercourse, sexually transmitted diseases, stress and change in sexual partners.
Not all vaginal Infections are caused by sexual contact. It is advisable to see a Doctor any time you have burning, itching or pain, in order to get the right treatment.
Types of Vaginal Infections
There are two common vaginal infections; Yeast infections and Bacterial Vaginosis.
Yeast Infections – are mainly caused by a fungus called Candida Albicans. A yeast infection can spread to other parts of the body including skin, mucous membranes, heart valves and esophagus. The possible symptoms include:
- Redness, burning and swelling of the vulva and the vagina.
- Pain during urination.
- Painful sexual intercourse.
- A white thick discharge that does not smell bad.
- A rash on the outside of the vagina.
- Birth control pills
- Hormonal changes such as ovulation or menopause
- Steroid use
- Use of douches, perfumed feminine hygiene sprays
- Scratches in the vagina (during insertion of a tampon or other objects)
Lot of women think that they have a yeast infection when they actually have something else. Before you start treating herself with an over the counter medicine, it is important to consult your Doctor.
Bacterial Vaginosis – this occurs when there in an imbalance in the system which causes an overgrowth of organisms such as Gardnerella vaginalis.
Possible symptoms include:
- More discharge from the vagina than normal.
- A bad “fishy” smell from the vagina.
- Itching around the vagina.
- Grey or white or milky discharge.
It is important to consult a Doctor if you notice these symptoms. Bacterial Vaginosis can be treated with homeopathic products. If it is left untreated, it can cause other serious health problems.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) – bacteria that enter the urinary tract are rapidly removed by the body before they cause symptoms. However, sometimes bacteria overcome the body’s natural defences and cause an infection. An infection in the urethra is called urethritis, a bladder infection is called cystitis and a kidney infection is called pyelonephritis.
Symptoms of the urinary tract infection include:
- A burning sensation when urinating.
- Frequent need to urinate.
- Stomach or back pain.
- Strong feeling to urinate but only little comes out.
- Dark or cloudy urine.
- Blood in urine (if this occurs see a doctor immediately).
Most UTIs are caused by bacteria that live in the bowel. Sexual activity can move microbes from the bowel or vaginal cavity to the urethral opening. However, some forms of birth control can also increase the risk of UTI.
For more information on yeast infection and Candida and treatment visit BellaWars.com