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Vaginal Discomfort, Irritation and Infection

Any condition that causes the infection or inflammation of the vagina is considered to be a vaginal infection. In medical terms, it is also known as vaginitis. There are a number of different symptoms that are associated with this and they include, vaginal discharge, burning sensation, especially when urinating, irritation and itching, vaginal odor, inflammation and pain during sexual intercourse.  

There are many causes that can bring about vaginal infection. It can be caused by different kinds of viruses, bacteria or from yeast. Another common cause of vaginitis is from the use of certain creams, soaps, sprays and in some cases, even clothing. 

The most common type of vaginal infection is caused by Candida, Bacterial vaginosis, Trichomoniasis vaginitis, and many others. Infections that are caused by the Candida albican fungus, which is also referred to as a yeast infection, may produce a vaginal discharge that is normally white in color and has a thick consistency. However, in some cases, there may be no discharge present. Other symptoms include an itchy and red vagina. Candida exists naturally in the body in small amounts. When the balance between the body’s good bacteria and the bad bacteria is upset, the yeast becomes too much, which leads to infection. This imbalance can be caused by antibiotics or certain vaginal soaps, which alter the natural balances.  

If you have been diagnosed with having a vaginal yeast infection, the treatments will include medicines in the form of suppositories or vaginal creams. These can be obtained over the counter at your local pharmacy. There is also a medicine in the form of a pill, but this may require a prescription from your doctor. To help prevent yeast infections, avoid wearing tight clothes such as jeans, or clothes that do not allow air circulation. Instead, wear clothes made from cotton, linen or silk, and which are loose fitting. Avoid douching as this can alter the PH levels, causing an imbalance that may promote the growth of Candida. Avoid wearing damp or wet clothing for long periods of time, such as bathing suits or in cases of excessive sweating. Research has also found that eating yogurt can help prevent yeast infections because it supplies the body with good bacteria that keep the natural balances. Maintain good hygiene habits and frequently wash dirty underwear in hot water. 

Bacterial vaginosis is another common type of vaginal infection, which is a combination of several different bacteria. These bacteria will start to overgrow, causing the infection to develop. It is not fully understood what triggers the bacteria to multiply. This particular infection can be sexually transmitted between two people, and while it does not pose any serious health problems for the woman, it can increase the risk of other complications to develop such as pelvic inflammatory disease. The symptoms for this include white or discolored discharge with a fishy odor, discomfort when urinating, and an itchy or sore vagina. It is important to note that these symptoms only appear in 50% of women. The other 50% will not have any symptoms and are unaware of their infection. Treatment for Bacterial vaginosis is through prescribed medications only. Medications such as metronidazole (Flagyl) and clindamycin (Cleocin) may be prescribed either as pills, vaginal gels, or creams. There are currently no known methods that can prevent Bacterial vaginosis, because it is not fully understood what causes it. However, if you are suffering from it, you should seek medical advice and avoid using douches or deodorants. This is because using these products may worsen the infection.