Vaginal infection, also known as vaginitis, is a common infection reported in women. Statistics reveal that it affects atleast 3 out of every 4 women at some point in time. It is defined as an inflammation of the vagina that leads to discharge, foul odor and increased itching and irritation. Vaginal infections differ on the basis of the causative agent (bacteria, yeast, chlamydia, etc), with almost similar symptoms but different treatment options.
- Bacterial, fungal or other microbial infection
- Unhygienic toilet practices
- Use of public washrooms, swimming pools and other such areas.
- Excessive use of antibiotics
- Weakened immune system
- Poor eating habits (such as excessive intake of sugary foods)
- Not wearing the right undergarments
- Use of douches and perfumed feminine sprays
- Minor injury in the vagina (while wearing tampoons)
- Pregnant women and people with diabetes are at an increased risk for such infections
- Excessive use of intrauterine devices
- In case of a vaginal infection, you may experience vaginal itching, swelling around the vagina and burning sensation during urination.
- Vaginal discharge (mostly whitish grey in color)
- You may also experience soreness and redness around the vagina which may look like a rash.
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- In severe cases, you may observe changes in the color of the vaginal discharge. It may become heavier and smell differently.
- You may also notice excess of itching, high grade fever and soreness around the vagina
- In case it does not get better in 3-4 days, make sure you see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of the condition.
- Your doctor may ask you for your family history and inspect you physically. This shall provide him insights about whether you have had a sexually transmitted infection (STI) before.
- He may examine your pelvic region, vaginal walls and cervix for the external symptoms of vaginal infections. He may also recommend a few laboratory examinations.
- Depending on the diagnosis, he shall suggest a few over-the-counter medications (which may include antifungal creams, tablets and other medicines) that shall ease your symptoms.
- You may be recommended to take rest, bring in dietary changes and maintain adequate hygiene for early recovery.
- You may be recommended to include probiotics rich in Lactobacillus such as yoghurts
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