Vaginal infections are very common, so almost all women experience the problem at some point. Basically, this health issue is associated with inflammation in the vagina, and this is often accompanied by itching, redness and burning sensation. Vaginal discharge and strange odor are also common signs of this category of infections. It is important for you to understand vaginal infections in order to know your prevention and treatment options. Here is a brief outline of the common vaginal infections that women experience.
The common yeast infection is also known as candidiasis. It can be spread through sexual activity but in general, this is not considered to be an STI. This fungal condition is caused by a microorganism called Candida. A healthy vagina has this fungus, but it is kept in control by Lactobacillus, a bacterial species. When there are unusual conditions in the vagina or the woman has an impaired immune system, the fungus will multiply and escape the control of the good bacteria. The changes can be caused by various issues such as antibiotic use, excess sugar consumption, hormonal imbalance and pregnancy.
Most cases can be treated using suppositories, anti-fungal cream and oral medication.
The good bacteria, Lactobacilli, are crucial for vaginal health. However, the population in the vagina can become low unexpectedly, and this will result in the condition referred to as bacterial vaginosis. Generally, this infection is as a result of the bad bacteria that grow in place of Lactobacilli. However, the exact cause of these shifts is not known. The common risk factors are multiple sex partners and using a douche to clean the vagina. This infection will not cause itching or burning but you might notice a thick discharge and a fish-like odor.
The condition can be treated with antibiotic cream or oral medication.
Most common vaginal infections are not actually STIs, but trichomonas is a notable exception. This condition is caused by a parasite, as opposed to the usual bacteria, fungus or viruses. The single celled parasite is highly contagious, so it can be easily transferred from one person to another through sexual contact. Like other common vaginal infections, the affected person will experience itching, burning, swelling, unusual discharges and repulsive odors.
The condition can be treated using oral antibiotics with a high level of effectiveness.
You should note that swelling and itching in the vagina might not be necessarily infectious. This means that it could be also caused by items that you may expose to the sensitive area. Therefore, be cautious with regard to body washes, soap and scented tampons.