Basics of Vaginal Infections

The signs of a potential vaginal infection might include an abnormal odor with an increase of discharge, a burning sensation while urinating, heavy yellowish or greenish discharge, white and clumpy discharge (i.e. like cottage type cheese), or itching round the vaginal opening.

Infections tend to be more common whenever a woman has a new partner or has multiple sexual partners. By using condoms consistently in a new relationship, infections may be prevented. Based on the type of infection, both partners may need treatment, even if they don’t have symptoms.

There are lots of infections which can be identified and treated on a trip to our office.

MONILIA/VULVOVAGINAL CANDIDIASIS (VVC) or “Yeast Infection”

Cause: Yeast is really a fungus (genus Candida) found everywhere, including the healthy vagina. Women who are pregnant as well as those with diabetes may be at risk of vaginal yeast infections, as may women on antibiotics and Contraceptives.

Symptoms: Itching, burning as well as white, cottage cheese-like discharge could be present when there is an overgrowth from the yeast.

Diagnosis: The existence of a vaginal “yeast infection” is usually diagnosed by simple visualization in the vaginal area by a skilled clinician or by collecting the discharge and sending it to a lab for evaluation.

Treatment: A “yeast infection” may be treated with a vaginal cream, vaginal suppository, or a prescription for an oral medication.

TRICHOMONAS VAGINALIS or “Trich”

Cause: A small protozoan parasite, which may infect the vagina, urethera, or rectum. Infection is practically always acquired through sexual transmission, whether or not the exposure happened months or perhaps in previous years.

Symptoms: A persistent, frothy, thin, greenish discharge with itching and irritation from the vaginal area. A unique odor as well as pain while urinating and/or intercourse can also be present. However, infection can be asymptomatic in roughly 50% of females.

Diagnosis: The existence of the protozoan parasite can be detected with a swab collecting discharge from your vagina.

Treatment: The most common treatment solutions are via an antibiotic called Metronidazole or “Flagyl”, that is only obtainable by written prescription from your doctor. Additionally, it is necessary for sexual partners to get treated, even though they do not possess active signs of the problem.

BACTERIAL VAGINOSIS or “BV”

Cause: Overgrowth of ordinary bacteria within the vagina. BV can be required through intercourse, but frequently is not related to sexually activity. Many women who have never had intercourse have BV.

Symptoms: Can include yellowish or green, persistent, foul-smelling (fishy) discharge, with vaginal itching and occasional pain with intercourse and/or urination. However, some women can experience no symptoms despite being infected.

Diagnosis: Based on both physical exam findings, patient symptoms, and a lab test of the vaginal discharge.

Treatment: Usually an oral or vaginal antibiotic including Metronidazole or Clindamycin. If you suspect a vaginal infection do NOT douche as douching can spread the infection throughout your reproductive system.

For those who have questions or perhaps wish to make a scheduled appointment, please contact us at 928-733-6291.