Vaginal infection – a roadblock to healthy sex

The presence or excess growth of yeast cells, bacteria, or viruses can cause a vaginal infection. A vaginal infection may occur when there is a change in the normal balance of organisms in your vagina.

The three most common types of vaginal infections are:

· Candida vulvovaginitis (yeast infections).
· Bacterial infections (bacterial vaginosis).
· Parasitic infections (trichomoniasis).

Common symptoms of vaginal infection include:

· Increase or change in the vaginal discharge, including gray, green, or yellow discharge.
· Vaginal redness, swelling, itching, or pain.
· Vaginal odor.
· Burning with urination.
· Pain or bleeding with sex.

Diagnosis of Vaginal infection

These causes of vaginal infection can usually be easily diagnosed by your doctor in the office using simple techniques. Often, just the history and clinical presentation is enough to conclude which type of infection it is.

Treatment for vaginal infection

Bacterial vaginosis is treated with an antibiotic taken by mouth or applied as a vaginal gel or cream. Bacterial vaginosis usually resolves in a few days but commonly recurs. If it recurs often, antibiotics may have to be taken for a long time. Propionic acid jelly may be used to make the vaginal secretions more acidic and thus discourage the growth of bacteria. For sexually transmitted diseases, both sex partners are treated at the same time to prevent reinfection.

Yeast infections are treated with antifungal drugs applied as a cream to the affected area, inserted into the vagina as a suppository, or taken by mouth. Several antifungal creams and suppositories are available without a prescription. A single dose of an antifungal drug taken by mouth is usually as effective as vaginal creams and suppositories. However, if infections recur often, several doses may be needed.