This week is Part II of vulvovaginal health.
This week's question: what are the two most common types of vaginal infections and why do I get them?
As mentioned on last week's post, the two most common vaginal infections are yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis.
So....What causes yeast infections?
Yeast infection, also called Candidiasis is caused by the fungus Candida. Candida is actually a part of the normal vaginal flora (environment) in very small amounts. However, whenever there is a shift or change in the vaginal flora this shift may alter the balance of bacteria and yeast, causing overgrowth.
What are some risks for developing yeast infections?
Some women may develop a shift in the vaginal flora after use of certain antibiotics which may kill off the normal vaginal bacteria that keeps the yeast in check. Pregnancy may also cause shifts in the vaginal flora and may cause yeast overgrowth. Certain diseases such as diabetes may also increase yeast overgrowth. Other causes of yeast infection are some vaginal hygiene products which may alter the vaginal flora causing yeast overgrowth.
Signs/Symptoms of yeast infection
1) itching outside the vagina
2) Burning or redness or swelling outside the vagina
3) Vaginal discharge that is white, lumpy and odorless.
Treatment for yeast infection
Currently there are many effective over the counter medications to treat yeast infections. However, it is important that you see or discuss with your gynecologist to ensure that you have the correct diagnosis.
What is Bacterial Vaginosis?
Bacterial Vaginosis or BV is an overgrowth of the naturally occurring vaginal bacteria, causes are similar to yeast infection.
Signs/Symptoms of BV
1) Increased runny vaginal discharge with, most often a grayish color.
2) Strong 'fishy' vaginal malodor with the discharge
Unlike yeast, itching in BV is not very common but may indicate that both yeast and bacterial overgrowth is present.
Treatment for BV
BV requires prescription antibiotics that may be taken either by mouth or as a vaginal suppository or insert.
As always if you experience any vaginal symptoms that are not within your 'norm' or have further questions regarding your vulvovaginal health, please visit your GYN today.
Until next week Gals!!