Vaginal infections can be uncomfortable and disrupt your daily activities. Understanding what they are and how to treat them can help alleviate discomfort and prevent them in the future. Vaginal infections can be caused by a number of different things, such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. Some are more common than others depending on your age and sexual activity.
Yeast infections are caused by the fungus Candida, which naturally lives in the vagina. But sometimes this fungus can overgrow and lead to an infection.
The most common symptom of a yeast infection is vaginal itching. The itching may be severe, or it may be mild. Symptoms also include redness and soreness of the vulva (the folds of skin around your vagina), a thick white discharge that looks like cottage cheese, and pain during sex.
Yeast infections are easily treated with an over-the-counter antifungal cream or liquid that you insert into your vagina, according to Dr Scott Kamelle. You’ll need to treat the infection for at least a week after your symptoms go away. If they don’t go away, talk to your doctor about other treatment options.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common condition that affects the vagina. It’s caused by an overgrowth of bacteria, which can change the vaginal environment and make it more susceptible to other infections.
Treatment for bacterial vaginosis usually involves taking antibiotics for five days. If you have pain or itching, your doctor may prescribe an antifungal medication for two weeks.
If you’re not sure whether you have bacterial vaginosis, call your Dr Scott Kamelle to discuss the symptoms and how they affect your life. Many women with bacterial vaginosis don’t realize they have it until they get pregnant because symptoms aren’t typically severe enough to cause discomfort or pain.