Facts About Common Vaginal Infections

These are the more common gynecologic complaints: Genital warts, vaginal discharge and genital ulcers or lesions. Vaginal discharge often results from vaginal infection or vaginitis and is generally caused by bacteria, trichomonas (inducing a sexually transmitted disease called trichomia-sis), or commonly known as fungal/yeast infection. Vaginal discharges can be bothersome because most are smelly and annoyingly itchy. What worsens it is that women frequently scratch and wash infected areas using hot water to relieve symptoms. These practices only leave secondary bacterial infections to kick in.

Nonspecific vaginitis or bacterial vaginosis is more common, hitting fifty percent of the afflicted. The discharge gives off a “fishy” odor. Trichomiasis is described by excess “frothy” discharge. The patient experiences wetness. Because it is sexually conveyed, male partners should be treated to avoid recurrence. Fungal infection is a disease of adult female during their reproductive years. Apart from extreme itchiness, the discharge is likened to “cottage cheese.” It hits more frequently during pregnancy, or if a woman has a disease like diabetes mellitus.

Other highly infectious ailments are gonorrhea and chlamydia. Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (typically called “the clap”) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhea. Chlamydia infection is among the more common sexually transmitted infections worldwide. The bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis is found only in humans. Immediate consultation with a certified doctor is a must do. A vaginal discharge, particularly if it comes with abdominal pain, urinary symptoms, or fever may indicate a graver pelvic infection which demands urgent medical treatment– maybe even hospitalization. It can also be conveyed from pregnant women to their babies during birth. Prompt therapy could prevent complications like the shaping of a pelvic abscess, infertility and a subsequent ectopic pregnancy. The male sexual partner should be treated likewise.

A virus associated with cervical cancer causes genital warts. They are sexually transferred and extremely contagious having 25-65% of sexual partners acquiring the infection. Infected people are generally between ages 15-25. The warts come one by one or in a cluster and vary from pinhead in size to big cauliflower-like lumps. Pregnant women having genital warts must look for treatment since unborn babies could be affected. Treatment is done by direct excision or cauterization. The most common genital lesions or ulcers come together with herpes simplex, a recurring STD. 75% of sexual partners of affected individuals also get the disease. Most of those affected are those between ages 15-35. Treatment used is acyclovir, an antiviral drug.

These are just some of the health issues affecting women. Always remember that it is better to seek the advice of the OB-Gyne rather than suffer the consequences in the future.

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