Your intimate area is the most delicate parts of your body, there you can produce bacteria, fungi and viruses, if you do not have the proper care. The vaginal infections they develop easily, but luckily, for every malaise there is a remedy fast that can make you feel better in a short time.
The vagina is one of the areas of the body of the woman with the greatest amount of microorganisms . All of them coexist in a normal equilibrium and this ecosystem is necessary for the health of the woman and, at the time, even for the health of the babies. When giving birth through the vagina, the immune system of babies is activated, their body is colonized by the bacteria of the mother and begins a process of adaptation and defense necessary for the health of the baby outside the uterus (of the womb).
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This balance can easily be altered and that is when abnormal conditions in the vagina are generated and therefore, possible diseases. Some of them can also be acquired from intimate relationships, I mean infections or diseases of sexual transmission . Some of the vaginal infections include: candidiasis or moniliasis, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, papilloma human (HPV), herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
Some may be caused by sexual contact as I mentioned, others by wearing tight clothing, abusing sugar and processed meals in the diet, by douching or by using antibiotics (which change the vaginal flora) , for lack of hygiene or for the use of synthetic fabrics in the genital area.
In this column we will discuss the vaginal infections caused:
For the fungi: Candida Albicans (candidiasis)
For bacteria: Gardnerella vaginalis (bacterial vaginosis)
For the parasites : Trichomonas vaginalis (trichomoniasis)
The symptoms that cause vaginal infections are usually flow or secretions of various colors and smells (the darker the color and the more intense the smells, it may be something more serious). They usually come accompanied by color changes, redness, burning or pain, dryness, discomfort during urination and having sex (there may even be bleeding).
It is very important that if you have any of these symptoms make an appointment with your gynecologist to check you up, do a study to determine what you have (such as a vaginal culture, for example) and give you the treatment you need.
It is important that you do not have sexual intercourse while you have the vaginal infection , that you be very careful with your intimate hygiene, but that you avoid douching because in addition to further altering your vaginal flora, these could cause the infection to spread to other areas of your genitals or, even reach the pelvis and that cause more serious problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease.
By the way, vaginitis refers to the inflammation of the vagina. It can be caused by bacteria, fungi, parasites or viruses, as well as by irritations generated by chemicals, fabrics, sexual contact, hormones, antibiotics, contraceptives, douching and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
This infection is caused by an overgrowth of fungi in the vagina (Candida Albicans). The symptoms are typically: burning, irritation, itching, redness and there may be inflammation of the vulva with pain. and the vaginal discharge is white, odorless and looks like cottage cheese. It is the most common vaginal infections and therefore the easiest to cure. In fact, to treat it, there are many medications that do not require a prescription (ointments and ovules against the fungus). About 75% of women suffer from it sometime in their life.
There is no problem in using any of these products that are sold without a prescription, if you are fully sure that a vaginal yeast infection or mild candidiasis is treated. But, you should not self-medicate: if you are pregnant, if you have diabetes, if you are having these discomforts frequently (4 times a year or more), you have immunological problems (that is, if your defense system is weak), either because you have HIV or for some medicine you take for some other medical problem, or if you are not sure if what you have is a vaginal yeast infection. In all these cases you must visit the doctor.
To treat candida infections, medications such as: isoconazole, clotrimazole, miconazole, terconazole or fluconazole are usually used. Monitor your symptoms very well and check that they really improve once you use the medicines. Some of them are taken and others are applied externally or inserted into the vagina. If your symptoms are not removed, consult your doctor because it could be something else.
We have some studies about alternative therapies for the treatment of vaginal yeast infection. Among them are the boric acid in suppository that seems that it could help in some cases, but that can irritate the skin and that is toxic if ingested. Unfortunately, there are no well-designed studies.
Another one that is frequently used is natural yogurt (without sugar) either inside the vagina or ingested. The one that contains live lactobacillus (which can also be consumed in capsules). Some women say that eating a cup of this type of yogurt daily for 6 months can reduce the incidence of vaginal yeast infections as long as it actually contains live acidophilus lactobacilli.
Several women have reported good results using this type of yogurt, however, studies have not yet been conducted with a group of control women that corroborate this finding. Some studies have shown that it is effective in reducing candida cultures and that they help reduce symptoms, but others have not been able to confirm or obtain the same results. So its efficacy is uncertain and experts do not recommend it until it is verified scientifically.
Other remedies that some women use despite the lack of scientific evidence of their effectiveness include, for example: creams or sitz baths with tea tree (a tea tree) a species native to Australia the aborigines used as a natural antibiotic since ancient times . They use it externally for fungal infection like candidiasis. However, there are no large-scale studies, nor proven, that endorse their effectiveness. More research is needed in this regard.
They have also used garlic, supposedly to treat fungi and to strengthen the immune system. Its efficacy in topical use (and in this case, internal, within the vagina) has not been scientifically proven. In addition garlic could interact with some medications and even cause allergic reactions. It is important that you consult your doctor before using it.
As for prevention: avoid showers; avoid wearing tight clothes in that area; try to wear cotton clothes and avoid synthetic fabrics to avoid moisture; take off your swimsuit and exercise clothes as soon as you can: do not use feminine pads, tampons or scented soaps; Avoid hot tub baths; try to control your diabetes
Bacterial vaginosis is the most common cause of vaginitis, it happens when the bacteria that normally inhabit the vagina become unbalanced and some of them (like Gardnerella vaginalis) grow in excess. It is common to appear when an intrauterine device (IUD) is used, there has been risky sexual contact or you are pregnant.
Hygiene is very important, if you have been diagnosed with this or any other vaginal infection. However, there are women who choose to douch with vinegar and doctors do not recommend it because they say that the vagina is made to cleanse itself and external agents (such as soaps, perfumes and in this case, vinegar) can Alter the bacteria that keep the vaginal flora healthy.
The symptoms of bacterial vaginosis is a thin, grayish vaginal discharge from a fishy smell, especially after having sex. There could be vaginal itching and burning when urinating. However, some women do not have any symptoms.
Sometimes, women think they have a fungal infection due to itching, but when they do not respond to treatment they go to the doctor and he or she tells them that their vaginal infection is bacterial vaginosis. Sometimes, they seek professional help for the bad smell. It is important to treat it because it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease if it is not treated and this can lead to sterility. Any infection increases the risk of you contracting another sexually transmitted disease and if you are pregnant, it is associated with low birth weight babies and premature births.
Bacterial vaginosis can be treated with metronidazole (oral or gel) or clindamycin cream and some clinical research shows that certain strains of lactobacilli (gasseri and rhamnosis) could help in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis when applied inside the vagina. The male partner does not require treatment but if it could be transmitted from woman to woman, so the female couple should be checked to determine if they have the bacteria and if so, that they receive treatment.
To prevent it, avoid showers, perfumes and soap on the outside. If you have several sexual partners, use a condom.
Currently there is no scientific evidence of any alternative or complementary treatment that helps the treatment of bacterial vaginosis.
Vaginal infection with Trichomonas vaginalis is transmitted through sexual contact and is caused by a parasite. It is transmitted in both men and women and in us it is established in the vagina. It can be prevented by taking precautions in relation to sex (using a condom correctly) and if you have been diagnosed your partner should also be reviewed.
It is very common, but only 30% of infected people develop symptoms. It is not transmitted to other areas of the body such as mouth, anus or hands and even if you do not have symptoms, it can continue to be transmitted.
Symptoms include: clear discharge that may be clear, white, yellowish or greenish, of a different smell, burning, redness, pain, itching, discomfort when urinating and having sex. If left untreated it can be prolonged for months or even years. What happens is that the symptoms may be intermittent, if they occur. In pregnant women it can cause premature births and low passing babies.
It is diagnosed with a laboratory test and is usually treated with antibiotics (such as metronidazole). It should be taken by the infected woman, as well as by her partner or partners and avoid sexual contact during the treatment. Once you can have sex again, protect yourself with a condom because you can contract it again.
Currently there is no scientific evidence of any alternative or complementary treatment that helps the treatment of trichomoniasis.