Everything You Need to Know About Vaginal Infections and How to Deal With Them

By: Mariam Abdelrazek

Yep. Another topic that our parents have never talked to us about because it’s one of those topics. The ones that are just not talked about and left for us to explore by ourselves through the beloved internet. Anyways, moving on, I don’t want this to be TMI but like every single girl has wondered at least once in her life if there was something wrong with her specially like when it comes to sensitive areas of our bodies like our vagina and well entire reproductive system. 

Having never been educated on the matter before, we’re always unsure as to what to do when we see or sense something weird happening in our bodies, specially if you’re a girl. You’re like, okay, is this good, is this bad, is this normal? And most importantly, what the fuck am I going to do about it? 

Now, let’s delve into our topic, shall we…

Vaginal infections. What the fuck are they? Interesting question. vaginal infections are mainly caused by bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. We’ll get into that later, right now, I’ going to list down a couple of symptoms that are present if there is any kind of vaginal inflammation – bear in mind, however, that sometimes, there are no symptoms whatsoever that can tell you that there is a vaginal infection. 

  1. Itching 
  2. A change in the amount of discharge 
  3. There is a change in the color of discharge
  4. During urination, there’s pain or any kind of burning
  5. Pain or burning during sex 
  6. Bleeding or spotting
  7. Redness 
  8. Swelling
  9. Rashes 
  10. Feeling sore 
  11. There are ulcers around the vulva 
  12. Bleeding after intercourse or between periods 

The symptoms of infection will vary due to the causes of the inflammation. For example; if you have a bacterial infection, you are most probably to have grayish-white/yellow discharge with fish-like odor – I know it’s disgusting but like bear with me. If you have yeast infections, you’re most likely to notice itching and thick white discharge that looks like cottage cheese – again, I am very sorry for the attractiveness of this. Vaginal itching and greenish-yellow discharge along with odor can mean trichomoniasis. 

I would like to remind y’all that vaginal infections are not deadly but if you want to stay ec=extra safe, here are a few symptoms that might make you want to see a doctor.

  1. If you’ve never had an infection before and you started getting symptoms. 
  2. If there are new symptoms this time that were not there before
  3. If you were treated and the symptoms are returning 

Moving on, here are a few causes as to why there might be a vaginal infection in the first place; 

  • Sexually transmitted diseases can lead to infections such as chlamydial infection or gonorrhea. The bacteria caused by these diseases can overgrow and reach the cervix and cause pelvic inflammatory disease or genital herpes leading to blisters on the vulva. 
  • Perfumed or scented soaps, feminine hygiene sprays and vaginal douching can often lead to infections. Tight-fitting clothes also don’t help the cause as they brush against your skin way too much irritating it.
  • Reduced levels of hormones after menopause or breastfeeding can lead to vaginal thinning and dryness thus, vaginal inflammation. 
  • Taking some types of antibiotics can lead to infections specially thrush. Antibiotics encourage some yeast that naturally grows in a woman’s vagina to overgrow leading to thrush. Also having uncontrolled diabetes can contribute to this. 

Okay, but how can we prevent vaginal infections? Since many common vaginal infections are caused by STDs, it is better to use methods that help you stay clear of those but that’s another article so I’m not going to list them. Avoid using scented soaps and fragrances and feminine hygiene products that might irritate your vagina or affect the bacteria that live in it. Proper hygiene is also helpful in reducing the risk of vaginal infections, as is cotton underwear as it prevents the overgrowth of bacteria. 

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