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The vagina is like our small baby, that needs constant attention and care. We need to analyse what is good for them & what is not just like a good mom. Vagina gets infected easily and it needs to be cured fast for a healthy living.
What is Vaginal Infection / Vaginitis?
Vaginitis or vaginal infection is a medical term that is used for unhealthy vagina. It is marked by irritation, itchiness or soreness in the vagina. Vulvovaginitis refers to a state of vulva and vagina that complains about inflammation. Vaginitis is caused by micro organisms like virus, yeast or bacteria that outgrow in number to do away with the friendly bacteria that fight them away. Vaginitis may occur due to some infectious as well as some non-infectious causes. The infection in the vagina may be caused by one or more kind of bacteria, yeast or protozoa. The causes are many and thereby the diagnosis is difficult. Some of these are sexually transmitted. It’s easy to get rid of the infection in some cases while in others it gets extremely difficult. It’s very essential to get oneself properly examined as to find out the kind of infection as well as the medication thereby. One should not adhere some home remedies and rely on self-diagnosis.
What is abnormal Vaginal Discharge?
When you are in the reproductive age vaginal discharge is normal. Although the amount of discharge changes as so does the consistency. Some may feel some discharge at the time of sexual intercourse or maybe even a kiss. But this is normal. You might see certain changes in discharge during menstrual cycles, pregnancy and sexual intercourse. A normal discharge is odourless, translucent and non-itchy and non- irritating. But a discharge that is yellowish or grey is abnormal. Abnormal discharge is also accompanied with a foul fishy smell. Such a discharge may also cause irritation, itching as well as burning sensation.
Causes of vaginal infection / vaginitis:
• Douching: when you wash your vagina, you kill those friendly bacteria present in the vagina that immunes the body against vaginal infection.
• Improper hygiene: keep your vaginal area clean and dry or else it leads to infections. Moisture accelerates the growth of yeasts.
• Improper washing after a bowel movement: Washing should be directed from the front to the back while cleaning the body after a bowel movement. This way bacteria like E.colli can be prevented from being transported to the vagina from the rectum.
• Tight clothing: Tight clothing restricts breath-ability and the vaginal skin remains moist with sweat and lack of proper air circulation.
• Non- cotton panties: when you wear Non-cotton panties they heat and moisture for longer hours and promote the growth of microorganisms.
• Hot/ humid climate: Hot and humid climate breeds more infection. The condition is apt for microorganisms to thrive.
• Increased pH: Increased pH in the vagina means reduced acidity which in turn means a decrease in the number of friendly bacteria that live in the vagina to preserve immunity. This occurs mainly during pregnancy and also before and after having a menstrual cycle due to change in the level of hormones.
• The decrease in estrogen level: Post menopausal women show the decrease in the level of estrogen. This causes thinning and drying of vaginal tissues.
• Use of perfumed toilet papers, tampons, pads etc: These may also cause vaginal infection.
• Presence of a foreign body inside the vagina: A tampon, especially a forgotten one, may cause the growth of bacteria.
• Unprotected sexual activity: This may cause sexually transmitted vaginal infection.
Symptoms of Vaginal Infection/vaginitis:
Don’t avoid if you observe any of these –
• Abnormal discharge with a bad odour as well as abnormal colour and thickness.
• Frequent and painful urination. Some may suffer from either or both of these.
• Itching around the vaginal area.
• Soreness and redness of the vagina and vulva.
• Painful sexual intercourse.
How to prevent vaginitis / vaginal infection:
Prevention is always better than cure. You will face vaginal infection at some or the other point of life but there are a few ways to which one can prevent vaginitis:
• Try to wear cotton panties that are easy to wash and quick to dry types. Avoid wearing fabrics that hold moisture and retain heat. You may wear panties fancy panties that have cotton panels inside. Avoid wearing nylon panties.
• Maintain good hygiene. Wash your panties daily and dry them in the light sun to sterilize them.
• Eat a balanced diet and introduce yoghurt in your eating habits. Yoghurt is known to prevent vaginal infection.
• Avoid douching, let those friendly bacteria clean your area and keep your body immune against vaginal infection and use of perfumed soaps, tampons, pads or vaginal sprays.
• Inculcate safe sexual habits. Use condoms for a healthier life. Wash the vagina before and after having sex and pat it dry.
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