Vaginal Infection – Is it an STD?

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woman on beach thinking about STDs

 

Common Types of Vaginal Infections

Vaginal infections are also referred as “vaginitis” in the medical profession. The most common infections of the vagina are: chlamydia vaginitis, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, genital herpes, genital warts, yeast infections, and bacterial vaginosis. You could have an infection without any symptoms. You could even have more than one infection simultaneously. Hence, it is wise to always ask for the doctor’s help to figure out what’s going on so you could and receive the right treatment.

Chlamydia trachomatis or chlamydia vaginitis is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. It is an infection that causes inflammation of the vagina. This type of infection is mostly diagnosed in young women with multiple partners. Each individual may experience a different set of symptoms.

“Symptoms of chlamydia in women” include but not limited to:

  • pus in the urine,

  • pain during urinating,

  • bleeding after intercourse,

  • abdominal pain, and

  • swelling of the labia.

While some women have a heavy, putrid discharge excretion, some do not. Chlamydia vaginitis can spread to the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.  If left untreated, pelvic inflammatory disease will follow, which only lessens a woman’s chances in fertility. While Chlamydia produces a fair amount of damage in fertility, it also increases the risks of getting chronic pelvic pain, pelvic adhesions, and ectopic pregnancy.

Gonorrhea is another contagious infection passed on during unprotected sex and is caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria. Likewise, it can also spread by contact with bodily fluids containing the bacteria. It causes infections not only in the genital area but also in the throat and rectum. Often it is termed as the “drip”. Gonorrhea carries the same symptoms Chlamydia does, plus anal itching and painful bowel movements. It also brings the same tragic consequences if left untreated such as ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and long-term abdominal pain. Gonorrhea can also be life-threatening once it spreads and reaches to your blood and joints.

Another common vaginal infection is the trichomoniasis. It is caused by the Trichomonas vaginalis parasite. You get it through sexual contact with an infected partner. Symptoms are just as bad as gonorrhea and chlamydia, with a much worse frothy, green, putrid excretion of the vagina. Trichomoniasis are associated with high risks of premature labor or delivering a low birth-weight baby, transmission and infection of HIV. Without cure, trichomoniasis could lead to cervical cancer as well.

Genital herpes is an infection characterized by itching and painful blisters surrounding the genital area. These blisters will eventually burst, turn into open wounds and scab. It is a sexually transmissible infection brought by the herpes simplex virus or HSV. The herpes simplex virus are divided into two forms: HSV1 and HSV2. HSV1 is mostly found on the lips and around the mouth while HSV2 occurs mostly in the genital area, anus, thighs, and buttocks. Once you obtain genital herpes, you will have it for good. There is no cure for genital herpes; medication can somehow alleviate the severity of the symptoms and the rate of recurrence. The virus could go abeyant for a while, but recurrences are likely to arrive as soon as the infected undergoes stress, illness, sexual activity, and menstruation.

Genital warts, like herpes, is an incurable infection. Flesh-colored warts appearing anywhere in your body are caused by the human papilloma virus. Alongside warts, this infection also causes bleeding during sex, foul discharge, itching, and dampness of the genitals.  Genital warts also increases your risk of developing cervical cancer.

Excreting vaginal discharge is a vital thing for a healthy, mature woman in her childbearing age; though the color and amount can vary due to menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or sexual excitement.

It doesn’t have to smell or make you itch, but if you notice an unpleasant odor, then that’s likely a problem. Once you have caught an infection, the unpleasant smell is also accompanied with itching, burning, and swelling of your vagina. Having sexual intercourse can only make symptoms worse. If you are sexually active, the more you must obligate yourself to approach your doctor and get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Such diseases if neglected, can lead to permanent damage to your reproductive organs or complicate other health issues. Likewise, you could pass it unto another through sexual contact.

Yeast Infection or Bacterial Vaginosis?

Infection in the vagina aren’t always caused by a sexually transmitted disease. There are certain organisms residing in the vagina. Bacteria play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy vagina by producing acids that fight against infection and keeping yeast in check. It is crucial to maintain the normal pH level in the vagina; however, several factors such as stress and hormonal changes can disrupt the natural flora. Douche sprays and soaps that are supposed to clean the genital area can also serve as culprits of a vaginal infection. Once the acid levels in the vagina are altered, the bacteria living inside the vagina will act abnormally and start an infection.

On one hand, a vaginal yeast infection results from an abnormal amount of yeast grown inside your vagina that is caused by the Candida albicans fungus. Pregnancy, medications, diabetes, obesity, stress, unhealthy lifestyle, poor hygiene, and tight clothing are just a few of the many factors that could throw off the balance between the microorganisms that dwells within your body. When your discharge appears to be like cottage cheese, then you are most likely having a yeast infection. Itching and burning are two other symptoms as well. Yeast infection also applies to other sorts of candidiasis: thrush, an oral yeast infection of the mouth; cutaneous candidiasis, infection of the skin; and invasive candidiasis, an infection of the bloodstream.

Similar to a vaginal yeast infection, a bacterial vaginosis takes place when the bacteria residing in the vagina breed into extremely large numbers, upsetting the natural balance of vaginal bacteria. It is triggered by allergic reactions from contraception, perfumed soaps, etc. This type of infection causes your vagina to produce an unpleasant smell. If neglected, bacterial vaginosis could develop a pelvic inflammatory disease and interferes in pregnancy and childbirth.

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