Vaginal infections are one of the most common problems that sexually mature women are faced with. While the symptoms of inflammation are very common, women usually don’t know much about them. Vaginitis, vaginosis and colpitis are different terms that describe the same condition – inflammation of the vagina. The inflammation can be caused by different microorganisms, as well as chemical or physical arousal.
A vagina that is healthy produces secretions that moisturize and maintains it clean in a similar manner to that of salivary gland function in the oral cavity. Vaginal secretion is a normal occurrence in sexually mature women and it is usually clear or a little bit whitish and when it is dried on lingerie it might appear yellow. Appearance of the secretion changes during different phases of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, changes in diet, emotional stress, taking various medications (including oral contraceptives) or during sexual arousal. The pH of the vagina is acidic and keeps it protected from infections. However, during the different phases of the menstrual cycle the acidity of the vagina is changed and it is lowest just before and during menstruation. It is in this period when most of the infections appear.
Inflammation appears due to changes in the balance between bacteria that is normally found in the vagina of a sexually mature woman and her hormonal changes. The causes that lead to an imbalance may vary: taking different drugs (for example taking antibiotics), contraceptives (both oral and local), emotional stress, sexually transmitted diseases or frequent change of sexual partners.
Vaginal infections can be noticed easily and some of the most common signs of vaginal infections are the following:
– Change of colors of secretion. It can turn yellow, greenish or a mix of both colors.
– Extended vaginal secretion with unpleasant smell
– Burning and itching sensation in the vaginal area
– Burning sensation during urination
– Pain and cramps in the lower abdomen
Keep in mind that each symptom should be taken seriously and remember that some infections have no symptoms in the early stage. Do not hesitate to take gynecological examination because the expression of symptoms of inflammation of the vagina is not always in line with the severity of the infection and the possible consequences. Only infections that are timely found can be treated easily. Infections that were not found on time, that are left untreated and/or inadequately treated can spread to other parts of the reproductive system and cause serious damage, such as partial or complete impenetrability of the ovaries. So make sure to make regular visits to a gynecologist in order to keep your health on high level. This is especially important during pregnancy because untreated infection of the vagina can lead to premature birth, low birth weight and other serious complications.
There are few steps that you can make in order to lower the risk of picking up vaginal infections:
– Wipe the intimate area from the front toward the anus
– Choose underwear made of cotton
– Do not wear tight clothing during hot days
– Use condom and practice safe sex
– Visit your gynecologist regularly