What Are The Causes And Symptoms Of Vaginal Bacterial Infections?

 By: Dr Andrew Napier
Vaginal infections can be of many types and affect the great majority of women at some point in their lives. They are caused by bacteria, in most of the cases, but also by viruses, yeast or irritating cosmetic products. Vaginal bacterial infections are hard to differentiate from other types of infection only based on the symptoms. In most of the cases, women can't tell by themselves what type of infection they have and, in order to receive adequate treatment, it might be best to make a doctor's appointment and to let a professional establish the diagnosis.

The symptoms of vaginal bacterial infections include itching, burning, swelling, soreness and redness in the genital area. They are very upsetting and they can interfere with a woman's daily activities. Any change in the color or the consistency of the vaginal discharge also signalizes a problem. The discharge might differ, depending on the exact type of infections, but excessive discharge is definitely a problem. Sometimes a doctor recommends laboratory tests for the vagina discharge in order to establish its nature and its causes with certainty.

Bacteria vaginitis and yeast infection are the most common problems women have. Both illnesses are very much alike and in the absence of laboratory tests, they are hard to diagnose even by professionals. The reason why these two conditions appear is because the chemical balance of the vagina is disturbed and "good" bacteria can't fight the overgrowth of "bad" bacteria. Normally, both types of bacteria coexist inside our body, in harmony. When something happens and destroys the equilibrium, problems like vaginal bacterial infections might occur. Many women are faced with this illness when they are caught off-guard and their body is weakened, either because of a disease or simply because of tiredness. Douching and using scented cosmetic products for the genital area also interferes with the natural balance of vaginal bacteria.

Vaginal bacterial infections need to be treated as soon as they are noticed because their symptoms are bothering and they can also lead to complications. Complications are likely to occur in pregnant women and in women who undergo a C-section or surgical procedures like hysterectomy. Vaginal bacterial infections also increase the risk of contacting sexually transmitted diseases. The treatment is usually prescribed by the doctor and it consists of pills, creams or capsules that need to be introduced in the vagina. Symptoms ameliorate after the first couple of days, but the treatment needs to be continued for a week. The absence of the symptoms does not mean that the infection is gone and interrupting the treatment might cause a comeback.
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