Characteristics of vaginal infections

This article was endorsed by Rao Adeel - Doctor of Medicine from Hebei Medical University

What are female genital infections?

Female genital infections are infections of the vagina and vulva produced by different microorganisms.

Types of vaginal infections

Among the main infections, we have the following:

• Vulvovaginal candidiasis
• Trichomoniasis
• Vaginitis
• Bacterial vaginosis
• Vulvitis
• Genital warts
• Genital ulcers ( caused by Herpes Zoster Virus )
• Pelvic inflammatory disease
• Vaginal discharge (leucorrhea)

How do I know I have a female genital infection?

The symptoms of female genital tract infections depend on the type of infection being treated. In general, vaginal infections have fairly common symptoms . Among the main ones are the following:

  • Stinging
  • Pain in penetration
  • Vaginal redness
  • Flow that smells bad and has an unpleasant color
  • Itchiness
  • Candidiasis is characterized by a white or yellow vaginal discharge, stinging, redness, bread yeast odor
  • Trichomoniasis is characterized by vaginal discharge brownish and odor, smarting. ( Mainly intense vaginal itching and redness leads a physician to thinking trichomoniasis )

Causes of vaginal infections

Infections of the female genital tract are caused by changes in the genital flora . The genital flora protects the vagina and vulva from attack by various microorganisms. A change in the conditions of humidity and acidity of the vagina or vulva favors the development of pathogenic microorganisms that cause the infection.

Why do female genital infections occur?

The changes in pH that favor the colonization of pathogenic bacteria can be caused by different causes, such as an excess of estrogens (either from taking oral contraceptives, or due to a congested liver  that cannot purify the excess of estrogens), It can appear after treatment with antibiotics or a drop in defenses, or due to the transmission of some really aggressive microorganism, against which the body cannot fight.

Normally the treatments focus on eliminating microorganisms, as would be the case with the use of pills, ointments and vaginal ovules with antibiotic and antifungal components . However, the environment where these microorganisms grow must also be treated , that is, acidify the vagina and improve the mucosa to prevent them from colonizing again.

The microbe is nothing, the terrain is everythingClaude Bechamp

This view of treatment contrasts with the ideas typically represented by Pasteur and Bechamp . When the microorganisms were discovered, Pasteur said that “the diseases were caused by germs”, while Bechamp stressed that the medium is what favors the infection of the germ , that is, the disease produced the ideal conditions for the growth of the germs, and not the other way around. In practice, both views can be useful, but conventional medicine usually focuses on eradicating the microorganism, without looking specifically at the causes .

Types of microorganisms that can infect the vagina

Among the organisms that can cause infections in the female genital tract we have the following:

  • Fungi : Fundamentally Candida albicans , causing candidiasis. Although this fungus is part of the normal flora of the mouth, vagina and intestine, its proliferation causes very common infections. When it affects the vagina and vulva it produces redness and causes a very intense itching.
  • Bacteria : Among them, for example, Chlamydia trachomatis causing an infection called chlamydia, which is the most common infection by sexual contact in the West. If not properly treated, it can lead to so-called pelvic inflammatory disease and affect the uterus and fallopian tubes. Infections by other bacteria and by protozoa ( Trichomonas ) can also occur .
  • Viruses : Like herpes.

Why do the conditions of the vagina and vulva change?

The main causes that produce variations of the normal conditions of the female genital apparatus regarding humidity and acidity are the following:

  • Oral contraceptives : excess estrogen decreases the acidity of the vagina, which favors bacterial colonization.
  • Lowered defenses : Produced by some medical treatment or stress
  • Poor hygiene or poor hygiene in the vagina and the anal-genital area : A poor hygiene or custom of washing the year and drag hands into the vagina can lead to the development of infections vulvo -vaginales.
  • Use of unsuitable or too frequent genital hygiene products : Too frequent use of intimate soaps , spermicides, lubricants, etc. or when these products are unnatural and, consequently, highly irritating, can affect the conditions of the vagina or vulva .
  • Sexual relations : They are responsible for numerous infections of the genital apparatus, especially when the necessary precautions are not taken.
  • Retention by tampons of vaginal secretions.
  • Medications : Some medications, like antibiotics, remove protective vaginal flora that is replaced by harmful flora.
  • Hormonal changes in women : Menopause involves a change in hormones that modify the conditions of the female genital tract, favoring infections

How to prevent and treat infections of the female genital tract?

The following tips can be very effective in preventing infections of the female genital tract :

  • Wear wide garments that do not overtighten the genital area.
  • Use cotton underwear to achieve good vaginal perspiration. Silk or nylon won’t let sweat
    Maintain proper genital hygiene .
  • Try not to drag the bath sponge from the anus to the vulva at the time of the shower or washing in the videt .
  • Wash your hands well with soap and water after cleaning the anal area and before cleaning the genital area
  • Wash the genitals with ecological non-irritating products .
  • Do not abuse the genital washing.
  • Dry the genital area well : excess moisture, together with body heat, favors the development of microorganisms
  • Avoid douches : This type of douche eliminates bacteria that protect the vagina.
  • Use a condom in sexual relations.
  • Use compresses during menstruation instead of tampons
  • Eat yogourt with bifidus if you are taking antibiotics: Yogurt manages to restore the vaginal flora damaged by antibiotics
  • Taking Lactobacillus acidophilus supplements to increase vaginal flora   ( It should not be practiced without consulting your doctor )

Diagnosis of female genital infections

Before the appearance of certain symptoms that lead to the presence of an infection of the female genital tract, you should visit a doctor or specialist to make a proper diagnosis. The diagnosis of an infection of this type consists of a personal visit to the specialist, who, through a physical examination, determines the existence of the infection.

In addition to the vaginal and vulvar examination , the doctor conducts a personal interview with the affected woman in which she asks about her sexual relations, the type of vaginal hygiene she practices, whether she uses contraceptives, tampons or any medication.

For the correct diagnosis of an infection of the female genital apparatus, other analytical tests may be needed , such as blood or urine tests, mucus culture, etc.

Treatment of female genital infections

The treatment of infections of the female genital tract depends on the cause that originated the infection.

In general, creams, ointments, suppositories with bactericidal, fungicidal or anti-inflammatory properties are usually prescribed to cure these types of conditions and relieve symptoms of irritation, pain, inflammation, etc.

The natural treatment of female genital infections is based on the use of natural remedies that can prevent or remedy these types of infections.

punto rojo More information on vaginal infections

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

3 July, 2020

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