Vaginal infections are caused by micro organisms – bacteria, viruses and fungus. Vaginal infections are one of the most common infections to the women in our world. More than 80% women get these infections.

The common vaginal infections include:

• Vaginal candidiasis (yeast infections)
• Bacterial vaginosis
• Chlamydial infection
• Trichomoniasis
• Viral vaginitis
• Non-infectious vaginitis

The symptoms include:

Vaginal candidiasis (yeast infections) – Thick, white and dumpy discharge, itching, sometimes burning, redness and swelling of the genital area

Bacterial vaginosis – Itching, irritation, a thin, white or grey cloudy discharge with a fishy odour which may become stronger during menstruation or after sexual intercourse

Chlamydial infection – It is a sexually transmitted form of vaginitis. Many women have no symptoms. Vaginal discharge is only sometimes present. Pain the lower abdomen, pelvis or the light bleeding after sexual intercourse may also be the symptoms

Trichomoniasis - Itching, sores, greenish yellow, frothy and fishy-smelling discharge. Often there is pain during sexual intercourse and urination

Viral vaginitis – Herpes virus and the humanpapilloma virus (HPV) are sexually transmitted virusus which cause vaginitis. In herpes infection pain associated with sores are normal. HPV can cause genital warts in vulva, vagina, and rectum or in groin.

Non-infectious vaginitis – Women can have vaginal itching, burning and vaginal discharge without having an infection. This may be because of irritation from vaginal sprays, douches or spermicides. It may also be an allergic reaction from perfumed soaps, detergents or any other chemicals. Decreased amount of hormones in menopause can cause this problem. Removal of ovaries can also cause the problems of vaginal itching, burning and pain during sexual intercourse.

The majority of the vaginal infections are caused by the excess bad bacteria. If the balance between good and bad bacteria is disturbed it can result vaginal infection. Sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy and menopause are common causes, but we should not forget stress, hygiene articles and the bad food can also be the causes. Cortisone-based medicines, pregnancy, diabetes and oral contraceptives may cause yeast infections.

There are many simple ways to help to prevent vaginal infections include:

• Healthy food
• Less stress
• Enough physical activity
• Comfortable cotton underclothes
• Good hygiene practices
• No perfumed soaps and bath additives
• After bath the genital and vaginal areas must be dried off quickly
• After a bowel movement it should be wiped from the front to the back
• Antibiotics can kill not only the bad bacteria but also the good bacteria and so very careful with these drugs. Never take more or longer than your doctor’s prescription.

If there is an infection it is always better to go to your doctor. He can do the diagnosis. Ask him the traditional methods for the cure to change the vaginal pH etc. If nothing helps he can give you the right medicine.

In this connection we must know about vulvitis and bartholinitis. Vulvitis is the inflammation of the vulva. It may result from allergic reactions with perfumed soaps, textiles, sprays or even from bubble bath. Skin disorders and other infection may cause vulvitis.

Bartholinitis is the infection of one or both glands. The ducts of the glands can also be infected. Pus can accumulate in the gland resulting pain and abscess. In all the cases a visit to your doctor is necessary.