Friday, September 8, 2017

How to avoid vaginal infection

Have you wondered why some women scratch their virgina ceaselessly? Experts say it is a sign of infection. Every woman at one time or the other must have virginal discharge. But while some are normal, others are signs of infection. Vaginal infections occur when bacteria, fungi or viruses grow in and around the vaginal area.Certain types of bacteria live naturally inside the vagina. They produce acid, which helps to fight off other bacteria, as well as viruses and fungi that don’t normally live in the vagina. Anything that lowers the acidity of the vagina can cause a vaginal infection.
Dr. Nathaniel Adewole Consultant Gyneacologist at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital says “It is normal and healthy for a woman of childbearing age to have a vaginal discharge. But some of the symptoms of a vaginal infection include unusual vaginal discharge (may be unusual in colour and smell unpleasant), irritation and soreness of the vulva (the skin around the outside of the vagina) vaginal itching.”

Vaginal infections can also be caused through unprotected sexual intercourse or skin-to-skin contact. These are known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common cause of vaginitis (vaginal infection), accounting for 50 per cent of cases. Bacterial vaginosis is caused by a change or imbalance in the types of the bacteria normally found in the vagina and causes an overgrowth of organisms such as Gardnerella vaginalis.
Risk factors include pregnancy, intrauterine device (IUD) use, and frequent douching. It is associated with sexual activity, and possibly a new sexual partner or multiple sexual partners. Women who have never had sexual intercourse are rarely affected. You do not get bacterial vaginosis from toilet seats, beddings, etc, health experts say.
Again, vaginal yeast infections are caused by a fungus, mainly by Candida albicans. This is also called candidiasis. Yeast infection can spread to other parts of the body including skin, mucous membranes and other areas.
Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of normally growing fungi in the vagina that creates unpleasant symptoms. The yeast is kept under control by normally growing bacteria in the body. If the natural balance of microorganisms is disrupted, the yeast grows out of control. It is not clear how fungal infections originate, but they are not thought to be sexually transmitted. Your own natural bacteria allow this type of infection when an imbalance occurs, possibly caused by any of these events.
Dr. Adewole  says chlamydia is the most common STI in the world. It is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, which destroys the cells of the lining of the cervix and other tissues.
Many people have chlamydia without knowing it. In women, chlamydia infection can spread to the womb (uterus), ovaries and fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease PID. Between one and four women in 10 with untreated chlamydia will get PID. PID can damage the fallopian tubes and can increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy and infertility.
Gonorrhoea is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which is passed on during unprotected sexual intercourse.
Symptoms of gonorrhoea usually appear within two weeks of infection, and may include  vaginal discharge, pain passing urine, bleeding between periods and pelvic or abdominal pain
However, half of women with gonorrhoea don’t have any symptoms. Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and trichomoniasis are transmitted by skin-to-skin contact, such as during unprotected sexual intercourse. All sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are preventable.  
Experts say you can reduce your risk of having Bacterial vaginosis (BV) by wearing cotton pants and changing them daily; not using perfumed soaps; and not using vaginal douches - they disturb the natural protective acidity of the vagina.
Dr. Adewole says diagnosis is usually made based on symptoms and results of urine tests and vaginal cultures (samples checked in the lab). “Treatment is based on the organism causing the infection. Depending on the cause of the infection, the gynaecologist will prescribe vaginal antifungal pills, or antibiotics (as pills or an injection). Treatment varies depending on which form of virginities you have, the severity of infection, duration of infection, recurrence of infection, and whether you are pregnant.”
One of the medications that can be given to a woman with vaginal infection Adewole states is antibiotic. But again, it must be recommended by the doctor. And too much of antibiotics could also cause another form of infection.

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