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3 Top Vaginal Problems To Look Out For

Medical Health

No one likes to talk about it, but enough can’t be said of the importance of maintaining vaginal health. When things don’t feel quite right in your pelvic area, it can affect our physical health, your sex drive, and even your emotional health. If you’re experiencing vaginal discomfort, there could be a range of culprits ranging from major health issues that need addressing or smaller problems that some over-the-counter treatments can cure. But regardless of the treatment route, vaginal issues can cause us to feel insecure, embarrassed, and anxious on top of the physical discomfort.

Today, we’ll cover some of the common vaginal issues and treatment and prevention options so you know what to do when that slight itch in your groin area turns into a lingering burn and a whole lot of stress.

1. Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

Balanced levels of bacteria are important for health across the body, but especially when it comest o vaginal health. BV occurs when some bacteria grows to abnormally high levels, though it’s not clear why this kind of bacterial growth happens. What is clear, is that BV is not a sexually transmitted infection. BV can happen at any age but it mostly occurs among women who are in reproductive age, sexually active, and among women who douche regularly. BV typically leads to a strong, fishy smell especially after sex, itching, pain, unusual discharge, and pain when you pee.

BV may resolve on its own but that may take up to two weeks, which means about 14 days of unpleasant symptoms. It’s better to see your doctor for antibiotics to help clear the infection. When taking BV medicine, be sure to take it for the entire prescription window and avoid stopping treatment when symptoms clear. Often, symptoms of BV go away before the infection has been treated, and an incomplete run of the medicine may result in a return of symptoms. Strategies to prevent BV include taking vaginal health probiotics daily, avoiding soaps around or in the vagina, and wearing lose-cotton underwear. Women should avoid douching.

2. Yeast Infection

Yeast infections are another common vaginal issue with approximately 1.4 million women seeking treatment for it annually. Also known as vaginal candidiasis, yeast infections occur because of the Candida yeast. This unique fungus lives in a number of places across the body, including in the throat, gut, mouth, skin, and even in the vagina; when conditions in the vagina change to encourage an overgrowth of Candida, a yeast infection occurs. Things like a weakened immune system, certain medicines, and hormonal changes can result in a yeast infection. There is also an association between recurrent yeast infections and diabetes mellitus. If a patient is suffering from yeast infections, it is important to be screened for diabetes by a physician.

Symptoms of a yeast infection include cottage-cheese like abnormal vaginal discharge, burning during sex, pain when peeing, vaginal soreness and itching. Thankfully, yeast infections are incredibly treatable! Your doctor is likely to prescribe you antifungal medication which can clear symptoms in about 3 days though you’ll continue taking the medicine until the course is fully run.

3.  Human papilloma virus (HPV)

HPV is an incredibly common sexually-transmitted infection (STI), with 3 million reported cases each year. It’s contracted through sexual intercourse and contact. For many people, no symptoms develop and the infection can clear from the body within 2 years. For others, warts develop around the vagina, cervix, vulva, and anus. There’s currently no cure of the virus and in many cases, the warts resolve on their own, but if certain HPV strains persist over several years, the infection may cause cell changes that cause cancer. It’s highly recommended that pre-teens from nine years old get the HPV vaccine to prevent the development of HPV strains that are more likely to develop into cancer. Additionally, you can get tested for HPV at any age—early detection is key in monitoring the presence and development of the virus and help manage symptoms.

These are only a few of the vaginal problems that exist. If something feels off in your pelvic area, we highly recommend seeing your doctor right away. Your vaginal health can have a huge impact on your present emotional and mental health, physical wellbeing and future fertility! 

If you don’t have established care, we encourage you to book an appointment with one of the medical professionals at The Source; our virtual, mobile, and in-person clinics in Houston and Austin are staffed with kind, trained, and non-judgmental medical professionals who can offer you the comprehensive care you need. Click the button below to book a free appointment for a well woman exam today.


Written by:
Davina Adcock

Davina is a native of Grenada and a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. She's a content specialist with a passion for empowering women to thrive and reach their full potential. In her free time, Davina is probably painting, reading, or baking something unnecessarily sweet.

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