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Vaginal Infection Tips

Bacterial Vaginosis - Factors That Can Put You In Danger!

Bacterial Vaginosis - Factors That Can Put You In Danger!

Bacterial Vaginosis is a vaginal disorder, which is caused due to a bacterial infection, and is characterized by abnormal vaginal discharges and foul vaginal odor. This is a mild disorder, which persists for only a few days and it happens when the bad vaginal bacteria outnumber the good vaginal bacteria.

The common risk factors of Bacterial Vaginosis are:

  1. Multiple sex partners: If a woman has multiple sex partners or has intercourse with a new sex partner, she may be at a higher risk of contracting the disease. This happens because frequent intercourses disrupt the balance between good and bad vaginal bacteria.
  2. Lack of good bacteria: Lactobacilli bacteria is a type of good bacteria that help to maintain an overall acidity (pH) balance of the vaginal environment. This type of bacteria is produced by the vagina itself. Thus, if there is a lack of this type of bacteria, the risk of getting bacterial vaginosis will increase tremendously.
  3. Douching: Douching refers to the activity of externalized cleaning of the vagina by rinsing it with water or some cleansing agent. The vagina is a self-regulatory organ, which can keep itself clean and there is no need to use external measures to clean the vagina.
  4. SmokingIt is a proven fact that smoking also leads to bacterial vaginosis. Smoking tends to add external harmful agents to your body, which indirectly affect the vagina by forcefully altering its acidity (pH) balance.
  5. Unprotected intercourse: Many times, sexual intercourse without a condom also leads to the disease. Under such a situation, the vagina comes in close and constant contact with external body parts of the partner and, thus, leads to the transmission of bacteria.
     

Trichomonas Vaginalis - How To Detect It?

Trichomonas Vaginalis - How To Detect It?

Trichomonas Vaginalis, a virus, which affects almost 7.4 million men and women each year. This virus can cause a sexually transmitted disease upon contact with a person who may be carrying the same. This condition is more common in women than it is in men and causes a variety of symptoms. Let us learn more about this infection.

Symptoms
This disease does not have any obvious symptoms until the problem becomes pretty severe. The symptoms for men include irritation inside the penis, discharge, and a burning sensation upon urination and ejaculation. The symptoms for women include a strong odour filled discharge that may also be greenish yellow in colour, pain in the lower abdomen in case the infection is extremely severe, itching and irritation in the vagina, and pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse.

Diagnosis
The gynaecologist or the general physician will usually carry out the diagnosis with the help of blood and urine samples that will be sent to the lab for testing. These tests will help in determining the spread and severity of the infection. The doctor will also use vaginal or urethral fluid in order to diagnose the issue with the help of further lab tests. Most doctors will tell you that it is harder to detect the presence of the virus in women, than it is in men.

Treatment
The treatment of this disease is done with the help of metronidazole, which can be used to treat trichomoniasis in case the patient is pregnant. It is usually recommended that the sexual partner of the patient should also be treated for the infection so as to stem its spread. Also, the doctors will recommend abstinence from sex for the duration of the treatment. Antibiotics will also be prescribed for both partners. Usually, one will be asked to wait for all the symptoms to disappear before becoming sexually active again.

Complications
There is a risk of contracting the HIV virus in case pregnant women do not get treated for this disease on time. It can also cause premature rupture of the various membranes that protect the foetus, which can, in turn, lead to premature delivery of the baby. Further, women who are suffering from this disease are at higher risk of passing on the HIV virus to their partners. This happens when the woman is also infected with the HIV virus.

Prevention
There are various ways to prevent this disease including the proper use of condoms and limiting the number of sexual partners. Genital inflammation and pain should be checked by a doctor immediately to rule out the possibility of this STD. Also, one must take the necessary precautions to avoid catching and spreading this disease.

 

Vaginal Vault Prolapse - How Can You Treat It?

Vaginal Vault Prolapse - How Can You Treat It?

Vaginal Vault Prolapse is the condition where the upper portion of vagina may lose its normal shape and drop or sag down into the vaginal canal or maybe even outside the vagina. This may occur after a hysterectomy or even simultaneously with uterine prolapse.

The treatment of Vaginal Vault Prolapse varies with the severity and extremity of your symptoms. Your healthcare provider may suggest medications and physical therapy to treat your condition if you feel that the prolapse is not bothersome. However, you might have to undergo surgery later if your symptoms worsen and the prolapse affects your quality of life and hinders functional ability.  You must keep in mind that usually more than one area is affected by weakness in your pelvic floor. 

The symptoms of Vaginal Vault Prolapse include backache, pelvic heaviness, bulging mass into or sometimes outside your vagina that hinders normal activities such as walking and sitting, vaginal bleeding and releasing urine involuntarily. 

Treatments:

  1. Medication: Most of the women with this condition usually go through menopause around the same time. Since the estrogen levels are severely lowered during menopause, it causes vaginal dryness. Discussing estrogen therapy with your healthcare provider is a must if you wish to remedy your vaginal dryness. Not every woman should take estrogen so it is imperative to talk to a medical expert first. Usually, women are treated with estrogens before they go into surgery.
  2. Physical therapy: Most healthcare experts recommend pelvic floor exercises as physical therapy using biofeedback so as to strengthen the specific muscles of your pelvic floor. Biofeedback is the usage of monitoring devices that contain sensors and are placed either in your rectum, vagina or on your skin. Biofeedback is very important because it tells you the strength of each muscle you are squeezing i.e. contractions, and if you are squeezing the right muscles in order to perform the exercise correctly. Long term usage of biofeedback in physical therapy leads to strengthening of your muscles and a reduction in your symptoms. 
  3. Surgery: Corrective surgery may be performed on you by the surgeon either through the abdomen or vagina. If the surgeon is performing the corrective surgery through the vagina, he will use the ligaments, which support the uterus to solve the problem.

Uterine Prolapse - How To Tackle It?

Uterine Prolapse - How To Tackle It?

The womb or the uterus is a muscular structure that is fixed in its place by the ligaments and the pelvic muscles. If these ligaments or muscles become weak or stretch, they no longer will be capable of holding the uterus, resulting in a prolapse. Uterine prolapse happens when the uterine slips or sags from its usual position into the birth canal or vagina. The main indications of uterine prolapse are recurrent bladder infections, constipation, a tug at the pelvic area, the cervix or uterus protruding out of the vagina, problems during sexual intercourse, increased discharge and vaginal bleeding.

What causes it?
1. Age is the most important reason for this condition to manifest itself.
2. A dip in the estrogen level as this hormone keeps the pelvic muscles strong.
3. Damage to the pelvic tissues and muscles due to pregnancy or during childbirth can also contribute to this condition.
4. A woman who has undergone multiple vaginal births is at an increased risk of this condition.
5. Any physical activity that exerts pressure on the pelvic muscles can also result in this disorder.
6. Chronic constipation and obesity, over time, can lead to this disorder.

How it can be treated?
1. Nonsurgical methods:

  • Shedding the extra kilos helps reduce stress from the pelvic structures. This helps to avert this disorder.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects throughout the course of the treatment.
  • Pelvic floor exercises or Kegel exercises help to build up the vaginal muscles.
  • Estrogen replacement therapy or Hormone Replacement Therapy can help relieve the symptoms of this disease.
  • Wearing a pessary (an instrument that is placed into the vagina and fits under the cervix) helps to push up and stabilize the cervix and the uterus.

2. Surgical treatments:

  • Uterine suspension- In this case, the surgeon inserts the uterus back into its former position by reattaching the pelvic ligaments by the use of surgical techniques.
  • Hysterectomy- Here, the surgeon removes either the whole or just a part of the womb.

However, such procedures should not be opted by women who plan on getting pregnant.

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Vaginal Douching - Is it Good?

Vaginal Douching - Is it Good?

Like many systems within the human body, the reproductive system is also a self maintaining one and performs many complex functions on its own. The female reproductive system is one such system and within it, the vagina is an especially good example. It is a self contained system wherein, the balance of the vaginal bacteria is maintained for proper health.

Douching:

Douching is a process that involves the cleaning out or washing of an internal cavity of a body, such as the anus or the vagina with the help of water and special nozzles. Vaginal douching has become prevalent among women, mostly due to aggressive marketing campaigns which claim that it helps to keep the vagina clean. It is estimated that in developed nations, one in four women perform douching regularly.

Is it any good?

Vaginal douching has been reviled by most medical professionals around the world. The consensus is that not only does vaginal douching have no benefits; it may also be harmful for your vagina in general. The vagina is an ecosystem wherein multiple types of organisms thrive, including bacteria and fungi. These organisms keep each other in check and maintain the health of the organ. These organisms help maintain the pH Levels (the alkaline to acidic radio) within the vagina. Douching may actually disrupt the balance and cause harm by destroying one type of micro-organisms and letting the other proliferate, thus causing infections and other problems.

Problems caused by vaginal douching

Douches, especially the ones found in the market, contain elements such as iodine, baking soda, vinegar and other chemicals that can make the delicate vaginal balance go haywire. Some of the disorders that can be caused by it are mentioned as follows:

  1. Yeast infections: This is due to the proliferation of the fungi known as ‘candida’ within the vagina. This fungus is present within the vagina, but douching can reduce the bacteria that counteract it, resulting in rapid growth. This is one of the most common infections of the vagina.
  2. Bacterial vaginosis: Similar to how yeast infections occur, in this case, harmful bacteria proliferate within the vagina. This is also a common vaginal infection and douching has been deemed as one of the leading causes for it.
  3. Pelvic inflammatory diseases: Douching pushes the bacteria of the vaginal canal into the cervix and the uterus, resulting in infections such as PID or pelvic inflammatory diseases (an infection in the reproductive organ in females).
  4. Pregnancy related problems: A myth has been floating around that if a woman performs douching after sexual intercourse, it will wash away the sperm and hence prevent her from getting pregnant. In fact, the reverse is true. Douching can often push the sperm up into the uterus causing pregnancy. Not only that, pregnancies caused in such a manner have higher chances of bearing complications such as ectopic pregnancies (a condition wherein the fertilized egg gets implanted outside one’s uterus), birth defects, etc.
  5. Irritation and vaginal dryness: Douching at the very least will result in the vagina turning dry as the natural mechanisms are disrupted. This results in irritation and itching.

Vaginismus - How To Treat It?

Vaginismus - How To Treat It?

Vaginismus is a medical condition of women where the vaginal muscles get spasm or contracted. This happens during sexual intercourse or while inserting a tampon. Vaginismus can be slightly uncomfortable or sometimes can be painful. This condition can develop at any age, some females experience it in their teens when they initiate the use of tampons while other during their first sexual intercourse. Sometimes it can develop in the later years of life, after having a normal sexual function. It can sometimes happen in certain conditions like during sexual intercourse and while using a tampon.

Causes and symptoms

The exact cause of Vaginismus is still unknown to the medical specialists but it is considered to be as a psychological condition where physical conditions can also contribute. It can develop out of anxiety, negative thoughts regarding sex, fear of sex or due to any sexual abuse or trauma in the past. Urinary tract infections and yeast can also increase the pain of women experiencing Vaginismus.

The very first symptom or sign of Vaginismus for a woman is painful sexual intercourse especially during penetration but can sometimes last even after the withdrawal or while using a tampon or during an internal pelvic examination. The pain is usually described as a tearing sensation.

Treatment

There are various ways of treating Vaginismus depending upon the cause. One should first confirm the cause of the problem which will help choose and direct the treatment options.

  • Kegel exercises help in relaxing and tightening the pelvic floor which regulates one’s vagina, bladder, and rectum. The first exercise is to stop the stream of urine while urinating. There are steps to perform this exercise:

  1. Squeeze the pelvic floor muscles till the count of 10

  2. Relax the muscles till the count of 10

One can perform this exercise anytime and as many times as possible.

  • Botox injection is a simple procedure for the treatment of vaginismus.
  • Vaginal dilators are also used to help treat Vaginismus. The dilators are inserted inside the vagina to help stretch the vaginal muscles and make them flexible. The size of the dilators can increase with time and comfort of the patient.

  • Sex therapy and counselling can also be used to treat Vaginismus especially in case of sexual fear or with past sexual trauma. During the therapy and counselling, the patients and sometimes their partners are given sex education and how their body works during sexual intercourse. Counselling may include relaxation techniques and hypnosis to help the patient feel more comfortable with sexual intercourse. Counselling and therapy can take a few sessions.

Take Away

Vaginismus is a medical condition where women experience pain in the vagina during sexual intercourse and while inserting a tampon. This problem is related to the vagina where vaginal muscles get contracted and spasm. There are a number of causes of which mainly there are psychological. Women who experience any of the symptoms of Vaginismus should immediately consult the doctor as there are treatments available for the same.

3904 people found this helpful

Vaginal Cancer - Know Types Of It!

Vaginal Cancer - Know Types Of It!

Generally identified as a rare and uncommon phenomenon, vaginal cancer most often occurs in the cells present in the outer lining of the vagina, also called the birth canal. Although primary vaginal cancer is rare and unusual, there are various other types of vaginal cancer that originate elsewhere in the body but have spread over to your vagina.

Depending upon the nature of origin, vaginal cancer can be divided into the following types:

1. Vaginal adenocarcinoma, beginning in the glandular cells on the surface of your vagina
2. Vaginal sarcoma, developing in the connective tissue cells and multiple cells lining the walls of your vagina
3. Vaginal squamous cell carcinoma, originates in the squamous cells lining the surface of the bacteria
4. Vaginal melanoma, developing in melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells in your vagina

Symptoms

As vaginal cancer progresses from one stage to the next, you may experience any one of the following signs and symptoms:

1. Diluted, watery vaginal discharge
2. Painful urination
3. Constipation
4. Odd cases of vaginal bleeding, for instance, after menopause or after intercourse
5. Formation of lumps in your vagina
6. Frequent and regular urination
7. Pelvic pain

Causes

Normally, cancer develops when healthy cells undergo genetic mutations, subsequently leading to the uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells. Cancer cells are known to break off from pre-existing tumors and can easily spread everywhere, in what is referred to as metastasize.

Beyond the natural process of development, here are a few factors which may further contribute to the growth of cancerous cells:

1. Increasing age
2. Vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia
3. Exposure  to miscarriage prevention drugs
 

2659 people found this helpful

Rectocele - How To Avert It?

Rectocele - How To Avert It?

Also known as Posterior Prolapse, Rectocele involves a weakening of the walls between the vagina and rectum, thereby, causing the rectal wall to swell and protrude into the space of the vagina. This bulging is a common, but the temporary problem that arises after childbirth. In severe cases, the swollen tissues may extend out of the vaginal opening and usually cause more discomfort than pain.

What are the most common causes of Rectocele?

  1. An upright posture places a lot of weight on the pelvic region, which is probably the most important cause for Rectocele or Posterior Prolapse.
  2. Constipation is also a very valid reason for Rectocele because it causes straining of the connective tissues that separate the vagina and the rectum.
  3. Constant heavy lifting and indiscriminate increase of body weight may also put a lot of pressure on the pelvic region that could ultimately lead to the weakening of rectal and vaginal tissues.
  4. Weakening of vaginal passageway due to pregnancy and childbirth is also a common reason for Rectocele development.
  5. Chances of developing Posterior Prolapse increases with age.

Physiological problems posed due to Rectocele:

  1. Passage of bowel becomes difficult and may sometimes require pressure on the vaginal bulge.
  2. The protrusion of tissue takes place from your vaginal opening, when you strain while passing bowel. This usually happens in people with constipation.
  3. This disorder may also induce a sensation that the bowel tract has not been fully emptied even after passing stool.
  4. Such vaginal bulging also causes difficulties and embarrassing concerns during sexual intercourse.

Medical recommendations and preventive measures to tackle Rectocele:

  1. Homemade remedies and exercise are usually effective. Performing exercises help re-tighten the pelvic muscles and tissues, thus reversing the effects of Rectocele. Vaginal pessaries or rubber rings, inserted into the vagina, can also support loose tissues and keep them in place.
  2. Surgical procedures are hardly needed in most cases of Rectocele. But if the issue is chronic, you may opt for removing the protruding tissues by surgery or strengthen the boundary between vagina and rectum by a mesh patch.

If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult.

3981 people found this helpful

Vaginal Cancer - How To Identify It?

Vaginal Cancer - How To Identify It?

Generally identified as a rare and uncommon phenomenon, vaginal cancer most often occurs in the cells present in the outer lining of the vagina, also called the birth canal. Although primary vaginal cancer is rare and unusual, there are various other types of vaginal cancer that originate elsewhere in the body but have spread over to your vagina.

Depending upon the nature of origin, vaginal cancer can be divided into the following types:

1. Vaginal adenocarcinoma, beginning in the glandular cells on the surface of your vagina
2. Vaginal sarcoma, developing in the connective tissue cells and multiple cells lining the walls of your vagina
3. Vaginal squamous cell carcinoma, originates in the squamous cells lining the surface of the bacteria
4. Vaginal melanoma, developing in melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells in your vagina

Symptoms

As vaginal cancer progresses from one stage to the next, you may experience any one of the following signs and symptoms:

1. Diluted, watery vaginal discharge
2. Painful urination
3. Constipation
4. Odd cases of vaginal bleeding, for instance, after menopause or after intercourse
5. Formation of lumps in your vagina
6. Frequent and regular urination
7. Pelvic pain

Causes

Normally, cancer develops when healthy cells undergo genetic mutations, subsequently leading to the uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells. Cancer cells are known to break off from pre-existing tumors and can easily spread everywhere, in what is referred to as metastasize.

Beyond the natural process of development, here are a few factors which may further contribute to the growth of cancerous cells:

1. Increasing age
2. Vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia
3. Exposure  to miscarriage prevention drugs
 

3888 people found this helpful

Vaginal Itching - Know Its Causes And Treatment!

Vaginal Itching - Know Its Causes And Treatment!

Vaginal itching is a condition which occurs when the vagina comes in contact with irritants or because of a vaginal infection. Menopause may also lead to conditions that trigger itching in the vagina. In some cases, sexually transmitted diseases and skin allergies also lead to vaginal itching. The conditions in itself is not a major cause of concern, however, one should consult a doctor to treat the underlying condition, if any.

Causes-

The main component of vaginal itching is the trigger, as there can be many of them. The various causes of vaginal itching are-

  1. Irritants: Vaginal contact with certain irritants can be the cause behind vaginal itching. Some common substances that irritate the vagina are:

    1. Creams

    2. Ointments

    3. Detergents

    4. Harsh soaps

    5. Topical contraceptives

    6. Scented toiletries

  2. Skin Problems: Certain skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis can result in itching and redness in the genitals. Eczema is a condition which is akin to allergies. Psoriasis is a condition which is characterized by itchy, scaly and red patches on the skin. These symptoms may slowly start spreading to the vagina.

  3. Infections in the Vagina: Infections in the vagina such as bacterial vaginosis and yeast infection can lead to vaginal itching. In addition to the vaginal itching, they can also lead to a foul smelling discharge from the vagina.

  4. Menopause: During menopause, the estrogen levels in the body dip, thus resulting in a dry vagina. A dry vagina can sometimes lead to vaginal itching.

  5. Stress: Excessive stress can lead to vaginal itching as stress affects the immune system in the body. A weakened immune system makes one prone to a number of disorders, vaginal itching being one of them.

  6. Sexually Transmitted Diseases: STDs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia are disorders, symptoms of which include itching in the vagina.

Treatments-

The treatment for vaginal itching begins with a diagnosis of the underlying condition that might be causing it in the first place. The treatment for this disorder is cause specific; hence the underlying condition needs to be identified. Antibiotics and antifungal medications may be administered to treat vaginal itching. For menopause related causes, estrogen creams or tablets are required.

You can also take preventive measures such as:

  1. Avoid using scented soaps.

  2. Use protection during sex.

  3. Wear cotton based underwear.

  4. Eat plenty of yoghurt.

3423 people found this helpful
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