TYPES OF VAGINAL INFECTIONS

Types of vaginal infections

Nearly all women have suffered the consequences of a vaginal infection at least once in their life and they know how unpleasant and painful it can get. The symptoms include: abnormal vaginal discharge in terms of colour, density and smell, burning during urination, pain and inflammation of the area surrounding the vagina and discomfort during sexual intercourse, among others.

The principal causes of vaginitis or vulvovaginitis are certain living organisms like bacteria, fungi or virus, as well as external agents, such as feminine hygiene products or spermicide.

These are the most common types of vaginal infections:

Infectious vaginitis

Chlamydia infection

This disease is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis (Clamidia) and in the majority of cases, it is asymptomatic, making its diagnosis difficult. The most common signs are:

  • Secretions of a whitish tone, with an odour different from the usual
  • Bleeding
  • Pain.

It is very important to see your doctor, because if you let the infection advance, it may harm female reproductive organs and cause infertility.

Bacterial vaginosis

In this case, we are dealing with more obvious symptoms, such as thin, white or greyish discharge with a “fishy” vaginal odour. It can also be accompanied by itching in the area outside the vagina and burning during urination.

Vaginal candidiasis

This name derives from a fungus that causes it, candida albicans, which is naturally present in the body. The problem arises when it starts growing massively due to changes in vaginal acidity. Candidiasis is one of the most common and unpleasant infections because the symptoms may become irritating to the point of being hard to bare. Those include swelling, not to mention itching and burning in the vulva area. The vaginal discharge has a whitish-yellowish tone and it is thicker than normal, like cottage cheese.

Vaginitis trichomoniasis

The most characteristic symptom, apart from the burning and itching of the vagina, is a yellowish or greenish discharge with a smell of mould. Both members of the couple should undergo the treatment with antibiotics in order to prevent the infection from reappearing.

Non-infectious vaginitis

It is the inflammation of the vagina and vulva (vulvovaginitis) caused by the use of spermicidal products, sprays, vaginal douches, wearing tight clothing or lack of hygiene.
All these factors provoke an allergic reaction which includes:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Excess discharge.

Even girls before reaching puberty may be affected by this type of discomfort.

It may also occur during menopause, due to a decrease in hormones. This situation may cause vaginal dryness, resulting in pain or burning during intercourse. To treat it, a doctor can prescribe oestrogen lubricants, which heal the area and help to relieve the pain.

Women who have any of these symptoms should see their gynaecologist for them to conduct an examination and diagnose this type of infection affecting the patient on time. This way, the most effective treatment or a series of hygiene-related recommendations will be prescribed to prevent the infection from reappearing.

Possible types of vaginal infections

Infectious vaginitis

 Chlamydia infection

Symptoms:

  • Whitish secretions
  • Odour
  • Bleeding
  • Pain
  • Caution! It may harm reproductive organs and cause infertility.

Bacterial vaginosis

Symptoms:

  • Weak discharge
  • Whitish or greyish secretions
  • Odour
  • Itching in the external area
  • Burning during urination

Vaginal candidiasis

Symptoms:

  • Irritation
  • Swelling
  • Itching or burning in the vulva area
  • Yellowish, thick discharge

Viral vaginitis

Symptoms:

  • Symptoms of the herpes simplex virus (HSV)Vulva ulcers
  • Symptoms of the human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Genital warts (surgical intervention or chemical treatment)

Vaginitis trichomoniasis (requires antibiotics)

Symptoms:

  • Yellowish or greenish secretions
  • Smell of mould
  • Burning and itching

Non-infectious vaginitis

Symptoms:

  • Inflammation of the vagina and the vulva
  • Pelvic pain
  • Itching and burning
  • Excess discharge

Causes:

  • The use of spermicidal products, sprays, vaginal douches
  • Tight clothing
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Dryness due to menopause

 

TYPES OF VAGINAL INFECTIONS