Vaginal infections: what are the symptoms? – Humanitas

Women are more prone to vaginal infections especially in childbearing age, during pregnancy and more rarely in the period of menopause.

If not treated in time and specifically, these infections can lead to even serious consequences, as the infection often spreads to areas adjacent to the vagina. How do they manifest themselves and how do we intervene?

We talk about it with the doctor Claudia Triogynecologist in Humanitas.

Vaginal infections: what are the causes?

The onset of a vaginal infection is often the consequence of aalteration qualitative-quantitative than normal bacterial microflora present both in the vagina and in the intestine, which, as is known, constitute a natural and effective defense against the attack of various pathogenic microorganisms.

Infections can originate fungal, bacterial or viral.

Infections can be caused mushrooms (such as candida albicans), bacteria (gardnerella, gonococcus, staphylococcus, streptococcus), intracellular parasites (chlamydia), virus (genital herpes) And protozoa (trichomonas).

Infections can be due to different conditionshow:

  • constipation chronic (fungal or bacterial infection);
  • aPower supply excessively rich in sugars, cheeses, leavened baked products as well as fermented beverages such as beer and alcohol in general (fungal or bacterial infection);
  • taking drugs (such as antibiotics and immunosuppressants) that alter the vaginal flora and lower the body’s natural defenses (fungal or bacterial infection);
  • hormonal changes that make the vaginal environment more susceptible to infection. (fungal or bacterial infection);
  • attendance of public baths and swimming pools (fungal or bacterial infection); sweat (fungal or bacterial infection);
  • unprotected sexual intercourse (viral or chlamydial infections); inappropriate intimate hygiene (fungal or bacterial infection);
  • excessive use of tight-fitting clothing, often made of synthetic materials, especially during hot periods (fungal or bacterial infection).

Vaginal infections in childbearing age: symptoms

The main symptoms of vaginal infections are:

  • burning;
  • severe itching;
  • foul-smelling vaginal discharge and of a different consistency with respect to physiological losses;
  • bloated feeling;
  • small lacerations;
  • in some cases, blood loss.

In the presence of symptoms it is good to undergo one gynecological examination: the specialist will be able to evaluate the clinical situation and if necessary request a cervicovaginal swab thanks to which it will confirm or exclude the presence of infection by identifying the responsible pathogen so as to offer the patient the targeted therapy more appropriate.

How are vaginal infections treated?

Once the vaginal infection is ascertained, we intervene with topical therapies (creams, glow plugs or pessaries) or systemic (tablets), based on antibiotics or antifungals, depending on the contracted infection, sometimes also subjecting the partner to treatment as a precaution.

It is important to know that all infections, if neglected, could spread and involve the internal genital organs such as the uterus and salpingi. In the most serious forms, it also compromises the fertility of the woman.

In some cases, some relapsing formsthat is, infections that recur monthly, sometimes with a precise correlation with the cycle.

The pathology will be more complicated to treat, as common therapies are no longer sufficient due to the fact that they have been selected. resistant strainsand the gynecologist will have to activate a specific one.

Those who often suffer from vaginal infections, when taking antibiotics for other reasons must take probiotics to counteract the normal and consequent lowering of the vaginal defenses.

Vaginal infections in pregnancy

During the period of pregnancy the woman is more exposed to vaginal infections, in particular is prepared at vulvovaginitisdue to the hormonal changes characteristic of this period.

These infections should not be neglected, but treated promptly, as they can cause contractions and consequently premature birth.

The symptoms are:

  • denser losses;
  • itch;
  • burning;
  • more marked edema.

THE monthly checks in pregnancy, they allow the onset of any infection to be detected promptly, to carry out tests – such as swabs and / or urine cultures – and immediately begin appropriate therapy.

Vaginal infections in menopause

In menopausedue to the lack of estrogen, the vaginal flora totally changes and the walls vaginal thin. For these reasons, although more rarely, infections can sometimes appear. In menopause, the appearance of the symptom such as itching should always be investigated as it can be an expression of vaginal infections, but also of excessive dryness or other more important pathologies.

How to prevent vaginal infections?

To prevent vaginal irritation and infections, the following can help:

  • to wear cotton linen;
  • avoid excessive use of panty linersbecause the hot-humid climate favors the stagnation of vaginal secretions and the proliferation of pathogens;
  • eat in a varied and balanced way, preferring whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruit and limiting the consumption of complex carbohydrates;
  • adopt a proper intimate hygienewashing from the vagina towards the anus to prevent bacteria from passing from the anal to the vaginal area;
  • rinse the intimate area with fresh water after a swim in the sea or in the pool and in the pool avoid sitting on the edges of the pool;
  • protection in sexual relations that can be considered “at risk” through the correct use of barrier methods like the condom;
  • a timely appeal to the expert opinion of gynecologist if a vaginal infection is suspected, avoiding do-it-yourself therapies on the advice of a friend or self-prescription.

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Vaginal infections: what are the symptoms? – Humanitas

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