Recurring vaginal infections – that is getting the same or different types of vaginal infections like bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections every few weeks or months – can be uncomfortable for many women. However, it is important to know that there are various options for treatment and prevention of recurring vaginal infections. Here is a brief overview on how to identify common types of infections and how to manage them.
What is a vaginal infection?
Vaginal infections refer to the wide range of infections that can occur due to bacteria, fungi, and parasites growing in the vagina and vulva. These are a few of the most common types of vaginal infections:
- Bacterial vaginosis: caused by an overgrowth of bacteria naturally found in the vagina.
- Yeast infection: caused by an overgrowth of fungus in the vagina.
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs): STIs can also cause vaginal infections, such as chlamydia, herpes and gonorrhea, which are transmitted through sexual intercourse. You may contract an STI if you have unprotected sex with someone already infected with an STI.
Diagnosis and treatment
- Itchiness or soreness in or around your vagina.
- Unusual vaginal discharge – look out for changes in the texture, color, and smell of your discharge.
- Pain during sex.
- Pain during urination.
- Ulcers or warts around your vulva.
If you think you may have a vaginal infection, make sure to consult your healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Ease offers teleconsultations and delivery of treatment for yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis and STIs. You can sign up here.
How to avoid common vaginal infections
There are some things you can do to prevent common vaginal infections from occuring in the first place. For instance, even if you are already on hormonal contraceptive, using a condom with new sexual partners can prevent the transmission of any STIs. You can also test yourself and any new sexual partner(s) for STIs.
You should also avoid using any harsh soaps, shower gels, and other chemicals in your genital area, including douching. These can be harmful as they can upset the natural balance of bacteria present in your vagina. This change in environment can enable infection-causing bacteria to grow, making the vagina more susceptible to infections. You can consider using a pH balanced cleanser which will not disrupt your vagina’s natural pH levels and therefore avoid causing any infections. You can consider getting this clinically-formulated, pH balanced Probiotic Cleanser from Ease.
Ways you can manage recurring infections
First of all, if you have already been prescribed medication by your doctor to treat a vaginal infection, make sure to complete your course. You should do this even if your symptoms subside before you finish your medication. Not finishing the treatment can increase the chances of the infection recurring.
Many times, the reason an infection is recurring after completing a course of medication could be due to another underlying condition or infection. In such cases, more comprehensive testing may be required. Make sure to talk to your healthcare professional about doing more comprehensive testing––this may include STI testing, liver and kidney function testing, or a culture from a high vaginal swab. You can speak to a doctor from our medical team to determine whether you should go for further testing and which tests would be recommended for your situation.
Long term treatment
If your symptoms remain severe and frequently recurring, your doctor may suggest long term treatments such as vaginal pessary treatment––a device placed in the vagina––or repeated doses of medication.
There are many ways to prevent and manage recurring vaginal infections. If you think you may have a vaginal infection, make sure to consult your healthcare professional to treat it early on. If you have any questions, you can book a consultation with one of our licensed health professionals at any time to figure out the next steps for you.