Vaginal infections are one of the most common and confusing health issues affecting women each year and yet because of the intimate nature of the conditions, many women prefer to self diagnose and self treat.
For this reason, it is important that women understand the difference in symptoms between the various types of vaginal conditions so they can be sure to use the right treatment.
Although vaginal discharge is a normal, natural part of being a woman, when it occurs in large amounts, is thicker than usual, has an offensive odor or is accompanied by other symptoms such as itching or pain, then it is definitely not normal and action needs to be taken.
So what could be causing this vaginal infection?
The main culprits are Candida
(commonly known as the yeast infection thrush) and bactorial vaginosis.
This is a negative yeast infection that starts in the digestive system and then spreads to other parts of the body, including the vagina in women. Symptoms are an itching and irritation in the vagina as well as swelling and redness of the vulva. Discomfort or pain can occur around the outside of the vagina. There may be a thick (or sometimes watery) white discharge with a burning sensation and general discomfort when urinating or during sexual intercourse.
Candida often starts when you take a course of antibiotics for other health conditions. Other reasons for an infection can be diabetes, pregnancy, a weakened immune system, poor nutrition and even birth control pills. If you are pregnant, this condition will not harm your baby. Candida Albicans is a naturally occurring yeast that is found in everybody. In ideal conditions and a balanced yeast state, Candida Albicans is controlled by the friendly bacteria Lactobacillus Acidophilus. But when this balance is disrupted, the yeast can overpopulate and cause infections.
You need to know that Candida can be dangerous if left untreated so nip it in the bud as soon as possible. The bacteria associated with a Candida infection can get into the blood stream from where it may find its way to other parts of the body leading to sore joints, chest pain, sinus problems and worse. If Candida covers your intestinal walls, it can interfere with digestion and food nutrients. This prevents the body from functioning normally and can lead to numerous health problems.
Bacterial Vaginosis or BV
This is the most common cause of vaginal discharge in women of childbearing age. The vaginal discharge when associated with bacterial vaginosis is milky or pearly grey with a strong fishy odor. With BV, there is not usually any swelling or inflammation of the vagina. It is thought that BV occurs when the delicate eco-system of the vagina is upset. The natural pH of the vagina is acidic, making it hostile to infection-causing organisms and bacteria. Those same organisms called Lactobacilli help to keep the pH at the right level but using antibiotics, soaps and even having sex can leave the vagina more alkaline which in turn encourages bacterial growth. Douching, stress and smoking do not help the situation.
As with Candida, BV should not be left untreated as, in some cases, it can have a serious effect on women’s reproductive health.
The good news is that it is easy to self treat both Candida and bacterial vaginosis with a healing natural oils product available to order online and safe and gentle to use 3 times a day in the comfort and privacy of your own home. The formula is absorbed directly into the blood stream. Continue treatment until all signs of the condition have disappeared. At the same time, take Acidophilus (which is easily obtained at any health food store or pharmacy).
If you are suffering from either of these vaginal infections, make some adjustments to your diet
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat natural plain yogurt
- Avoid wheat, dairy and sugar products for the duration of the treatment.
It can also be helpful to bathe in warm salty water to relieve any itching and aid recovery.
Prevention is always best so follow these guidelines to prevent the condition in the first place
- Wash and thoroughly dry the genital area at least once a day avoiding perfumed and colored soaps, bubble baths and vaginal hygiene products.
- Wipe with fragrant-free toilet paper from front to back after a bowel movement.
- Do not wear tight, synthetic clothes or underwear (pure cotton is best) and avoid the use of tampons if you are prone to these infections as the organism thrives in warm, moist, dark places.
- Use the healing natural oil product during a course of antibiotics as a preventative.
Men, who may not be infected, are known to be carriers of Candida
Some vaginal infections are transmitted through sexual contact. So if you think this is possible in your case, your partner should undergo treatment at the same time to avoid re-infection. If your partner has obvious symptoms of a yeast infection on his penis such as redness, itchiness and soreness of the foreskin and head of the penis, then he should start treatment immediately. Your partner can also use the same healing natural oils product.
This might seem obvious, but all sexual activity should be avoided until both partners are completely clear of any infection.