There is no doubt that the monsoons offer relief from the sweltering heat. However, the rainy season can also weaken women’s immunity, leaving them susceptible to a variety of fungal infections, including vaginal infections. “Conditions that cause infection or inflammation of the vagina are known as vaginitis. It is due to an imbalance of yeast and bacteria that normally live in the vagina. Vaginal infection affects up to 3 out of 4 women at some point in their lives. Infections can be caused by bacteria, yeast or viruses. Chemicals in soaps, sprays, or even clothing can cause irritation,” explains Dr. Geetha S, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Kauvery Hospitals (Electronic City), Bengaluru, who tells more about the common causes, symptoms and treatments of the infection.
• Bacterial vaginitis: Typically causes a strong fishy odor due to bacterial overgrowth.
• Candida or yeast infection: Overgrowth of yeast, usually seen in small amounts in the vagina
• Chlamydia: Sexually transmittable, especially if you have multiple sex partners.
• gonorrhea: Also sexually transmitted
• Trichomoniasis: A parasitic infection that is sexually transmitted
• Viral vaginitis: Caused by sexually transmitted viruses such as herpes simplex or human papilloma (HPV).
• Inflammation of the vagina can occur without infection, often due to irritation from products such as detergents, douches, scented soaps, spermicides, vaginal sprays, etc
• Low hormone levels during menopause can cause dryness and atrophic vaginitis
• Itching, burning, vaginal discharge, foul smell, painful intercourse, vaginal rash, burning when urinating, etc
• Normal vaginal discharge is usually clear or cloudy, depending on the phase of the menstrual cycle.
• Suspect vaginal infections if discharge changes color, smells different, associated with itching, swelling, pain, burning, etc .
prevent vaginal infections
• Keep the area clean and dry.
• Avoid excessive use of soap.
• Vaginal sprays and scented soaps are not recommended.
• The use of antiseptics in this area will alter the normal flora thereby increasing and therefore avoiding vaginal infections.
• Avoid the unnecessary use of antibiotics, which also alter the normal flora of the vagina.
• Immediate treatment for diabetes: Women with poorly controlled blood sugar are at higher risk of yeast infections than women with well-controlled blood sugar.
• Avoid taking over-the-counter medications, such as corticosteroids, that affect the immune system
• Douching can also cause irritation and hide or spread infection, so not recommended.
• Avoid clothing that retains heat and moisture. Nylon underwear, tight jeans, leggings, etc. can lead to infection.
• Healthy habits and lifestyle, including regular exercise, and nutritious foods containing yogurt help maintain good immunity and normal vaginal flora.
• Change out of damp and damp clothing soon after use as disease-causing organisms thrive in moist environments.
• Proper and consistent use of condoms helps prevent sexually transmitted infections. Regular screening and treatment for infection, including sexual partners, is important to prevent transmission
• Regular screening and pelvic exams, including pap smear when indicated, are important.
Also Read: 5 Effective Ways to Fight Menstrual Infections During Monsoons