Vaginal infections are incredibly common.

In fact, they are so very common that most women will experience an infection at some point in their life. Because of how prevalent vaginal infections are, here at University Park Obstetrics and Gynecology, we believe that women need to know what they are, what can cause them and how to prevent them. That’s why we’ve set out to provide you with all of the information you need to know about vaginal infections in this blog series.

The Most Common Vaginal Infections

Yeast Infections

Yeast infections are, by far, the most common type of vaginal infection women suffer from. These infections are caused by a fungus called Candida. Candida is natural-occurring throughout the body in small numbers, and it doesn’t typically cause trouble. However, when conditions are prime, the fungus can quickly multiply, leading to a yeast infection. Symptoms include thick, white vaginal discharge, redness of the vulva and itching.

Trichomonas Vaginitis

Trichomonas vaginitis is a vaginal infection that is sexually transmitted. Trichomonas vaginitis comes from a sexually transmitted disease, called trich. Trich is caused by a parasite, called Trichomonas vaginalis, which is passed through intercourse from partner to partner. The symptoms of trichomonas vaginitis are similar to many other vaginal infections, and they include irritation, swelling and redness of the vulva, a greenish or yellowish discharge and a fishy odor. Some women have also complained of pain during urination.

Bacterial Vaginosis

The vagina is home to many different bacteria, many of which are friendly bacteria, called lactobacilli. Sometimes, the number of lactobacilli gets too low, and they are replaced with a bacteria that can cause infection, called gardnerella, which can lead to bacterial vaginosis. Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include white or thick discharge, or discharge that is clear and slippery. You may also notice a fishy odor, particularly during intercourse. However, you probably won’t experience the burning or itching that you do with other vaginal infections.

Viral Vaginitis

In addition to bacteria and yeast causing vaginal infections, some infections are caused by viruses. These infections are called viral vaginitis, and they are typically spread through sexual contact. One of the most common examples of viral vaginitis is the herpes simplex virus. Symptoms include sores or lesions in the genital area, which can be painful. Sometimes, you’ll be able to see these sores, but they can also be hidden, and only spotted during an examination by your doctor.

Knowing what the most common forms of vaginal infections are is just the first step toward living a healthier, happier lifestyle. In our next blog, we’ll be going over the most common causes of vaginal infections, as well as what you can do to prevent them. Make sure that you stay tuned for our next blog to learn more, but in the meantime, if you’re suffering from a vaginal infection, don’t wait to get the treatment you need. Our OBGYN in Bradenton is experienced, dedicated to your health and can help you find relief from any vaginal infection. Schedule your appointment today!