Chronic vaginal infections can be painful and embarrassing. The most common vaginal infections are yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. Read on to learn how to treat vaginal discomfort.
Many women mistake bacterial vaginosis for a yeast infection. In truth, bacterial vaginosis is more common than yeast infections. The symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are just a little different from those of a yeast infection. They include:
Treatment for bacterial vaginosis consists of antibiotics. Unfortunately, there are no approved over-the-counter treatments for BV. Some women swear by home remedies such as folic acid tablets and acidophilus capsules.
Yeast infections occur when there is too much yeast in the vagina. Yeast infections also cause itching and burning, redness and irritation, and an unusual vaginal discharge. Yeast infections, however, are marked by a thick, white, cottage cheese-like discharge. A yeast infection can be treated with antifungal creams, tablets or suppositories.
A woman can experience a yeast infection whether she is sexually active or not. Bacterial vaginosis generally occurs in sexually active women. Wearing loose cotton underwear and keeping your vaginal area clean and dry will help prevent future infections of both types. Make sure to change out of wet bathing suits and sweaty gym clothes immediately. Cleaning up after sex and avoiding certain lubricants also helps keep you infection-free. Some lubricants are hypo-allergenic and perfect for women who are prone to vaginal infections.
If you find you have uncomfortable vaginal irritation, and you've never experienced it before, consult your doctor before you attempt to treat it. Treating a bacterial infection as a yeast infection can cause more harm than good (and vice versa).