Not every woman is comfortable talking about her vaginal problems or the irritations she is facing. Very few women actually take care of their vagina and clean it properly on a regular basis. Vagina is naturally designed to keep itself in a good state by healthy secretions, but that does not mean that you don’t need to care for it at all. A number of bacterial and fungal infections can occur in the vagina during a woman’s lifetime and the different sexual-reproductive phases. Yeast infection is one of the common infections mostly women complain about.
Yeast infections can develop due to variety of reasons such as-
- Around or post periods
- During pregnancy
- Hormonal changes
- Birth control pills
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Consumption of antibiotics
- Vaginal sprays
Although most people think that yeast infection is prevalent only in summer, it can affect women during winter as well. Cold season calls for warm cloths like woollen leggings, tight pants and these are good as long as they don’t hurt your vagina. Anything that traps moisture and doesn’t allow it to escape can create a moist and provides platform for the yeast growth.
Knowing the symptom of yeast infection in the vagina is important to take the appropriate measures. Listed below are the most common signs women face.
- Itching in the vaginal area
- Odourless, thick and yellowish vaginal discharge
- Burning sensation during urination or intercourse
- Vaginal pain and soreness
- Redness and swelling of the vulva
It is better to approach your gynaecologist as soon as you develop these signs. If you notice foul smell in the vaginal discharge, it is crucial to consult the doctor as these can be signs of serious vaginal infections caused by bacteria or a parasite.
Although, vaginal yeast infection clears on its own, it might aggravate if proper care is not taken. Follow these steps to avoid vaginal yeast infection.
Wear right sized underwear – Wearing too tight underwear or synthetic underwear’s may increase the risk of infection. It can increase body heat and moisture in the vagina and creates environment for the yeast growth.
Avoid tight pants – Make sure your pants, tights, skirt are not too snug. They can boost body temperature and moisture around your private parts
Change your wet cloths – It is not advised to wear wet underwear or pants. Change your wet cloths after a heavy workout, swimming or after drenching in rain.
Skip scented feminine products – Avoid using scented sprays, wipes around your vagina.
Use barrier methods– use barrier methods of contraception for protection & prevention of transmission of fungal infection.
Take care of vagina during periods – Change your sanitary pads, tampons, pantyliners often
Manage your diabetes – People with high blood sugar need to control their sugar level to avoid any kind of infections
Control the use of antibiotics – Don’t pop antibiotic pills unnecessarily.
Complaints in partner– Check for similar complaints in partner and get them treated.
Preventing yeast infection is easier if proper precautions are taken. If the infection recurs, consulting the gynaecologist and taking regular medications will help in controlling the problem.
By Dr. Mukta Nadig, Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Columbia Asia Hospital Hebbal