Our vaginas get sick.
They just do, like any other infection in any other part of our bodies, and it’s time we stop shaming ourselves (and others) for having a vagina that’s in need of a little extra attention.
Vaginal infections can be caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs), bacteria, parasites and overgrowths of completely normal and healthy organisms that just get a little too overenthusiastic.
The good news is, these infections are common, they are treatable, and they do not make you a bad or shameful person.
The only important things you need to do are educate yourself, pay attention to the health and wellbeing of your vulva/vagina and get the right treatment.
Yeast Vaginitis (AKA Yeast Infection)
A yeast infection is simply an overgrowth of yeast (candida) that is already present (and completely 100% normal and necessary) in your vagina.
I’m sure you’ve heard that the vagina cleans itself, and that’s because it maintains a natural pH level (between 3.8 and 4.5) that kills the overgrowth of a certain amount of yeast. But sometimes, this pH level can change (diet, stress, antibiotics) and let the naturally occurring yeast overgrow and lead to a yeast infection. Usually you feel itchy, a thick white discharge and you can have some pain/discomfort with urination and intercourse.
If you are someone who suffers from regular, reoccurring yeast infections there is help! Book a strategy session with to discuss the best course of action for you.
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
BV is another overgrowth of a normal and natural bacteria in the vagina. Symptoms range anywhere from none at all to a change in discharge, itching and a fishy odor.
BV is a tricky infection. It is not 100% transmitted through sexual activity, as there are cases that recur without any sexual activity…but sexual activity is a risk factor for developing BV.
No matter where it originated, you need to get tested and treated because BV can increase your susceptibility to other STIs by messing with the flora in your vagina.
Gonorrhea and Chlamydia
Two very common, very treatable infections that are transmitted sexually.
Think of them like a sore throat for your vagina. Easy to catch from someone who already has it, and if left untreated can cause long-term consequences like infertility.
These STIs are caused by a bacteria and can present with a rage of symptoms – from none at all to painful urination, discharge and odor.
Get tested regularly!
Trich is a sexually transmitted parasite that requires treatment ASAP. Men can have trich with no symptoms, and women often experience itching and painful urination.
It is nothing to be embarrassed about!
How NOT to support your vaginal health:
When it comes to vaginal health, the most important thing is to get the right treatment. There is a lot online about home remedies and ways to treat vaginal infections that is just plain wrong. Next week we will be talking about how to keep a healthy vagina…but for now, here are the ways you should NEVER treat your vaginal symptoms:
Next week's blog is all about what you can do to keep your vagina healthy!