Different Types of Vaginal Infections and What You Can Do About Them

Are you experiencing vaginal itching, pain, or other discomfort? It could be a vaginal infection.

Medication, contraception, sexual activity, and more can make your vagina feel uncomfortable or cause changes in the smell and appearance of discharge, signaling a vaginal infection, sometimes called vaginitis. 

Most often, infections are triggered by bacteria, fungus, or irritants from soap or contraceptives. It’s tempting to self-diagnose if you experience vaginal discomfort, but vaginitis isn’t always treatable with over-the-counter remedies.

It’s better to trust your care to the experts. Farly Sejour, MD, and our team at Solace Women's Care provide comprehensive gynecological care to women of all ages. From yeast infections to sexually transmitted infections, learn more about a few of the most common types of vaginal infections and symptoms here. 

Yeast infections

Yeast infections might be the most well-known vaginal infection. A yeast infection develops because of fungus overgrowth in your vagina. The most common symptom of a yeast infection is vaginal itchiness. It’s often accompanied by increased vaginal discharge that’s thick and white in color.

There is an abundance of over-the-counter medications for yeast infections. Many women assume they have a yeast infection if they have vaginal discomfort, but these over-the-counter treatments aren’t always effective. If you’ve tried over-the-counter remedies but you’re still experiencing symptoms, make an appointment with Dr. Sejour.

Bacterial vaginosis

Your vagina naturally has bacteria. If one type of bacteria begins to grow too much, it upsets the balance. and you might develop a bacterial infection called bacterial vaginosis. It can be triggered by having several sex partners or a new partner, but it also affects women who aren’t sexually active.

A bacterial infection may make vaginal discharge gray or yellow. Sometimes, women notice that the discharge has a fishy odor, particularly after having sex.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Certain vaginal infections are transmitted through sexual intercourse. If you have unprotected sex with someone who has an STI, you can contract it. Trichomoniasis is one of the most common STIs affecting both women and men, and symptoms can mimic those of other vaginal infections.

It’s a parasite that may cause frothy, unpleasant-smelling vaginal discharge. Discharge may be greenish-yellow, gray, or white, but not everyone who has it displays symptoms.

Having one STI may put you at greater risk for contracting others, but only about 30% of people with trichomoniasis have symptoms. That’s why it’s important to get screened for STIs regularly, even if you don’t have noticeable symptoms. Talk to Dr. Sejour to learn more about STI testing that’s right for you.

Treatment for vaginal infections

It’s important to visit the doctor for an expert diagnosis if you experience vaginal discomfort, whether you’ve had a vaginal infection before or not. Seeking professional care for a vaginal infection is particularly important if your symptoms are accompanied by fever or pelvic pain. 

Common signs of vaginal infection include:

Dr. Sejour can perform a comprehensive gynecological exam to diagnose your condition. If your vaginitis is caused by an irritant in soap or contraceptive methods, we recommend different options. Other infections may require medicated creams, tablets, or gel to relieve symptoms.

Don’t ignore vaginal itching, pain, or changes in discharge. If you think you might have a vaginal infection, schedule an appointment at Solace Women’s Care. Call our Conroe, Texas, office at 936-441-7100, or you can send a message to Dr. Sejour and team here on our website.

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