Some everyday vaginal itching is perfectly normal and may have nothing to do with a vaginal infection. That’s why it’s so important to determine the cause of the symptoms. There are different types of vaginal infections that could be the source of your itching, though each brings its own set of symptoms.
FIRST, A QUICK OVERVIEW OF YOUR VAGINA
You may be completely unaware, but your vagina is host to an entire ecosystem of living organisms – yeast and bacteria. When in balance, they live in perfect harmony causing you no distress. In fact, this happy little community helps protect you and keep you healthy. However, if the balance is disrupted by any number of things—sex, antibiotics, stress, even diet—one group can overrun the other and your vagina pays the price in the form of an infection.
One of the most common vaginal infections, yeast infections occur when there’s an overgrowth of yeast in your vagina. Yeast infection symptoms can be very uncomfortable but are usually not serious if diagnosed and treated early on. It’s important to get a diagnosis of your vaginal infection from a doctor, to make sure the treatment is right for you, and to rule out a more serious infection. The main symptom of yeast infections is itchiness, though it’s not the only one.
Signs you may have a yeast infection:
- Intense vaginal itching.
- Burning, especially during urination.
- A white vaginal discharge that may look like cottage cheese, mostly odorless.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
- Swelling and soreness in the vulva (the skin that surrounds your vagina).
Every time I’m on antibiotics, I get a yeast infection. What’s up with that?
A round of antibiotics can clear out all the good bacteria in your vagina, letting unfriendly bacteria and yeast take over. Taking an oral probiotic for vaginal health, like AZO Complete Feminine BalanceTM, helps colonize the good bacteria to help maintain your balance.*
Why did I get a yeast infection?
Repeated yeast infections can be triggered by other, less serious, illnesses or physical and mental stress, anything that may lessen your immunity. Vaginal contraceptives, menopause, damp or tight-fitting clothing and feminine hygiene products, such as sprays and deodorants, don’t necessarily cause yeast infections, but they can disrupt your vaginal balance, making your vagina all too hospitable to an overgrowth of yeast, and encouraging infection.1
BACTERIAL VAGINOSIS (BV)
Another product of an out-of-balance vaginal microbiome, bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal infection in women ages 15-44. In BV there is an overgrowth of certain bacteria causing an imbalance of the “good” and “harmful” bacteria normally found in a woman’s vagina. 1
Signs you may have bacterial vaginosis (BV):
- Thin white or gray vaginal discharge, odor, pain, itching or burning in the vagina.
- Strong fish-like odor, especially after sex.
- Burning when urinating and itching around the outside of the vagina or both.
What do I do until I can get to the doctor for vaginal infection treatment?
Yeast and other vaginal infections can only be diagnosed and treated by a professional. Different types of vaginal infections can bring on similar symptoms, but have distinct treatments. It’s important to schedule an appointment with your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment, as lack of appropriate treatment can lead to serious complications. Once you have had a yeast or vaginal infection, you may be able to recognize future symptoms and begin to relieve them with AZO Yeast® Plus until you are able to see your doctor. AZO Yeast® Plus is the leading product that provides both yeast and vaginal infection symptom relief in one convenient pill.
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1 CDC Website