If a doctor accused you of doing unsanitary things to cause your infections that doesn’t have to be true. You may have noticed other strange symptoms, like reactions to foods and drinks, mood changes, extreme fatigue, a foggy lack of concentration, depression and many other symptoms during a vaginal flare up. If a doctor told you they have nothing to do with each other he was wrong. The odds are most of what you suspected on your own about the whole subject of your vaginal infections is true. Lets first understand what is normal and what is not
It is considered normal for a small amount of white or grayish semi-solid material to be passed from the vaginal opening. This is the result of the normal breakdown and repair of cells in the cervix and the vagina. A watery or mucous like secretion from the cervix should occur in response to sexual stimulation. During ovulation the discharge may be bloodied. This is normal.
A white, creamy white or yellow mucous like discharge indicates an infection in either the vagina, cervix, endocervix or endometrium. The discharge may be frothy and cottage cheese like in the case of many yeast type infections. A very foul discharge is common in bacterial infections, or when tampons or contraceptive devices are left neglected. A watery mucousless discharge sometimes occurs in malignancy of the upper genital tract or from radiation therapy. Sometimes it can be caused by abnormal narrowing of the cervix or endocervix.
During childhood or after menopause the vaginal mucus is thin and lacks proper amounts of friendly bacteria which inhibit the growth of the infection causing bacteria. Also, the mucous lining carries an immune boosting substance which protects us from infections. If this was all there was to the story women in their active reproduction years would not be plagued with vaginal infections.
In adults, the vaginal discharge is mostly caused by an infection in the lower reproductive tract. Trichomonas, candida, Gardnenella, E-coli, staphylococci, streptococci and intestinal parasites are common causes. Other venereal infections may also cause the problem. Lower estrogen levels have been known to promote the growth of streptococci, staphylococci, coil form bacilli and diphtheroids all can cause chronic vaginal infections.
Candida infection is very common today. Years ago it was thought to occur in only diabetic and pregnant women. However, due to the incorrect treatment of vaginal yeast infections with antibiotics, cortisone and due to oral contraceptives which stimulate the overgrowth of yeasts, Candida has risen to be a household word. It is also called monilia.
It may begin with an external itching, redness or swelling of the vulva. At times, burning and pain can be so bad as to interfere with walking. A whitish, non bloody discharge, either light or heavy, watery to cottage cheese-like is common. It will smell like vinegar or yeast. Pain during intercourse is a very common sign. If you had it chronically, the symptoms will worsen 1 week to 10 days prior menses.
Candida is a sneaky organism. While it is a yeast, it can change forms and become a fungus. As a fungus it grows into a plant like structure, digging into your cells to find food. Women have described it as having plants growing in there.
In the fungus form it is sometimes less noticeable but will cause hundreds of symptoms not generally thought of as being connected to a yeast infection. In the yeast form it is easier to control. Antibiotics may reduce the infections for a short time only to have it come back with a vengeance.
Many doctors have failed to diagnose candida due to the fact that it often is found with other bacteria. When candida is present other infection causing bacteria have been known to grow and cause infections. Studies show that injecting animals with small amounts of candida along with small amounts of staph or strep will cause a huge infection. When animals are given much larger doses of staph or strep with no candida, infections or symptoms were much less. This may have happened to you. If so, proper diagnosis was missed. The medical profession is so lost on how to handle your problem that on television we now see ads for creams and other anti-yeast medication. This is their way of trying to cope with the floods of women who are not permanently helped.
Vagina care and treatment
Vagina treatment precautions
Do not self-treat a vaginal yeast infection if you:
- Are pregnant.
- Are not sure your symptoms are caused by a vaginal yeast infection. If you have never been diagnosed with a vaginal yeast infection, see your doctor before treating it with a nonprescription antifungal cream.
- Sometimes women think they have a vaginal yeast infection when symptoms are caused by a different condition, such as bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
- Have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (STI), which would require a medical exam
- Are having a recurrent infection.
Smelly vagina: symptoms, causes and prevention
One of the worst problems a woman can face is a smelly vagina. Each woman has a scent or odor, but the odor of a healthy vagina is not as noticeable as that which indicates a problem, leading to a smelly vagina. Please continue reading to find if your vagina smell is a problem or not, and what to do if so.
Why does vagina smell?
An odor or fishy smell from the vagina can be caused by a bacterial infection. Some causes of these bacterial infections include: yeast infections and sexually transmitted diseases. Symptoms of these infections may include: itching, burning, discharge; these symptoms could be caused by a serious problem, which immediate treatment should be sought. On the other hand, there are less serious causes of a smelly vagina such as: constricting clothing, product containing harsh chemicals, and poor hygiene, which all can cause a smelly vagina.
If your vagina smells and the cause is not that of an infection, adjustments to your wardrobe may eliminate the odor. First, you will not be surprised to find that tight fitting under garments made of materials such as vinyl, leather and spandex are a poor choice to wear on one of the most sensitive spots on your body. In order to allow your vagina to breath and avoid a smelly vagina, wearing underwear such as cotton that are a more relaxed fit will be your best choice.
Avoid products with harsh chemicals
There are several products that come in contact with your vagina daily. Some of these products may contain chemicals that are too harsh for that sensitive area on your body. The most common can be the most surprising those created and used in order to mask an unpleasant odor. Some of these products include scented pads, pantyliners, tampons, and toilet paper. Although these products are designed to make you feel “fresher”, they however, irritate your vagina. Thus, your vagina smells more intensely and more foul odor. The best way to avoid irritation, increasing your vagina smell is to use regular, unscented, white feminine and hygiene products.
Practice good hygiene
Through the use of good hygiene you can neutralize, if not eliminate the foul odor. A good practice is to simply wash daily with an additive-free, gentle soap. Also, one thought to remember is that using a douche can cause an imbalance in the pH levels of your vagina, so use with caution to avoid a smelly vagina.
Techniques for prevention
The maintenance of your vaginal health is as simple as that of maintaining your overall physical health. Maintaining a healthy diet, along with exercise will keep your body and vagina feeling healthy. As well as, practicing safe sex, like using a condom will significantly reduce your chances of getting a sexually transmitted infection. By following a strict vegetarian diet, you will be able to avoid issues causing a smelly vagina.
What is bacterial vaginosis
The term bacterial vaginosis is an excessive growth of bacteria in the vagina. The symptoms can vary depending on the extent of the infection. The amount of discharge will increase, thus leading to a vagina smell. It is vital to the health of your vagina that you get a diagnosis and begin treating the bacterial vaginosis immediately.
The infection can be recurring for some women, and it can be rather often as much as a monthly issue or as few times as couple a year. The bacterial vaginosis can be spread from woman to woman, but generally not woman to man. It is important that the bacterial vaginosis is treated as soon as symptoms emerge. In most of the cases, the bacterial vaginosis is caused due to having numerous sex partners, apart from keeping the area unclean.
In most cases, bacterial vaginosis is not debilitating, women often experience feeling dirty, having a fishy odor or bad vagina smell. These symptoms can often cause a woman to feel self-conscious and lead to a lack of intimacy, or even lead to other health problems. Thus, why it is pertinent that the infection is treated immediately after symptoms arise; and although in most cases the physiological repercussions are minor, the experience can leave a woman emotionally and psychologically devastated.
Even though bacterial vaginosis is not a dangerous infection, it however, can reduce the body’s immunity to sexually transmitted infections. For this reason along with discomfort, it is advised that treatment be sought. Also after a hysterectomy or other vaginal surgery, problems may emerge. Therefore, it is important that the problem be properly diagnosed before being treated, which can only be performed by a licensed professional or physician. If attempted on your own, you may be self-diagnosing the wrong problem such as a yeast infection. If you are pregnant it is possible to contract bacterial vaginosis, any change in discharge or vagina smells, seek immediate consultation from your physician.
The goal is to rid the infection and keep it away, avoiding any future infections, and to prevent any worry of odors during sex or after vaginal surgery, never again worrying about vagina smells. Ayurvedic home remedies can he of huge help.
Vaginal yeast infection
As you know now, yeast infection is a common vaginal infection that affects three out of four women at some point in their lives. The infection is so common that women can get it more than once in their lifetime. Suffering from a genital infection can be very uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing. To reduce a woman’s susceptibility to vaginal infections, it is important to know the factors increasing the risk of yeast infection in women. Yeast infection is a treatable condition but it has the tendency to recur and so a woman must understand what triggers yeast infection in order to stop it from developing.
Yeast infection is mainly caused by the overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans. Candida is naturally present in the vagina but normally do not cause any problem if kept in check. Good bacteria keeps the Candida fungus under control. If the natural balance of microorganisms in the vagina is disturbed, infection is more likely to occur. The natural balance of vaginal bacteria can be disturbed by many factors. These factors increase the risk of yeast infection in women. So what are these factors?
Factors for vaginal yeast infection
Women are more prone to thrush or yeast infection when they are pregnant. The changes in the vagina’s environment due to increased level of estrogen and the production of more glycogen ( a form of sugar) during pregnancy makes it favorable for the yeast fungus to flourish thus increasing the risk of yeast infection in womenwho are pregnant. Although having yeast infection won’t harm the unborn child, self-medication could endanger your pregnancy. Pregnant women should not take anti-thrush medications on their own. It is best to consult your doctor than buying over-the-counter medicines.
The use of antibiotics are usually prescribed by doctors to kill the bacteria causing infections. Taking antibiotics increases the risk of yeast infection in women. Why? Because antibiotics attacks not only the bad bacteria but also the good bacteria that fights the overgrowth of yeast fungus. When the bacterial balance of the vagina is disturbed and yeast fungus overgrowth occurs, yeast infection is more likely to happen. If you are experiencing yeast infection while taking antibiotics, talk to your doctor. There must be alternative medicines to address your health issues without causing yeast infection.
Weakened immune system
Impaired immune system can increase the risk of yeast infection in women. When one’s immune system is weak, it is hard to fight diseases and infections. A person is more prone to infections if the immune system is not strong enough to fight the bacteria or viruses causing the infection. Lack of sleep, malnutrition and stress are some of the factors affecting one’s immune system. To reduce the risk of yeast infection in women, they need to live a healthy lifestyle to boost their immune system. People whose immunity is compromised like those who have HIV, diabetes and cancer treatment are also more prone to yeast infection.
Although yeast infection is not a sexually transmitted disease, one’s sexual activity can increase the risk of yeast infection in women. The vagina is a sensitive part of the body and it is susceptible to any kind of vaginal infection and irritation during sexual activities so it is better to practice safe sex. Practice proper vaginal hygiene especially after sex. Avoid lazy sleep after excessive sex – wash it off, clean and then take rest.
Too much sugar in your diet
Yeast feeds on sugar so the more sugar you take the more food you provide for the yeast to grow faster. If your diet is usually high in sugar, you are giving yeast a happy feast. Most people would think that a high sugar diet is only from sweets like cakes and chocolates but a diet high in carbohydrates is also a culprit since carbohydrates are converted to sugar once broken down by the body. Fruit sugar called fructose can also boost your blood sugar level. Any diet that can increase one’s blood sugar increases the risk of yeast infection in women.
Scented feminine hygiene products
Yeast infection occurs when the natural pH of the vagina is disturbed and one factor that can disturb the natural environment of the vagina is by using scented feminine hygiene products like scented sanitary pads, toilet paper, vaginal deodorant or sprays and soaps. Even the laundry soap and fabric conditioners you used to wash your underwear can contribute to the changes in your vaginal environment leading to infections.
Yeast loves airless, warm and moist environment and if you are wearing underwear that promotes sweating like those made from synthetic materials, you are giving yeast a favorable breeding environment. Constricting clothing like tight-fitting pants can also cause sweating so wear loose pants or skirts to allow air circulation around the vagina. Create a breathable environment for your vagina to stop yeast from growing.
Ayurvedic home remedies to treat all types of vaginal infections
Lactobacillus acidophilus, a “friendly” strain of bacteria present in yogurt, can control the growth of infection in the body. For treating a yeast infection, only use plain, unsweetened yogurt.
- You can externally apply plain yogurt on the affected skin area and let it sit for at least 20 to 30 minutes, or preferebly overnight. This will help relieve the itching sensation.
- For a vaginal yeast infection, dip a tampon in yogurt and then insert it in the vagina for two hours. Do this twice a day.
- Also include yogurt in your diet plan.
2. Apple cider vinegar
This is very easily and common available ingredient and vinegar helps in maintaining the PH balance of the vagina. Instead of white vinegar apple cider vinegar is more better and some people go for douching though it is not recommendable,as it pushes the bacteria inside the vagina. The best way is take lukewarm water and few drops of apple cedar vinegar and have a bath with it. In emergency vinegar is not available you can use lemons by simply squeezing 3-4 of them in the water.
This is the cheapest option.You need to have a chlorophyll and put few drops of it in water. Also hydrogen peroxide can be used which is widely available and works best for treating bacteria and fungus.Just put few drops in water and take bath with it. Doing it for few days make you smell nice.
4. Excessive sweating
Some people smells bad due to excessive sweating and this leads to growth of bacteria. Though the market is flooded with lot of powder to stop precipitating, but still if that don’t works for you take cornstarch and rub it in your vagina as this will soak the excessive moisture and feel you better. Instead of white cornstarch go for brown cornstarch.
Garlic is a marvelous edible bulb belonging to lilly family. This has anti-fungal properties and make you love your body. With so many amazing health benefits of garlic this also helps in treating odd vagina odor. All you need to do is take garlic clove and boil it in water.Then use that water to wash your vagina with this.Doing this for 2-3 times a day make you get rid of the smell.
6. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has effective antifungal properties that can kill the fungi responsible for yeast infections.
- Externally apply coconut oil on the affected areas three times a day.
- You can also make a mixture of equal amounts of coconut oil and cinnamon oil. Apply it on the affected skin area to control the growth of the infection.
- In case of oral thrush, swish the oil in your mouth for five to 10 minutes. You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil or cinnamon oil and then use. Do not swallow. Do this at least three times a day.
7. Fenugreek seeds (methi)
Most women love this for its properties and this helps in treating fishy smell also. This is very easily available and all you need to do is,have a regular consumption of these seeds as it will help in hormonal balance and make your PH level balanced. Soak few fenugreek seeds in water and early morning drink this water on empty stomach. Make sure you don’t have enough of it as fenugreek seeds also upsets your stomach,so do it carefully.
8. Cotton lingerie
I known how much you love your silk and satin underwear’s,but they cause itchiness and rashes on the skin.Moreover bacteria grows faster and it is always advisable to go for cotton underwear. Always change your underwear after 12 hours and frequently change your sanitary pads and tampons too.whenever washing your lingerie wash in lukewarm water with antiseptic (like dettol) .
9. Indian gooseberry
This is easily available in India,also known as Amla. Just add these to you diet or you can boil them in water and then use them for bathing. This helps in treating the odor and make you smell nice. You can also have cranberries in your diet as they also help in treating the odor. As this is rich in vitamin C,so helps to fight fungus and bacteria. Try other citric fruits also.
10. Baking soda
This is mainly used in cakes,but who knows this can also get you rid of the vaginal odor. All you need to this make a paste of it with water and wash your vagina with this. This helps in balancing the PH and kills the bacteria.So for instant effect try this out.
Water is best remedy for all problems. This helps in getting toxins out of your body and keeps your body hydrated. At least have 7-8 glasses of water daily and this will keep your body hydrated. Don’t drink more than this water as this will make kidneys to work more.
12. Indian neem leaves
The medicinal characteristics of neem are known to Indians from ancient times, several millennials, and have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Neem water also purifies the blood. Take few neem leaves and boil it in water. Then use this water for bathing. This will get you rid of the vagina smell, make your skin clear and cure acne too.
13. Indian elaichi (green cardamon)
This is known for its amazing smelling power and people love to have elachi tea. All you have to do is just take few of it and boil in water. Then use that water for washing your vagina and this will make you smell amazing.
How do you take care of vagina?
What are some tips for vulvar care?
What types of vaginal infections are there, how to prevent them?
There are 100’s of relevant questions of vagina care asked by women.
We have listed here the best things you can do to take care of your vagina and vulva.