Vaginal infection: Causes and preventive measures

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Vaginal infection is known to be yeast infection that causes irritation, (smelly) discharge and intense itchiness of the vagina and the vulva which comprises of the tissues at the vaginal opening.

It is important to know that vaginal discharge may not only be caused by an infection as chemicals or other materials such as hygiene products, bubble bath, laundry detergents, contraceptive foams and jellies, and synthetic underwear can also irritate the vagina and cause discharge or even discomfort.

Vaginal infections can be caused by microorganisms, but it is also possible for women to take precautions such as wearing loose, absorbent underwear so as to reduce their risk of getting infections.

Why do vaginal infections happen?

Vaginal infections occur when bacteria, funguses or other organisms grow uncontrolled.

Some of these organisms already live in the vagina and are kept at healthy levels by coexisting with other organisms.

Infectious organisms can also be introduced into the vagina by improper hygiene or unsafe sex.

How can you prevent or help it?

1. Keep the genital area clean and dry.

2. Wear loose, absorbent clothing, such as cotton or cotton-lined underpants, to allow air to circulate and to help keep the genital area dry.

3. Wipe from front to back after urinating or defecating to prevent bacteria from the anus from being moved to the vagina.

4. Practicing safe sex and limit the number of sex partners you have.

5. Use lotions or creams (including home remedies) to try to relieve the symptoms, if the infection has started manifesting.

6. See a doctor if you have a severe case.

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