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FAQs about BV, Yeast + Trich

What is BV?

Bacterial vaginosis, or BV is a very treatable infection caused by a change in the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina. You get BV when the normal level of one kind of bacteria, Lactobacillus, is replaced by high levels of other bacteria. The most common bacteria found in BV is Gardnerella vaginalis. The BV panel tests for multiple types of bacteria that may cause BV, including Gardnerella vaginalis, making it highly accurate.

You may get BV after having sex with a new partner or your current partner. Without treatment, BV may increase your chances of getting HIV or other STIs, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. Having BV while pregnant puts you at greater risk of delivering your baby too early.

What are symptoms of BV?

Symptoms of BV can include:

  • A thin white or gray vaginal discharge
  • Pain, itching, or burning in the vagina
  • A strong fishy odor, especially after sex
  • Burning when urinating
  • Itching around the outside of the vagina.

Many women with BV have no symptoms. But if you have symptoms, you should be tested and treated.

What is a yeast infection?

Vaginal candidiasis, or “yeast” is a fungal infection that occurs when too much yeast grows in the vagina. The overgrowth of yeast can cause itching and other irritating symptoms that get worse the longer you have the infection.

Yeast infections are not sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but it is possible to pass a yeast infection to your partner during sex. It is important for your partner to get tested and treated if there is any sign of a yeast infection.

What are symptoms of a yeast infection?

Symptoms of a yeast infection can include:

  • A thick, white vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese but has no odor
  • Itching, burning, and/or redness and swelling in and around the vagina
  • Pain during sex
  • Discomfort when urinating

Since the symptoms of a yeast infection are similar to those of BV and other sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), it may ease your worries to get tested and know for sure if you have a yeast infection. The BV panel tests for several types of yeast that cause fungal infections in the vagina.

What is Trich?

Trichomoniasis, or “trich” is a common curable STD that is caused by a tiny parasite called T. vaginalis that spreads easily during sex. The most common symptom of trich is an itchy, smelly, vaginal discharge – but only about 30% of people who get trich have any symptoms.

Having trich during pregnancy may increase the chances of giving birth too early or having a baby who is too small (less than 5.5 pounds).

A trich infection will not go away without treatment. And people who get trich can get it again after treatment. Trich can also increase the risk of getting or spreading other STIs. That’s why it’s important to get tested and to make sure your sexual partners get screened and treated if they are infected.

Trich infection is more common in women but men can get trich, too. Even if they don’t have symptoms, men can still infect their partners.

What are symptoms of Trich?

Symptoms of a trichomoniasis infection in women can include:

  • a frothy vaginal discharge that can be clear, white, yellowish or greenish with an unusual fishy odor
  • itching, burning, redness, or soreness in the vaginal area
  • discomfort when urinating

FAQs about Genital Herpes

What is Herpes?

The Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is a sexually transmitted infection that is categorized by two types of viruses: herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1, or oral herpes) and herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2, or genital herpes).  This kit tests for HSV-2 or “Genital Herpes”.

What is HSV-2?

Genital herpes, or HSV-2, is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STI) in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is actually the third most common. In fact, one in six people in the U.S. between the ages of 14 and 49 have genital herpes.

You can contract this infection through oral, anal or vaginal sex. Since it usually appears in the form of blisters or sores, it can easily be mistaken as a blemish or ingrown hair. Many times, there are no visible signs or symptoms to alert you of this infection’s presence. However, just because there are no obvious symptoms doesn’t mean that the infection isn’t there.

This is why using a herpes test kit is the most vital step of all. Not getting tested means not being diagnosed and treated. In turn, you can potentially spread the infection, and cause unnecessary health complications for yourself and others.

How does Herpes spread?

The massive infection rate is largely due to the way herpes is spread. The virus is carried in fluids that are found in easily breakable herpes sores. Having direct contact with those fluids can cause you to contract the infection. It is transmitted through vaginal, anal, or oral sex with a person who has the disease.

It’s possible to contract herpes from a sexual partner who does not have any visible sores. This is because you can get herpes simply by making contact with skin in an infected person’s genital area regardless of whether or not sores are present.

What are the symptoms of Genital Herpes?

An infected person with genital herpes, or HSV-2, may have blisters and bumps that can break and result in painful sores. During your very first outbreak, you may also display flu-like symptoms, such as fever, body aches or swollen glands.

If visible, here are some of the more common signs of an HSV-2 vaginal or pelvic infection:

  • Discomfort similar to a yeast, bacterial or bladder infection
  • Sores in or around the vagina, vulva or urethra
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Pain while urinating
  • Headaches, body aches or flu-like symptoms

Here are some of the most common symptoms of a HSV-2 penile infection:

  • Sores on or around the penis
  • Pain while urinating
  • Swelling or discomfort in the groin nodes
  • Headaches, body aches or flu-like symptoms

Most cases of genital herpes are caused by HSV-2, but if you participate in oral sex, keep in mind that the oral variety of HSV can still cause genital herpes. So it pays to test regularly and be honest with your partners.

Is there a cure for Herpes?

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for either type of herpes. Once you are infected, you are usually a carrier for life.

It’s not all bad news, though! The symptoms caused by herpes can be treated and relieved with the proper medication. These can lower the frequency of your outbreaks and relieve the pain that comes with the symptoms. Treatments can also shorten the amount of time that each outbreak lasts. Some can even make it less likely for the HSV infection to be passed on to your partner. If you have herpes, it’s best to discuss treatment options with your doctor.

How can you reduce your risk of contracting Herpes?

The only way to avoid contracting herpes is to abstain from sex. However, it is possible to reduce your risk of contracting herpes if you are sexually active. Here’s what to do:

  • Ask your partner to get tested prior to having sex with him or her.
  • Use latex condoms every time you have sex.
  • If your partner has herpes, make sure he or she takes an anti-herpes medication everyday. Avoid sex on days where your partner is experiencing symptoms of herpes, such as visible sores.

Following these tips can help you practice safe sex and drastically reduce your risk of getting herpes.

FAQs about UTI

What is a UTI?

A UTI affects the urinary system, which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The urinary system acts as the body’s drainage system by removing excess water and waste. A UTI occurs when the urinary system becomes overwhelmed with bacteria.

What are the Symptoms of a UTI?

A UTI can lead to a number of annoying or uncomfortable symptoms, including:

  • Intense urge to urinate
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Decreased amount of urine
  • Burning or painful urination
  • Mild or low-grade fever
  • Pain or pressure in your back or lower abdomen
  • Cloudy, dark, bloody, or foul-smelling urine
  • Feeling tired or weak

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to get tested to determine whether or not you have a UTI.

Who is at risk of developing a UTI?

Some people are at a higher risk of getting a UTI than others. You may be more likely to get a UTI if:

  • You have urinary system abnormalities, such as kidney stones, that interfere with the flow of urine from the kidneys to the bladder
  • You have diabetes
  • You suffer from a medical condition that requires the use of catheters
  • You are sexually active

Both men and women can get UTIs. However, UTIs are far more common in women than men. This is because a woman’s urethra is much shorter than a man’s urethra, which makes it easier for bacteria to travel to a woman’s bladder. Furthermore, a woman’s urethra is much closer to the anus and vagina, which are two of the main sources of bacteria that can cause this type of infection.

What should I do if I have a UTI?

After you complete the test at home and receive your result, follow the instructions in your kit to book a free virtual physician consultation. During this consultation, the physician will address your concerns, answer your questions, and help you understand your treatment options. If your results indicate you have a UTI, the physician can prescribe the appropriate medications during this free consultation.

If your results are negative, you may need to schedule an appointment with your personal physician. Your physician can recommend additional diagnostic testing to determine the cause of your symptoms.

How are UTIs Treated?

UTIs are bacterial infections, so they are typically treated with prescription antibiotics. Some of the most common antibiotics that are prescribed for this condition include:

  • Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim
  • Fosfomycin
  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Cephalexin

Your doctor may also prescribe a pain medication or recommend an over-the-counter pain medication to alleviate your discomfort.

Symptoms may disappear within a few days of treatment. However, this does not mean that you should stop taking the prescribed medications. Follow your doctor’s orders and take the entire course of antibiotics even if you are no longer experiencing symptoms.

How can you prevent UTIs?

There are certain steps you can take to lower your risk of getting a UTI, including:

  • Staying hydrated. Drinking six to eight glasses of water per day will help your body prevent the buildup of bacteria in your urinary system.
  • Going to the bathroom as soon as you start to feel the urge to urinate.
  • Urinating immediately after sex.
  • Wearing cotton underwear and loose fitting clothing.
  • Wiping from front to back after using the bathroom.
  • Choosing the right birth control. Diaphragms, spermicide, or condoms that are lubricated with spermicide can put you at a higher risk of getting a UTI.

Talk to your healthcare provider to learn other steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting a UTI.