Preventing Vaginitis & Yeast Infections
Most women already know that a vaginal infection can be quite uncomfortable. Naturally, it’s good to know the basics on how to avoid this pesky irritation. First, it should be noted that there are different types of vaginal infection. The two most common are Bacterial Vaginitis and the yeast infection. Luckily, myLAB Box allows you to test for both of these from the comfort of your own home. The hassle is lessening already!
Yeast infections are caused by the fungus Candida. When unchecked growth of Candida causes an imbalance in the vagina, this instigates an infection. This infection is so common that three out of four women experience at least one during their lives. Sadly, as common as yeast infections are, it isn’t even the most common vaginal infection. That title goes to bacterial vaginosis (BV). This infection is cause by an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina, when “bad” bacteria outweigh the “good” bacteria. This causes elevated PH levels in your vaginal ecosystem.
Preventing a Vaginal Infection
There are several things you can do on a day-to-day basis that will help you to avoid getting these infections. Nothing is foolproof, but these actions will help to prevent the likelihood of an infection like Candida or BV.
Avoid Scented Soaps and Douches
Scented soaps and shower gels can cause irritation. Instead, wash your genital area with unscented soap and water, or water alone. Douching isn’t helpful either. In fact, it can do more harm than good. This is because it disrupts the balance of bacteria in your vagina and encourages infection.
Use protection, but try to avoid latex condoms and spermicidal lubricants during sex. Non-allergenic condoms are a better way to prevent infection. You may also try using a female condom, as BV can occur after sex. These condoms cover the inside of your vagina during intercourse.
Choose Your Clothing Carefully
Wearing loose clothing and cotton underwear means less irritation and chafing. This also helps prevent sweat from remaining in the area without proper circulation of air in the area. In addition, thongs can transfer germs from your anus to your vagina.
Symptoms to Look Out For
Of course, getting an infection is still possible even if you take precautions. Yeast infections and BV share some similar symptoms like pain, itching and redness around the vagina and a discomfort or burning when urinating. The other similarity is that you may notice a difference in your discharge. But here’s where things start to differentiate. When you have BV, your discharge will likely be thinner, but when you have a yeast infection, discharge is thicker and its consistency is closer to cottage cheese. With BV, your discharge is thinner and can be of a grayer color, but it may also have a fishy odor that isn’t typically present with yeast infections. With all of this said, you may not recognize these subtle symptoms, or experience any symptoms at all. The only way to know for sure is to get tested.
Testing and Treatment
When it comes to your health, you don’t want to cross your fingers and hope that things get better. You want to know for sure. Luckily, there are several testing options to screen for a vaginal infection at home.
Individual tests for Yeast Infections and BV
You can test for each separately if you are experiencing symptoms or think you may have one of these infections.
It is difficult to recognize the difference between a yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis. Not only that, but several sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis, also present symptoms that are similar to these infections. Therefore, it is recommended that you test for all possible causes for your abnormal vaginal discharge. This V-Box is a combination home testing kit that screens for yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis, as well as all three of these STIs.
Fortunately, a vaginal infection is typically quite curable. Most of the time, they a short course of medication will do the trick. If you test positive for an infection with one of myLAB Box’s tests, you are entitled to a free phone consultation with a physician who can prescribe your medication. No fuss, no muss.