You may also notice an unusual or strong odour in your vaginal discharge, or experience irregular bleeding (between periods or after sex). If you notice any unusual vaginal or menstrual symptoms or discomfort, our top team of specialists can help you get to the bottom of what’s causing it.
Causes of Vaginal Discomfort:
The causes of vaginal discomfort, or vaginitis, are usually infection, allergy or irritation, such as: Thrush, also known as yeast infection or candida.
This is a common infection, caused by an imbalance of vaginal flora; bacterial vaginosis (BV), also caused by an imbalance of bacteria, not necessarily sexually transmitted; sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, and genital herpes; perfumed soaps, bath products, washing powder or fabric softener, certain sanitary products, and even spermicide can contain ingredients that irritate the vagina; washing inside the vagina can upset the balance of health vaginal flora.
The vagina actually cleans itself with its own natural fluids; douching removes healthy bacteria in the vagina and can promote or prolong infection; having a new sexual partner can disrupt the balance of vaginal flora.
What to do next
If you have a new partner and are experiencing unusual symptoms, it is a good idea to speak to a doctor. It does not necessarily mean you have contracted an STI. In most cases, vaginitis can be treated with over-the-counter medicines or a course of antibiotics, depending on your diagnosis. Call for an appointment.
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It is always best to speak to a doctor if you notice anything out of the ordinary, or even just if you are worried about a symptom you have noticed. This is especially important if your symptoms are causing physical or emotional distress. Infections of all kinds are extremely common. There is nothing to feel embarrassed about. It is much scarier not to know about a possible infection than it is to get an accurate diagnosis and course of treatment.
Some vaginal conditions can actually be caused by washing too vigorously or using harsh soaps. The vagina cleans itself, and washing too thoroughly can actually clear it of the healthy flora that keep it in balance.
It is always best to get tested when you have a new partner, as some STIs come with only mild symptoms and a test is the only way to know for sure.