Vaginal Infections






30 mins

Female having pain due to vaginal infection


A vaginal infection is an inflammation of the vagina causing a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. The main types of vaginitis are thrush, vaginitis, bacterial vaginosis, chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis (STIs).

Even a slight infection can cause unpleasant symptoms and discomfort. Make an appointment to speak to a member of our team as soon as you notice anything out of the ordinary. We are available six days a week, with female doctors available where preferred. Give us a call or use our online booking system.


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Common Vaginal Infections

Thrush is a common fungal infection. Symptoms include thin and watery, or thick and white (‘cottage cheese’) discharge. Other symptoms include intense itchiness and pain around the vagina. The discharge from thrush does not have a strong odour but may smell yeasty (like bread or beer).

Vaginitis is a term to describe any inflammation, soreness, or swelling of the vagina. Some symptoms that often accompany vaginitis include abnormal discharge, irritation, itching, bleeding mid-cycle, or dyspareunia (painful intercourse). If it is bacterial, vaginitis can be caused by thrush, bacterial vaginosis, or chemical irritation from soaps, spermicides, or douching.

Bacterial vaginosis is an extremely common condition in which the natural pH of the vagina becomes disrupted. In many cases, the only symptom will be a change in your discharge. BV discharge is white or greyish coloured and has a strong fishy smell, which may be more intense after sexual intercourse. BV does not usually cause itching or irritation.

Vaginitis & general vaginal health

Treatment for vaginitis depends on what is causing it, with fungal infections treated with antifungal creams and tablets, and bacterial infections treated with antibiotics. In general, some things you can do to help improve your vaginitis and to maintain your vaginal health in general include:

  • Keeping your genital area clean and dry – take a warm bath rather than a hot one and use plain, unperfumed soap to clean your genital area (the vagina cleans itself with natural secretions); dry yourself thoroughly
  • Avoiding douching (spraying water inside your vagina) – it may make your vaginitis symptoms worse, by removing the healthy bacteria that line the vagina and help keep it free from infection
  • Not using feminine hygiene products – such as sprays, deodorants or powders
  • Using pads rather than tampons if you have an infection
  • Wearing loose-fitting cotton underwear – don’t wear underwear at night while you sleep

Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis

These three infections are sexually transmitted. Each presents with different symptoms and in some cases you may be asymptomatic even though you are carrying the infection. See our symptoms and sexual health pages for more information.


Bacterial infections of the vagina are usually caused by something that upsets the balance of the bacteria that exists normally in the vagina. The bacteria the is found in a healthy vagina is there to protect and keep it healthy. The main functions of healthy vaginal bacteria are:

• To outnumber any potential bad bacteria that enter the vagina
• To regulate the pH of the vagina and keep it within a healthy range (around 4.5, which is slightly acidic)
• To produce natural antibiotics where necessary to kill bad bacteria
• Produce a lubricant that prevents unwanted bacteria from settling in the vaginal wall

How To Book A Private Doctor Appointment?

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Use our online booking engine or book your test by giving us a call.

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You will be seen by one of our friendly doctors or trained clinicians.


Avoid using any products that could alter the natural environment of the vagina. This includes avoiding douching, using vaginal deodorants, or applying any medicated creams or ointments unless prescribed by a doctor.

During the test

The testing process involves a physical examination and the collection of a sample from the vagina. This can be done using a swab, which is gently inserted into the vagina to collect cells or discharge for analysis. The process is quick and usually causes minimal discomfort. The doctor will also discuss any symptoms you’re experiencing to better understand your condition.

The laboratory analysis will determine if there is an infection and, if so, identify its nature, whether it’s bacterial, fungal, or related to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis. You will be notified of the results and your doctor will discuss appropriate treatment options based on the findings.

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