Vaginal infections are an extremely common problem that many women face, regardless of whether they are young or even if they are post menopausal.
The vagina is one of the most sensitive and private areas of a woman. A vaginal infection can hence be quite a distressing experience for a woman, and they may feel embarrassed to seek treatment for this.
At Ezra Clinic, we provide a discreet and private environment to ensure our female patients feel safe to discuss their medical issues to get the best treatment possible.
- 1 What are the Causes of a Vaginal Infection?
- 2 What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Vaginal Infection?
- 3 How are Vaginal Infections Diagnosed?
- 4 How are Vaginal Infections Treated?
- 5 What Happens if You Are Diagnosed With a Sexually Transmitted Infection?
- 6 How to Reduce the Risk of Recurrence of Vaginal Infections?
What are the Causes of a Vaginal Infection?
The vagina naturally has its own natural bacteria which live in it. This is present in all women, and is the normal bacteria that is found in our body. This is known as our bacteria flora.
The body also maintains a natural pH level to ensure a healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina.
Vaginal infections usually occur as a result of either or both of 2 main reasons.
A disruption in the natural pH and balance of the vaginal bacterial flora
Acquiring a bacterial or viral infection externally, usually from a sexual partner - this leads to sexually transmitted infections.
Examples of infections caused by disruption of the natural pH and balance of the vaginal bacteria include: Yeast Infections and Bacterial Vaginosis (BV).
Examples of Sexually Transmitted Infection are: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomonas, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Vaginal Infection?
Possible Signs and Symptoms Include:
It is possible that women who are having an active infection, particularly a sexually transmitted infection such as chlamydia, may be completely asymptomatic and have no symptoms at all.
Symptoms such as pain, discomfort or abnormal bleeding are more worrying signs and warrants medical attention as soon as possible.
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How are Vaginal Infections Diagnosed?
Diagnosing a vaginal infection alone just based on signs and symptoms, or the appearance of the discharge is usually inadequate.
While certain types of infections may have a more characteristic appearance to the discharge such as the cottage cheese appearance of a vaginal yeast infection, this cannot be used to make an accurate diagnosis.
This is because multiple infections usually occur at the same time, and making an assumption without testing can lead to a chance of an underlying serious infection being undiagnosed which could lead to more serious consequences later on.
We recommend doing a vaginal swab test to have an accurate diagnosis of the type of vaginal infection, so that the correct treatment can be given in a timely manner.
The doctor usually performs a vaginal examination with a speculum to examine the presence of the abnormal discharge. A swab is then inserted to gently obtain a sample of the discharge around the cervix and vagina to be sent for further testing.
How are Vaginal Infections Treated?
For the best treatment of a vaginal infection, treatment would be based on the results of the swab test and titrated accordingly.
Bacterial infections are usually treated with a course of oral antibiotics or pessaries, while fungal infections require antifungal medications.
What Happens if You Are Diagnosed With a Sexually Transmitted Infection?
If you are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection, treatment may range from getting a jab in clinic to a course of antibiotics, depending on the cause.
You will also be advised to get your partner tested as well.
Most sexually transmitted infections in the vagina are treatable, and when diagnosed in a timely manner, can be treated without further complications.
However, infections such as chlamydia are known to stay silent in the man or woman’s body for years without symptoms.
Prolonged infection with a sexually transmitted infection like chlamydia and gonorrhea can potentially spread upwards to the womb. This leads to scarring in the uterus and fallopian tubes which can cause problems like infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease.
How to Reduce the Risk of Recurrence of Vaginal Infections?
Common infections such as Yeast Infection or Bacterial Vaginosis commonly recur.
Sexually transmitted infections can also linger if not treated properly.
It is important to modify your feminine health habits to prevent and reduce the risk of recurrence of vaginal infections.
Some tips include:
Ezra Clinic specializes in diagnosing and treating vaginal infections in women, under the expertise of our female doctor, Dr Michelle Chia.
Speak to us to arrange a consultation now!
Dr Michelle Chia
After graduating from the National University of Singapore, Dr Michelle's journey allowed her to train in Women's Health and Aesthetic Medicine. Her experience has led her to be featured on multiple media platforms including Radio Stations and prominent Magazines like Her World, Women's Weekly and CLEO. Her work has also received recognition both locally and internationally in several Medical Conferences.
Ezra Clinic is a Women’s Health, Wellness and Aesthetic Clinic that is conveniently located at the top floor of Royal Square Medical Suites in Novena, Singapore’s Medical Health Hub.
Helmed by Dr Michelle Chia, Ezra Clinic is your chosen one stop clinic for all your Women’s Health and Wellness needs.
101 Irrawaddy Road #21-09, Royal Square Medical Centre, Singapore 329565