Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a mild infection caused by bacteria. Normally, there are a lot of “good” bacteria and some “bad” bacteria in the vagina. The good types help control the growth of the bad types. In women with BV, the balance is not in equilibrium when there are not enough good bacteria and too many bad bacteria. It may go away after a few days or may potentially lead to more serious problems.
- The most common symptom is a smelly vaginal discharge
- It may look grayish white or yellow
- Another sign of BV is a “fishy” smell
BV usually does not cause other health problems, but depending on circumstances it can potentially lead to serious problems:
- If you have it when you are pregnant, it increases the risk of miscarriage, early (preterm) delivery, and uterine infection after pregnancy.
- If you have it when you have a pelvic procedure such as a C-section, an abortion, or a hysterectomy, you are more likely to get a pelvic infection.
- If you have it and are exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (including HIV), then you will be more likely to catch the infection.
Yeast Infections are a common infection and are not usually serious. It usually occurs when there are too many yeast cells growing in the vagina. When there is an imbalance of good and bad bacteria, yeast can grow too much and cause symptoms.
Some reasons that can lead to an imbalance include:
- Taking antibiotics
- High estrogen levels caused by pregnancy or hormone therapy
- Certain health problems like diabetes, or HIV
- Itchiness and soreness of the vagina
- Sometimes pain or burning when urinating or during sex
- Sometimes also thick, clumpy, white discharge that has no order and looks like cottage cheese
Menopause can occur in 2 ways:
1. As a natural part of aging (women commonly experience it between the ages of 40 and 58)
2. As a result of a complete hysterectomy
After menopause, a woman’s estrogen production declines.
Lower estrogen levels can cause the vaginal walls to become thin and inflamed, causing uncomfortable symptoms leading to Vaginal Atrophy.
- Vaginal Dryness
- Pain and bleeding during intercourse
- Vaginal irritation
- Vaginal Soreness
- Itching in and around the vagina
- Painful urination