Vaginal disorders can affect women of all ages, are often linked to the presence of inflammation and vulvovaginitis, but in some cases, they can also have infections that require antibiotic therapy.
The irritation affecting the outer part of the vagina, while the infection develops within the organ and may have a mycotic origin, and bacterial infections.
Infections can therefore be caused by fungi (such as candida Albicans), by bacteria (Gardnerella, gonococcus, staphylococcus, streptococcus), by intracellular parasites (chlamydia), by viruses (genital herpes), and by protozoa (trichomonas).
The causes of infection
One of the most common causes is constipation: “Rectum and vagina are communicating and in the presence of stagnation of the feces there is a change in the pH of the vagina which weakens the defenses; this allows bacteria from the intestine to colonize the vagina itself, ”explains Dr. Zerbetto.
Other causes of infections include: unprotected and promiscuous sexual intercourse, inappropriate intimate hygiene, taking drugs such as antibiotics and immunosuppressants that alter the vaginal flora and lower the body’s natural defenses, sharing towels, attending public baths and swimming pools and hormone changes that make the vagina more susceptible to infections
In summer, some factors can increase the risk, such as sweat, contact with sand and sea water or the excessive use of tight-fitting clothes, often made of synthetic materials.
How are infections treated?
“Infections often manifest themselves as leucorrhea or whitish vaginal discharge, sometimes foul-smelling, itching, burning and pain, but they can also be asymptomatic, as in the case of chlamydia.
In case of infections, confirmed by a vaginal swab, it is necessary to eradicate the pathogen with antifungal drugs or antibiotics, these therapies prevent the problem from recurring. Relapses are common especially if only external symptoms are addressed, such as redness or itching.
There are also natural remedies, which can be combined with treatments: almond oil, which has anti-itch and soothing properties; oat-based creams, anti-reddening and anti-itching properties; borage oil, which soothes itching. It is also essential that the vagina is always lubricated and hydrated because atrophy and dryness favor the proliferation of pathogens ”, recommends the specialist.
Advice for prevention
To prevent irritation and infections, it is advisable to prefer cotton linen, moderate the use of panty liners because the hot-humid climate favors the stagnation of vaginal secretions and the proliferation of pathogens, ensure a varied and balanced diet, which favors vegetables and fruit and limit the consumption of complex carbohydrates.
It is also good to have proper intimate hygiene, perhaps asking the gynecologist for advice on the most appropriate products, washing from the vagina to the anus to avoid the passage of bacteria from the anal to the vaginal area.
Those who go to the pool (but also after a swim in the sea) should rinse the intimate area with fresh water, to eliminate residual chlorine (or salt and sand). In the pool, it is preferable not to sit on the edges of the pool.