Thrush isn’t a bacterial infection, like the ones we’ve mentioned above. Instead, it is a yeast infection that is caused by fungus that exists naturally in the body. Around half of women have yeast growing in their vagina, but it’s mostly harmless. However, there may be certain triggers that can cause the yeast to grow too much, which leads to Thrush.
The thrush symptoms for men and women are very different. Women may experience white vaginal discharge that has a very thick consistency. You may also notice itching and irritation in the vaginal area as well as burning during sex
or when you wee.
Some common conditions or products that can cause Thrush include antibiotics, pregnancy and diabetes. Some women have to be careful about the soaps they use, while tight-fitting clothing may also be a contributory factor.
Genital Herpes is another example of an STI that isn’t caused by bacteria. Herpes is a virus and there isn’t currently a cure for it. The most common symptom is sores around the vaginal area. It’s likely that your symptoms will come and go - they may remain dormant for some time, and then flare up. These flare ups usually occur when you drink lots of alcohol, smoke or are stressed. You may be able to prevent your symptoms from worsening by trying to avoid alcohol and cigarettes completely.
If your symptoms worsen, you can speak to your doctor about options that may reduce your symptoms.
Trichomoniasis is another STI, but this type is caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. As with all STIs, it’s passed from person to person via unprotected sex. According to the NHS up to half of people don’t experience any symptoms, but you can still pass the infection onto other people.
The symptoms of Trichomoniasis are not dissimilar to those of Chlamydia, but you may also experience less frequent but heavier periods and discharge that is a yellow-green colour. Trichomoniasis can be treated with a course of antibiotics.
What causes a bacterial vaginal infection?
Most of the infections we’ve mentioned above are STIs, which means they can only be passed during sexual contact. With others, such as BV and Thrush, it can be difficult to tell how the infection started. You could make some small lifestyle changes, such as avoiding overly scented washing powder, soaps or sanitary products or tight-fitting clothes or underwear. Consult your doctor for advice if you are unsure.
Your intimate area is sensitive so you need to treat the skin gently. Avoid soaps and body washes that contain colourants or strong fragrances.
Vaginal infection symptoms
Each infection comes with its own symptoms, but we’ve included some of the most notable vaginal infection symptoms below:
● Pain when you have sex
● Pain when you wee
● Unusual discharge (thin, watery, off-white, green, yellow, or foul-smelling)
● Itchiness in or around the vagina
● Pain in your lower tummy
● Bleeding between your periods or after you have sex
● Warts or ulcers around the vulva
● Vaginal itching or soreness
Consult your doctor for advice on the best treatment for you.