Vaginal yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis

Vulvovaginitis is an inflammation of the vulva and vagina, causing pain and itching. Causes can include a vaginal yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. A vaginal yeast infection is an inflammation of the vagina caused by infection with the candida fungus. Bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial infection of the vagina that sometimes causes abnormal discharge with an unpleasant odor. What are the causes, the symptoms, what can you do yourself and what are the options for treatment?

Article content

  • Vulvovaginitis
  • Vaginal yeast infection (causes, symptoms, treatment)
  • Bacterial vaginosis (causes, symptoms, treatment)



Vulvovaginitis is an inflammation of the vulva and vagina, causing itching and pain. Almost every woman experiences the problem at some point in her life. Even as a young girl you can suffer from it. Vulvovaginitis is usually caused by an infection: either by a fungus, Candida albicans, which causes a fungal infection, or by a protozoan, Trichomonas vaginalis. The latter leads to trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted disease. Women who suffer from diabetes mellitus are more at risk of a fungal infection. The vagina contains bacteria that are basically harmless, but if you have too many of them, they can cause vulvovaginitis. Vulvovaginitis is sometimes caused by the use of bath products containing perfume, certain detergents, deodorants, panty liners, spermicidal creams. But it can also occur after menopause, the tissue of the vagina becomes thinner, drier, more sensitive to irritation. The changes are due to low levels of estrogen. The treatment for vulvovaginitis depends on the cause.


In children who suffer from vulvovaginitis, the irritation may be caused by anus maggots, something may be stuck in the vagina (for example a bead), but it may also be an indication of sexual abuse.

Vaginal yeast infection (causes, symptoms, treatment)

Most women will suffer from a yeast infection at some point in their lives, usually during the years when they have their period. A fungal infection can often return.


A vaginal yeast infection occurs when a fungus, Candida albicans, that is already naturally present in the vagina, starts to grow faster than usual. A vaginal yeast infection is not dangerous, but it does cause troublesome symptoms: an itchy vulva and vagina. Candida infections can also occur in the mouth, for example. Candida albicans can grow faster if the bacteria that normally prevent growth are destroyed by antibiotics or spermicides. The bacteria in the vagina can also be destroyed because the balance of hormones changes, for example during pregnancy or before menstruation. If you have sex with someone who has candida, you can also get it. However, it is not a sexually transmitted disease. If you have diabetes mellitus, the risk of a fungal infection is greater.


The symptoms often develop within a few days. It involves irritation and an itchy feeling in the vagina and vulva. There is white discharge that is quite thick and reminiscent of cheese. Without treatment, the skin in the affected areas can turn red and break.


The vaginal discharge may be a clue. An internal examination will probably be done and perhaps a culture will be made.


If it turns out to be a fungal infection, a medication will be prescribed that destroys the fungus. This may involve vaginal creams, vaginal tablets or pills. The treatment usually has good results, but the vaginal fungal infection can return. If you have a vaginal yeast infection, it is advisable not to have sex for a few days until the symptoms have disappeared.

Preventing a vaginal yeast infection

  • Wash around the vagina only with water;
  • Do not use panty liners;
  • Do not use spermicidal creams and latex condoms if they cause irritation in the vagina;
  • Do not use bath products, perfumed soaps or vaginal douches;
  • Do not use scented sanitary towels or tampons, insert a new tampon often;
  • Wear cotton underwear and clothing that is not too tight.


Bacterial vaginosis (causes, symptoms, treatment)

Bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial infection of the vagina that sometimes causes an abnormal discharge with an unpleasant odor. It can occur in sexually active women of all ages.


Bacterial vaginosis is caused by an overgrowth of certain bacteria that are commonly found in the vagina. This mainly concerns Gardnerella vaginalis and Mycoplasma hominis. The balance, which is naturally there, is upset. Why the growth occurs too quickly is not clear, but bacterial vaginitis is more common in women who are sexually active and sometimes it occurs along with sexually transmitted diseases (but that is not always the case).


Bacterial vaginosis often has no symptoms. Sometimes there is a discharge that is gray-white in color with an unpleasant odor reminiscent of fish, and the vulva and vagina may also be irritated.


The diagnosis can be made based on the complaints and symptoms. A culture may be made or the discharge may be viewed under a microscope. Sometimes vaginosis is treated with acidic water for a vaginal rinse.
Antibiotics may also be prescribed. Bacterial vaginosis usually goes away within a few days, but it does have a habit of returning.

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