Localized Words - Accessibility Concerns :

  1. Go to the content
  2. Go to main section's menu
  3. Go to sub-section's menu
  4. Go to Language menu
  5. Go to Help menu
  6. Go to the list of keyboard shortcuts
Lactacyd®. Your intimacy deserves to be protected. Every day.  

You are here: :

  1. Home >
  2. What could go wrong >
  3. Causes

Content :

Causes

The vagina is prone to many types of infection when unprotected. Get to know the different sources of irritation to keep you safe.

Candida albicans

Candida Albicans

A parasitic fungus causes vaginal yeast infections. The disease produced by this fungus is called candidiasis, where there are swollen, cottage cheese-like patches in the vagina (interior) and on the vulva (exterior)9. When these patches are removed, raw and bleeding areas will be visible and can be extremely painful.

This fungus should be treated immediately when detected because it may spread to other parts of the body like the skin, mucus membrane, heart valves and the oesophagus. Candidiasis can even cause life-threatening systemic infections among people who have very weak immune systems like diabetics and those with HIV.

Symptoms include: vaginal soreness, an itchy, burning feeling on the vaginal skin, and excruciating pain when urinating.

Who are at risk to develop this infection?

  • Diabetics
  • pregnant women
  • menopausal women
  • users of antibiotics
  • users of birth control pills and steroids
  • Women who always wear tight and non-cotton clothing
  • Women who use perfumed feminine hygiene sprays

According to research, 75% of women will experience one vaginal yeast infection during their lifetime. However, candidiasis in not considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

 

Trichomonas vaginalis

Trichomonas Vaginalis

A parasite causes the vaginal infection called trichomoniasis, an infection of the urinary and genital system by a one-celled protozoan (parasites that live in water). Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) but can also be spread by use of contaminated wet towels, clothes, or bathing suits since these parasites can survive up to 24 hours in a moist environment.  Bacterial vaginosis (BV), another kind of vaginal infection, usually accompanies trichomoniasis. 
 
Symptoms include: a yellow-green, frothy vaginal discharge with a foul odour. Secretion of this fluid will be in excessive amounts. The outer regions of the vagina will also be red, swollen, painful, warm and itching. Also an increase in the frequency of urinating.

Who are at risk to develop this infection?
Trichomoniasis almost always thrives in an environment where there is hypoacidity (lessening of the normal vaginal acidity)—a condition caused by menstrual blood, and during sex when semen (high-alkaline) is present. When you already have another vaginal infection such as Bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis will surely grow and develop.

 

Bacterial vaginosis

Gardnerella Vaginalis

An overgrowth of the bacteria, gardnerella vaginalis due to a vaginal pH imbalance leads to bacterial vaginosis (BV), a common vaginal infection that can co-exist with other pathogens (disease-causing organisms). 
 
Symptoms include: increased amounts of vaginal discharge that are grey or white, and are thin and watery. Similar to other vaginal infections, the secreted fluid will have a fishy odour, that increases immediately after sex.

Unfortunately, for someone who is pregnant, BV may lead to premature birth and can even infect her newborn baby.

Almost half of the women infected with BV do not display symptoms. It is always best to have yourself examined regularly.

Who are at risk to develop this infection?

  • Women who have multiple sexual partners
  • Women who engage in oral sex
 

Different types of infection caused by a rise in pH

Different types of vaginal infection caused by an increase in alkalinity

References

  • Jenkinson F. et al. Interactions between Candida species and bacteria in mixed infections. Polymicrobial Diseases 2002. Edited by Brogden K and Guthmiller J.
  • CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) Treatment Guidelines 2006