Vaginal infectionVaginal Infections

Vaginal infections, clinically termed vaginitis, have two common types, bacterial vaginosis (BV) and candidiasis which is commonly known as a yeast infection.

Sexually transmitted infections, commonly referred to as an STD or STI, are addressed on the Sexually Transmitted Disease webpage.

Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis occurs as often as yeast but no one talks about it. It is estimated to affect approximately 25% of women and about half of them will not have any symptoms. It can be difficult to distinguish bacteria from yeast so a pelvic examination by your provider is necessary.

The vagina normally has harmless bacteria present that help the body fight off other vaginal infections such as yeast. Sometimes the balance of good and bad bacteria shifts, and undesirable bacteria predominate and cause an infection.

Candidiasis/Yeast Infection

Yeast infections cause mild to intolerable vulvar or vaginal itching or burning in females. The yeast that causes the infection is normally present in the vagina. A yeast infection happens when normal “ecology” of the vagina is disrupted in such a way that the yeast overgrows the bacteria that are present in a healthy vagina.

Yeast infections occur in women who have never had sexual intercourse as well as sexually active women.

The following chart outlines information about both types of vaginal infections.


Type BV Yeast
Symptoms ·    Vaginal discharge

·    Fishy Odor

·    Cottage cheese-like, white vaginal discharge

·    Unusual vaginal dryness

·    Painful intercourse

·    Burning with urination

·    Male partner may also

Diagnosis ·    Laboratory test of discharge sample ·    Laboratory test of discharge sample
Causes ·   Imbalance of the natural vaginal environment due to the lack of the good lactobacilli bacteria

·   New or multiple sex partners

·   Douching

·   Scented bubble bath soaps

·   Use of some mediations like antibiotics

·   Wiping from back to front after a bowel movement

·   Transmission during sexual intercourse

·   Anal intercourse followed by vaginal intercourse without proper washing

·   High dairy, citrus fruit or yeast food diet

·   Artificial sweeteners or refined sugars

·   Chronic diseases like diabetes

·   Hormone changes

·   Tight fitting clothing

·   Douching

·   Scented bubble bath soaps

Treatment ·   Prescription medications

·   Avoid sexual intercourse for 1 week

·   Avoid vaginal douches

·   Avoid vaginal deodorant sprays or powders

·   Shower instead of bathe

·   Use cotton crotch underwear

·   Frequent change of tampons during period

·   Wipe from front to back after using the bathroom

·   Prescription medications

·   Avoid vaginal douches

·   Avoid vaginal deodorant sprays or powders

·   Avoid use of tampons

·   Use cotton crotch underwear

·   Wipe from front to back after using the bathroom

·   Keep the vagina clean and dry particularly before intercourse

·   Brush teeth and rinse with mouth wash before intercourse

·   Avoid intercourse if painful or if irritation is caused

·   Have your partner use condoms until the infection is gone

·   Avoid using scented soaps while bathing

When to call Rosemark?

If you are having any of these symptoms, call for an appointment right away.  The infections are treated differently so a proper diagnosis and treatment plan is essential.  Prompt treatment is essential to clear the infection and help your body heal.