What are Vaginal Issues?
Most women experience minor vaginal problems from time to time. These problems can be related to menstrual cycles, sex, infection, birth control methods, aging, medicines, or changes after pregnancy. What are signs or symptoms of vaginal problems?
Consult us if you notice:
- A change in the colour, odour or amount of vaginal discharge
- Vaginal redness or itching
- Vaginal bleeding between periods, after sex or after menopause
- A mass or bulge in your vagina
- Pain during intercourse
What you should know
Conditions that might affect your vagina include:
- Sexual problems. These might include persistent or recurrent pain just before, during or after sex (dyspareunia). Pain during penetration might be caused by involuntary spasms of the muscles of the vaginal wall (vaginismus). The muscles in the pelvic floor can become tense, causing chronic pain and pain during intercourse. Vaginal dryness, often occurring after menopause, can also cause pain during intercourse.
- Sexually Transmitted Infections. Various sexually transmitted infections can affect the vagina, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital warts, syphilis and genital herpes. Signs might include abnormal vaginal discharge or genital sores.
- Vaginitis. An infection or change in the normal balance of vaginal yeast and bacteria can cause inflammation of the vagina (vaginitis). Symptoms include vaginal discharge, odor, itching and pain. Common types of vaginitis include bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections and trichomoniasis.
- Pelvic floor relaxation. If the supporting ligaments and connective tissues that hold the uterus and the vaginal walls in place become weak, the uterus, bladder, rectum or the vaginal walls might slip down (prolapse). This might cause urine leakage during coughing and sneezing or a bulge in the vagina.
- Other rare conditions. Vaginal cysts can cause pain during sex or make it difficult to insert a tampon. Vaginal cancer — which might first appear as vaginal bleeding after menopause or sex — also is a rare possibility.
Some home treatment measures may not be appropriate, depending on the cause of your vaginal infection. Conditions such as bacterial vaginosis can affect your pregnancy, so it is important to talk with your doctor and be treated appropriately.
Vaginal infections may increase the risk for pelvic infections, such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).
Treatment of a vaginal problem depends on the cause of the problem, the severity of your symptoms, and your overall health condition.