As a woman, you need to be aware of vaginal problems and know how to solve them. These problems will have an impact on your fertility, ability to have an orgasm, libido, and other areas of your life. With these problems remaining unsolved, your relationships may be put to the test. Even your self-confidence will also suffer. Knowing the indicators of problems in the vagina will help you protect it.
Things that affect vaginal health
First, what is the vagina? It is a closed muscular canal extending from the vulva to the cervix. The vulva is the outside of the female genitalia and the cervix is considered the neck of the uterus. Certain things affect the health of the vagina, such as:
– Sex. Unprotected sex can lead to a sexually transmitted infection, while aggressive or forceful sex may result in an injury in the pelvic area. Pelvic fracture may lead to vaginal trauma.
– Health conditions. Certain health conditions may lead to vaginal dryness. Examples are diabetes and Sjogren’ syndrome.
– Feminine-hygiene products. The use of antibiotics for a long time may lead to vaginal yeast infection, while antihistamines could also be responsible for vaginal dryness. The use of superabsorbent tampons may cause toxic shock syndrome, a bacterial infection that is life-threatening.
– Birth control products. Vaginal irritation may result from the use of certain products such as Spermicide and vaginal rings. Even more common options such as diaphragm and contraceptive sponge could result in toxic shock syndrome.
– Pregnancy. Pregnancy increases vaginal discharge and also stops the flow of menstruation. Childbirth may also result in vaginal tears. There’s also a decrease in the vagina’s muscle tone upon vaginal delivery.
– Psychological issues. Even psychological problems can affect your vaginal health. Anxiety and depression could be the reason for your low level of arousal, which can then lead to painful sex. Sometimes, the pain that is associated with sex may also stem from trauma or sexual abuse.
– Aging. After menopause, the vagina naturally loses elasticity as a signal of the end of a woman’s fertility.
– Hormones. Your hormone levels have an effect on your vagina. After menopause, estrogen production is reduced and this results in the thinning of the vaginal lining. Therefore, sex will become painful. The same thing also happens after childbirth and while you are breastfeeding.
Common vaginal problems
Now, let’s move on to the most common vaginal conditions:
– Sexual problems. Genital pain could be caused by vaginismus or the involuntary spasms of the vaginal wall muscles. The pain may be persistent or recurrent and can occur at any time before, after, or during sex.
– Infections. Sexually transmitted infections such as genital warts, herpes, and syphilis will affect vaginal health. Watch out for genital sores and abnormal discharge.
– Vaginitis. Vaginitis can be caused by an imbalance in vaginal bacteria. This inflammation may also be because of an infection. Vaginitis is usually associated with odor, itching, pain, and vaginal discharge. It may come in the form of bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and trichomoniasis. If there is an overgrowth of several organisms in the vagina, this is called bacterial vaginosis; yeast infection happens when there is an overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans; trichomoniasis is caused by a sexually transmitted parasite.
– Pelvic floor relaxation. Uterine prolapse may happen when the ligaments and connective tissues holding the uterus, rectum, or bladder start to weaken. The vagina will be pulled down along with these.
– Others. Other diseases and conditions may also affect vaginal health. For example, it will be painful to have sex or insert a tampon if one has vaginal cysts. Watch out for any vaginal bleeding after menopause or after sex because this may lead to vaginal cancer, although it is rare.
Vaginal problem symptoms
Keep your eye out for signs and symptoms such as these:
– Changes in the vaginal discharge. It can change color, odor, or amount and may come with fever
– Itching or irritation of the vaginal area
– Vaginal redness
– Vaginal bleeding