Unhealthy Discharge, Vaginitis, Bacterial Vaginosis: Women’s Health Issues You Should Be Aware Of

All women should be concerned about the health of their private parts. But what exactly does it entail? While it varies depending on a woman’s age, a woman’s private parts normally has an acidic pH, a high concentration of helpful bacteria that help fight infections and is naturally lubricated. A healthy vagina secretes tiny quantities of the discharge as well. While some women may be unaware of it, others may detect up to a teaspoon or tablespoon of discharge every day.

“Discharge is a natural physiological response; it is essentially the loss of cervical and vaginal cells. But, if women suffer changes invaginal odour, a change in the colour of their discharge that may be related to discomfort, whether it’s pelvic discomfort or vulvar discomfort, itching, or burning, any change must be investigated,” cautions Dr Padma Srivastava, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Lullanagar, Pune.

Talking to The HealthSite, Dr Srivastava mentions some of the issues women ought to be aware of and how they should take care of their vaginal health.

Q. What is essential to maintain the vaginal health?

It’s all about balance, as with many things in life. Several different types of bacteria coexist in a healthy vagina. Indeed, a healthy vagina is teeming with germs. Certain bacteria are regarded as “healthy,” while others are deemed “bad.” Beneficial bacteria serve to keep the vagina somewhat acidic. This prevents harmful germs from multiplying too quickly. Yet, harmful bacteria can sometimes take control and cause difficulties.

Q. What causes bacteria to go out of balance?

Many things can affect this balance. Antibiotics, douching, tight trousers, vaginal goods (sprays, lubricants, birth control devices), and pregnancy are among them. Discharge is one indicator that things are out of equilibrium. A healthy vagina produces a discharge that is slick and transparent or white while moist, may become yellowish when dried, and has minimal odour. This healthy discharge may be thicker at times of the month. Unhealthy discharge is not the same. It has an unusual hue (yellow, greenish, grey, or thick white) with a strong, disagreeable odour.

Nevertheless, discharge isn’t the only indicator to be on the lookout for. An issue might also be indicated by swelling, itching, or burning in and around the vagina. These symptoms are known as vaginitis, a wide word used to describe several forms of vaginal infections. Vaginitis is quite common, and most women will have it at least once in their lifetimes.

Q. How one should be dealing with vaginal issues?

It’s critical to know what you’re dealing with before considering therapy for any vaginal issues. A healthcare expert can correctly diagnose the cause of vaginitis and ensure that you receive the appropriate therapy. While it may be tempting to self-diagnose and self-treat with over-the-counter or natural medications, many women do so, it is critical to make an accurate diagnosis.

If left misdiagnosed and untreated, bacterial vaginosis (BV), resulting from an overgrowth of bacteria, can raise a woman’s risk of STIs, including HIV. Pregnant women may encounter extra complications since BV can cause infants to be delivered prematurely or with low birth weight.