Most women know how to take care of their intimate area. “The vagina cleanses itself”, “don’t wash your vagina with soap”, “wear cotton underwear” and “always wipe from the front to the back”. Taking proper care of your intimate area could prevent discomforts, or so is believed. However, is this really the case?
The two most common vaginal infections are bacterial vaginosis and a yeast infection (also known as candida or thrush). If you experience vaginal discomforts, usually either one of them is the cause.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is caused by an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in your vagina. Symptoms of this infection are a strong (fish-like) odor and thin grayish white discharge. A yeast infection on the other hand is caused by an overgrowth of yeast cells in your vagina or your external intimate area. A thick, white discharge (like cottage cheese) and itch are the most common symptoms.
Both infections are fairly harmless, but can be rather uncomfortable. The symptoms will eventually fade away, however this may take some time. Fortunately, both infections can be treated by medication or selfcare products. More information on treating vaginal infections can be found here.
Even though it is not clear what exactly causes an overgrowth of yeast or bacteria in your vagina, there are some factors that might influence the chance of developing it. Intimate hygiene is believed to be one of them. Here are some tips on intimate hygiene: