Intimate health

Did you know that up to 50% of women occasionally experience vaginal yeast infections? And that bacterial vaginosis affects one in three women at some point in their lives? Probably not, as it’s not a topic people  like to discuss with others. Vaginal yeast infections can be extremely inconvenient and irritating, especially when urinating or when you want to have sex. You don’t feel well, and if it doesn’t go away quickly, you’ll have to go to the doctor or the pharmacy with this embarrassing problem… But how do you actually get it? And more importantly: how do you get rid of it?!

Did you know that up to 50% of women occasionally experience vaginal yeast infections? And that bacterial vaginosis affects one in three women at some point in their lives? As it’s not a topic people  like to discuss with others. Vaginal yeast infections can be extremely inconvenient and irritating, especially when urinating or when you want to have sex. You don’t feel well, and if it doesn’t go away quickly, you’ll have to go to the doctor or the pharmacy with this embarrassing problem… But how do you actually get it? And more importantly: how do you get rid of it?!

Intimate hygiene

Sometimes intimate health is referred to as intimate hygiene. This is not correct: A vaginal fungus or a yeast has nothing to do with your hygiene. The infection could be caused by a change in acidity or an overabundance of certain bacteria in your vagina, among other things. This has absolutely nothing to do with ‘cleanliness.’

Candida

Candida, or vaginal yeast infection, is an infection caused by certain types of fungi or yeasts. Every woman has vaginal bacteria and fungi that keep her vagina healthy. It’s perfectly normal for them to be there and there’s nothing strange or dirty about it. However, if the amount of bacteria or fungi changes, some fungi may grow excessively. This may lead to a fungal infection. Candida symptoms include: friable white fluid vaginal discharge, itching, a swollen vagina that is red on the inside, and a burning sensation or pain during urination or sex.

Bacterial vaginosis

When the natural balance of the bacteria in the vagina is disturbed, we speak of bacterial vaginosis. Bacteria that normally occur in small amounts have multiplied greatly. The bacterium Gardnerella vaginalis is one of those bacteria. Other bacteria, such as the lactic acid bacteria, are actually reduced. Then there might be an unpleasant odor or an unusual discharge.

Did you know vaginal yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis are not STDs? A vaginal yeast infection is the result of an overgrowth of fungi/yeast in the vagina, while Bacterial vaginosis is caused by an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the vagina.

What are the causes?

A vaginal yeast infection is the result of an overgrowth of fungi/yeast in the vagina, while Bacterial vaginosis is caused by an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the vagina. These infections both cause symptoms that are extremely similar.

There are numerous reasons why the natural balance of fungi or bacteria disrupts, like changes in hormone balance due to menstruation or pregnancy for example. Even psychological issues like stress can lead to hormonal imbalance. Vaginal infections can also be brought on by decreased resistance to disease, washing (too thoroughly) with soap, diabetes, and the use of antibiotics.

Testing

You can easily get tested for Candida, Bacterial vaginosis and Trichomonas through Testalize.me. Simply take a smear yourself using the cotton swab. After sending this cotton swab to us in the return box, we’ll examine your sample in our lab. You can request the results yourself within 48 hours, using the unique code on your code card. If you test positive, you can also get treatment through us.

Treatment

Both vaginal yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis usually go away on their own after a few weeks. It’s important to restore the natural balance of the vagina, so it’s recommended to stop using vaginal rinses and soaps to “cleanse” your vagina. Only rinse the outside of your vagina with warm water. Washing extra frequently is not necessary. Make sure you’re moist or use lubricant when having sex. If Candida doesn’t go away on its own, the doctor might recommend vaginal or oral anti-fungal medications. Tablets, vaginal suppositories, or a cream that kills the bacteria are used to treat bacterial vaginosis.

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