Once Upon a Month by Incognito

It Itches and Burns Down There? The Top 4 Most Common Female Infections

September 18th, 2014

Zoé's Diaries

It’s itchy? It burns? It oozes? Smells bad? It’s red? These are all good reasons to be concerned, because chances are pretty high that something’s not right down there. Before popping the first pill you can find, it’s important to recognize different symptoms and identify the correct root of the problem.

1- It smells like old, rotten fish? Well, my dear. Looks like you’ve got a case of bacterial vaginosis!

If your vag is itchy, you have a burning sensation, but especially discharge smelling like old, rotten fish, chances are pretty high that you’ve got a case of bacterial vaginosis. The only treatment is a prescription of antibiotics. To prevent this infection, steer clear of vaginal douches, unclean guys and cigarettes! That’s right, cigarettes increase the risks of vaginosis, so stop smoking: you’ll avoid bad odours down there! ;)

2- Gotta pee every 30 seconds? You’ve got a urinary tract infection!

Another bacterial infection we've all had before, I said it... the urinary tract infection! It's one of the easiest to recognize: peeing is difficult, hurts and you ALWAYS have to do. When you notice these symptoms, you can prepare what I like to call the aquacranberrytherapy: it involves as much water and cranberry juice as your tummy can handle and then just pee it out! Between you and me, I  now put cranberry juice in my morning smoothie (½ cup of frozen berries, ½ banana, ¼ cup of Greek yogurt, 1 cup of cranberry juice and a little honey) – Yum! Basically, if after three days of aquacranberrytherapy the symptoms are still there, you will need antibiotics. To avoid urinary tract infections, good hygiene and clothing that allows your little lady to breathe should be worn. Oh yeah! Other little tip: after a romp in the sheets, a good peepee will always get rid of any nasty bacteria!

In the case of a urinary tract infection, most often the only solution is  antibiotics. No choice!

3- You're itchy like hell? Hello yeast infection!                             

Fungal vaginal infections are often due to a pH imbalance. The most common is the famous yeast infection (vaginal mycosis). Redness, thick whitish discharge (odourless), burning, hellish itchiness are the most common symptoms. To treat this infection, several products are available over the counter in the pharmacy. If the symptoms are only external (no pain from penetration and no discharge), it's definitely vulvitis. An antifungal cream should do the trick. Regardless, always ask the pharmacist to choose what he thinks is the best product adapted to your needs (based on how frequent your infections are and how intense the symptoms). Balanced pH soaps, clothing that breathes and probiotic yogurts are your first lines of defence. Sometimes I replace my morning smoothie with a tall glass of vanilla kefir: both delicious and chock full of probiotics!

4- Overheating, but no discharge? Non-infectious vaginitis or vulvitis!

Finally, if you have redness, slight itchiness or minor increased sensitivity, it's possible that your vag/vulva, is just irritated because it's not fond of your new soap that smells so good, your new super-duper-powerful detergent or your romp in the sack did a number on your cha-cha! Calm down the irritation with a gentle soap and a little rest. ;)

If you have a tendency to develop one of these infections, wear cotton underwear - I personally love the colourful panties from Aerie ;) - and pads free of ink and perfumes when you have your period will be your best friends! Incognito offers an array of hypoallergenic products!

Obviously, I didn't talk about sexually transmitted diseases, viruses like herpes or serious complications. I'm leaving that to your gynocologist. In all cases, you always need to ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice. It's their job to address problems affecting the human body.

Have you ever had one of these infections?

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About the author

 Zoé’s never at loss for words. Part fashionista, part foodie, she loves sharing her latest discoveries and funny stories.   Zoé had her first...