Unusual vaginal discharge, frequent or painful urination, and uncomfortable itching may all be signs of a yeast infection, UTI or STD.
Maintaining proper reproductive and urinary tract health is just as important as exercising or eating right to keep your heart healthy. The lower urinary tract and vagina can serve as gateways for bacteria to enter the body, and, as a result, unwanted infections can appear. Here are some of the more common infections that can occur in this region, and how they can be diagnosed by your Little Rock gynecologist.
Characterized as a profound irritation and itching around the opening of the vagina along with a watery discharge, yeast infections are a condition all too common. About 75 percent of all women will experience a yeast infection during their lifetimes, and it is not unusual to experience more than one episode.
The result of an increase in the fungus candida within the vagina, yeast infections occur when the body is no longer able to regulate the amount of naturally occurring candida and bacteria. This can be due to antibiotic use, pregnancy, or a weakened immune system.
While it may be both uncomfortable and embarrassing, yeast infections are rarely dangerous if correctly diagnosed by a doctor. Treatment for yeast infection are often handled within the comfort of your home. Antifungal creams, tablets, and ointments can all help provide relief from mild to moderate symptoms.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Few things play as pivotal a roll in your health as the many types of highly specialized bacteria that live in and around your body. Whether it is breaking down nutrients within your intestines or warding off foreign invaders, bacteria is critical to ensuring that your body remains a well-oiled machine.
However, since each type of bacteria has such a particular purpose and thrives within a specific region on the body, the accidental transportation of bacteria from one location to another can cause illness. One such example is the Urinary Tract Infection, or UTI.
UTIs are commonly caused from bacteria near the opening of the vagina accidentally entering the vaginal canal through intercourse. They often begin in parts of the lower urinary tract such as the bladder and urethra. And while the treatment for a UTI is pretty simple (generally an antibiotic will work) the condition becomes more difficult to manage as the infection progresses.
The symptoms of a UTI are easy to spot: burning sensation during urination, the inability to delay urination, and urine spotted with blood. If you are diagnosed with a UTI, treatment will often consist of a course of antibiotics. Symptoms should usually disappear after several days or weeks.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) are, as the name suggests, diseases that are communicated through sexual contact. There are dozens of different STDs, meaning it is always important to make sure both you and your partner are practicing safe sex and being regularly tested. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis are three of the most common infections, and treatment for these STDs generally involves antibiotics.
While all three of these infections seem similar, a trained gynecologist will be able to spot the symptoms and give you a diagnosis. If you feel as though you have the symptoms of a yeast infection, UTI, or STD, consult with your local Little Rock gynecologist. Request an appointment at The Woman’s Clinic today by calling (501) 664-4131. Our experienced doctors are here to help with your female health.