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Someone asked us: What are the different types of vaginal disease are there symptoms?

There are a few different kinds of infections or irritations you can get on your vulva or vagina. 

When the vulva or vagina gets irritated, it’s called vaginitis.

Symptoms of vaginitis may include itching and burning in your vulva or vagina, redness, vaginal discharge that’s different than normal (strong odor, white or green color, very thick or foamy), pain during sex or masturbation, burning when you pee, and/or feeling like you have to pee often. Everyone’s body is different, so people don’t always have the same symptoms. And which symptoms you have often depend on what’s causing the problem.

Sometimes vaginitis is caused by a reaction or allergy to something that irritates your vulva or vagina, like perfumed soap or scented tampons. If this is the case, usually the symptoms will go away when you stop using whatever’s irritating you. If your symptoms don’t go away or get worse, contact your nearest Planned Parenthood health center to find out what’s going on.

Yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis

Vaginitis can happen when the natural environment inside your vagina gets thrown off balance. This can make the natural yeast or bacteria that live in your vagina grow too much and cause yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis. Yeast infections usually cause thick, white discharge, and may be itchy and uncomfortable. Bacterial vaginosis can also be itchy or painful, and you may notice more discharge than normal with a strong, fishy smell. Yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis can be cured with medication, so contact your nearest Planned Parenthood health center if you have any of these symptoms.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

It’s also common for people with vulvas to get infections in their urethra. This is called a urinary tract infection, or UTI.  UTIs happen when certain bacteria get into your urethra and cause an infection. The most common symptoms of UTIs are pain or burning when you pee, and feeling like you need to pee all the time. Just like with other bacterial or yeast infections, UTIs are treated with antibiotics.

Sexually transmitted infections

Some infections are passed during sex. These are called sexually transmitted infections, also known as STDs. There are many STDs with different symptoms. But most of the time people with STDs don’t have any symptoms at all, so you may not even know that you have one. The only way to know for sure if you have an STD is to get tested. 

The best way to avoid STDs is to not have oral, anal, or vaginal sex. If you do have sex, using protection like condoms or dental dams can reduce your chances of getting STDs. And getting tested regularly (at least every 3-6 months) will help you stay healthy.

Remember, you can’t diagnose a medical situation over the internet. If you have questions about symptoms you may be having, talk to a nurse or doctor like the ones at your nearest Planned Parenthood health center.

Tags: STDs, vagina, vulva, yeast infection, vaginitis, yeast infections, UTIs, urinary tract infection, UTI

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