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Dr. Vandana Singh, Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, The Women Clinic

Vaginal Infection affects almost every woman at some point of time. The newly married women are significantly affected by vaginal infection. The newly married women who are young and in the age group of 25-30 years are widely influenced by vaginal infection. We have noticed that 70% of newly married women do acquire vaginal infection and it may be due to the first exposure to sex which results in transfer of flora. The vaginal infection in newly married women depends upon various factors like the frequency of sex, kind of diet and the personal hygiene of both husband and wife.

The kind of diet & food women consume affects vaginal condition of a woman. I, personally, would like to stress upon the food habit of the woman as we noticed a strong correlation between food habit and vaginal infection. As per our analysis of women with vaginal infection, oily and spicy food is found to be one of the main culprits behind increased vaginal infection amongst women. The women who consume oily and spicy food, they develop vaginal infection easily and quite frequently. In most of our patients, when we asked them to stop eating oily and spicy food it resulted in decrease in recurrence of vaginal infection. In fact, as women quit consuming oily and spicy food, the vaginal infection is reduced significantly. The women who consume oily food and have lesser intake of fluid are predisposed to vaginal infection.

We also see lot of unmarried women too reporting for vaginal infection, but its more with those women who are sexually active and are involved in sexual activity with multiple partners. In some of the unmarried cases, the reason for vaginal infection was due to multiple partners. In fact, 80% of unmarried women do acquire vaginal infection due to their sexual activity with multiple partners, which is alarming.

In any of the cases whether it is married or unmarried, we recommend to treat both partners so as to prevent further recurrence of vaginal infection. It is important that both partners should be treated for the treatment of vaginal infection in woman.

Here are few tips which every woman should follow so as to prevent and manage vaginal infection:

  • Don’t consume oily & spicy food
  • Take enough quantity of fluid
  • Clean vagina after urination
  • Avoid multiple partners
  • Use contraceptive during sex
  • Wear cotton clothes
  • Avoid tight fitting and synthetic clothes
  • Don’t use soaps, shampoo or chemically contained products to wash vagina

Although there is increased awareness amongst women on the issue related to vaginal infection, and we found that women are more attentive towards vaginal infection but they are less educated in terms of preventing the infection. We have seen cases where women do use dettol or savlon so as to wash vaginal area. And it is completely wrong practice. They think that dettol or savlon are antseptic and it can kill or prevent infection in vaginal area too.  They need to be educated that these kinds of products should not be used to wash vaginal area as these contain concentrated chemicals and irritants which can irritate vaginal mucosa. It is good to be attentive towards vaginal infection but one should understand the correct ways of preventing and managing vaginal infection.

One should always pay attention to the signs of vaginal infection, if you notice anything abnormal like below, it may be the sign of vaginal infection:

  • Increase in vaginal discharge
  • If the discharge smells foul
  • Redness & Itching vaginal area
  • Increased wetness

The untreated or ignored vaginal infection can affect the daily routine or lifestyle of a woman in multiple ways. Severe itching & increased discharge can resist activity in office or working area. Women with vaginal infection have been seen avoiding public or social activity. Therefore it is advisable to consult a gynecologist when woman notices the sign of vaginal infection or abnormality like discharge, itching, irritation etc.

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Content Courtesy: Women Health Organization, Everteen Feminine Intimate Health &Hygiene Survey. The article is part of educational campaign on vaginal health & hygiene “I for Intimate Hygiene”, conceptualized by Women Health Organization and supported by Everteen Natural Intimate Wash.

Disclaimer: The content and information provided in the article is for educational purpose only and should not be considered as a medical advice. One should consult a qualified healthcare practitioner for appropriate diagnosis and treatment. The author of the article does not endorse or recommend any product through this article.

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