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Dr. Shabana Khatoon, Consultant Obstetrics & Gynaecologist, Gaudium IVF Clinic

Vaginal Yeast Infection is very common in India; 70-80% of patients coming in Gynecology OPD are suffering with vaginal yeast infection. It is observed that women don’t follow proper hygiene practice and acquire vaginal yeast infection due to unhygienic condition around them. We observed that most of the women suffering with vaginal yeast infection use toilets with improper hygienic condition and they don’t wash vagina post urination. Since, now women are going out frequently, for working or for other reason and they are using common toilets for urination, it is therefore very important to wash vagina post urination. In fact, washing vagina post urination is an important aspect and everyone should follow the practice which can help prevent vaginal infection in a big way. Now a days, women use common toilets regularly like when they are in a shopping mall or in office and if they don’t wash vagina after urination, its an open invitation to vaginal infection.

The commonly used toilets are a big source of vaginal infection, when we use a toilet, we don’t know who has used it earlier. If a woman with infection has used the pot then there are chances that you will also acquire the infection from that pot. We need to understand that the pot is being used by other women too and some of them may be carrying vaginal infection which can affect you when you use the same pot. Washing private parts post urination is a habit which can help prevent infection and it should be followed by every one, in fact we should help our children too to adopt this habit as it will help them when they grow age. It is a very simple habit to follow and inculcate, like when a mother is taking her child for urination she should wash private parts with water and the child will catch the habit from there on. Other than toilets, synthetic garments and synthetic pads also play role in vaginal infection, so one should avoid wearing synthetic pads, synthetic clothes. In our OPD, we notice that the incidences of vaginal infection are lower in the women who follow proper hygiene practice like washing vagina post urination.

It is also being seen that pubic hair too sometime can cause vaginal infection. Especially during and post menstruation, the bacteria might hang around in pubic hair and can travel to vaginal area to cause vaginal yeast infection. The grown pubic hair can become the hiding place for bacteria, especially during menstruation, and these bacteria can invade the vaginal area creating yeast infection. Since grown pubic hair creates a friendly environment for bacteria due to moist and sweating, it is advised that a woman should keep her vaginal hair area neat and clean.

Women should be cautious about her intimate or vaginal condition and should consult a doctor during early sign of infection. We see that women report of vaginal infection when it becomes severe like problem of itching, redness, unpleasant odor, frequency of urine, burning sensation in vagina or in urine. Unintentionally or due to negligent attitude, women in India report in last condition of infection when the itching or irritation or discharge is aggravated. It is also seen that when the infection is in initial stage like odor, they wash vaginal area with soaps which is completely a wrong practice. And, when it’s aggravated or it becomes very disturbing for the women then they contact the doctor.

The vaginal infection can affect quality of life in a big away, especially for the women who go out like offices, colleges. The ignored infection can sometime be embarrassing for a woman who is frequently out of home. Like a women who is having vaginal infection and working in office, her smell will be very strong due the discharge resulted from infection. Sometimes the vaginal odour due to infection is too strong that it can be felt by the person sitting next. In such scenario, its not only discomforting but embarrassing too, therefore women should take extra caution towards their infection and follow proper hygiene. If you are in office or college and suffering with infection you may experience a continuous feeling of itching and scratching or frequent urination which can be very compromising for you.

Vaginal infection can affect a woman’s life in more than one way. I can cite a patient case where vaginal infection has affected the married life of a couple. The lady with severe vaginal infection experiences pain during sex, and we had a patient where a woman used to avoid having sex with her husband due to unbearable pain. Her husband developed a feeling that her wife has no interest in him and it has started affected her life. She was not aware that she was suffering with vaginal infection, the only thing which disturbed her was that she used to have strong pain during sex. Therefore she avoided the sexual counter with her husband. We treated her vaginal infection and their sexual cum married life came to normalcy. So its not just discomforts, a vaginal infection can affect your sexual life too.

One should contact a Gynaecologist when they see the symptoms of vaginal infection like vaginal itching, redness, burning sensation, vaginal odour etc. And every woman should follow personal hygiene practice like using natural intimate wash vaginal area, don’t use soaps or shampoo to wash vaginal area. Avoid tight clothing or synthetic cloths which can aggravate the infection.

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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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