Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
A vaginal condition that is characterised by vaginal discharge due to an overgrowth of bacteria in that area. While it is a bacterial condition, it is not a bacterial infection.
Most people with vaginas do not experience symptoms of BV. When they do, they typically experience vaginal discharge and odor change.
Treatment for this condition is usually an oral antibiotic and vaginal gels.
A swelling of the foreskin or the head of the penis and it mostly occurs with uncircumcised penises. Even though it is painful, it is not a serious health condition.
Common symptoms for balanitis are tightening of the foreskin, discharge, and itchy genitals.
To treat this condition, anti-itch or anti-fungal cream is prescribed.
A condition where a person with a penis cannot maintain or achieve an erection during sex.
Some causes of this condition may include: fatigue, stress, performance anxiety, lower libido, alcohol consumption, or even relationship issues. Other influencers such as heart disease, diabetes, aging and smoking can also impact erection.
Treatment does not have to be medical. Sometimes, a lifestyle change such as increased exercise can be enough. Individuals can be prescribed medication such as Viagra or testosterone replacement.
The simple explanation of menopause is when ovaries stop producing estrogen. Most people with vaginas and/or uteruses will experience menopause, which usually occurs between the ages of 45-55 years.
Symptoms of menopause include:
- Hot flashes: a sudden feeling of heat, which seems to come out of nowhere and spreads quickly throughout your body.
- Night sweats; waking up with sheets and clothes drenched with sweat, even if the room is a cool temperature.
- Vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex
- Low mood
- Low sex drive
- Problems with memory and concentration
- Difficulty sleeping throughout the night
Menopause is not a disease, and therefore does not require treatment! However, treatment for uncomfortable symptoms may include; hormone replacement therapy, vaginal oestrogen creams, counselling, healthy meals, and physical exercise.
Urinary Tract Infection
A bacterial infection that can affect any part of the urinary system (kidneys, urethra, bladder… etc.). People with vaginas have the most risk in getting a urinary tract infection (UTI), but it can happen to everyone.
Signs and symptoms may not be noticeable. When they are, they can include: the urge to pee, a burning sensation when peeing, cloudy urine, and/or blood in your urine.
Causes for UTIs are kidney stones, difficulty emptying your bladder, not peeing after sex, diabetes, having a weaker immune system, etc.
Avoid UTIs by avoiding the use of perfumed/scented soaps/bath bombs, peeing right after sex, staying hydrated, and wearing cotton underwear.
An inflammation of the vagina that can cause itching, discomfort, and discharge.
Symptoms of vaginitis can include; pain during sex or peeing, abnormal vaginal discharge, irritation or itching, light bleeding or spotting.
There are many different causes for vaginitis, including:
- Thrush or yeast infect
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Genital herpes
- Chemical irritations from scented soaps
- Vaginal douching
Treatment for vaginitis depends on what caused it. But self-care would include treatment such as using pad rather than tampons when menstruating, wearing cotton underwear rather than nylon, keeping the genital area clean and dry, and avoiding douching, as it removes the healthy bacteria that is in the vagina.
Yeast Infection (Vaginal Thrush)
Yeast infection is caused by a group of yeast forming fungi called Candida, which is already found in the vagina, but becomes more visible when the natural balances in the vagina are disrupted. Yeast infections usually occur among people with vaginas who are in their 20s or 30s, individuals who are pregnant, those who are have had sex when they are not fully aroused, individuals who are currently taking antibiotics or have uncontrolled diabetes, or people with weaker immune systems.
Symptoms include itching or soreness around the labia, discharge – which is usually odorless, but can be thick and/or white or thin and watery, a stinging sensation when peeing, and discomfort during sex.
Treatment is usually in the form of antifungal creams or capsules.