LARC

Other Infections


Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

What is it?

Bacterial Vaginosis is an infection caused by the disruption of the normal bacterial levels and presence in the vagina.

Bacterial Vaginosis can occur if you:

  • use scented soaps or perfumed bubble bath
  • put antiseptic liquids in the bath (e.g. Dettol)
  • douche or use vaginal deodorant
  • use strong detergents to wash your underwear
  • smoke

Hormonal changes during periods, semen in the vagina after sex without a condom, use of an intrauterine contraceptive device and genetic factors (inherited from your parents) may also play a part.

What are the symptoms?

  • Discharge develops a strong, unpleasant, fishy smell, especially after sex
  • Discharge becomes thin and watery, change to a white/grey colour
  • Some women have no obvious symptoms at all

How do I get tested?

Visit your GP or find your nearest sexual health clinic using our services page.

Can it be treated?

Yes, treatment for Bacterial Vaginosis is simple and involves taking antibiotic tablets.

Can I prevent it?

The easiest way to prevent Bacterial Vaginosis is to be careful with hygiene. Many women become overly concerned with their genital hygiene and excessive washing can remove the normal bacteria present in the vagina allowing bad bacteria to be present.

There is no need to wash inside the vagina, a simple wipe around the vulva (lips) using plain water will be sufficient to maintain hygiene. Avoid tight underwear and clothing especially during the warm weather as this can encourage both bacteria and yeast to grow.

Condoms are the only form of contraception to protect you against STI's. You can get FREE condoms from (insert link)

Thrush (Candida or Vaginal Yeast Infection)

What is it?

Thrush is most commonly caused by a type of fungus known as Candida Albicans. The Candida species of fungus is found naturally in the vagina, and is usually harmless. However, if conditions in the vagina change, Candida Albicans can cause the symptoms of thrush.

It is not known exactly how a change in the vagina triggers thrush, but it may be due to a chemical imbalance. In most cases, the cause of the change is unknown. Some possible risk factors have been identified, such as taking antibiotics.

Thrush is more likely to develop if you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Wear tight clothing, such as jeans or nylon underwear, because this prevents natural ventilation
  • Take certain antibiotics
  • Are having chemotherapy
  • Have uncontrolled diabetes , HIVor other illnesses that affect your defence (immune) system
  • Use products that irritate the vagina, such as vaginal deodorant or bubble bath

Thrush can occasionally be passed on after vaginal, anal or oral sex, by fingers during foreplay or by sharing sex toys. This may be due to the yeast being transferred from one sexual partner to another or the act of sex irritating the genital area.

What are the symptoms?

For women:

  • thick, white vaginal discharge
  • itching, soreness, swelling of the vulva (lips)
  • Pain when passing urine (peeing)

In men:

  • The penis may become sore, itchy and inflamed

How do I get tested?

Visit your GP or find your nearest sexual health clinic using our services page.

Can it be treated?

Yes, women can easily treat thrush with vaginal pessaries and anti-fungal cream, some of which can be bought over the counter at pharmacies. Men can treat thrush with anti-fungal cream.

Can I prevent it?

The easiest way to prevent thrush is to be careful with hygiene. Many women become overly concerned with their genital hygiene and too much washing can remove the normal bacteria present in the vagina, which keeps the naturally occurring yeast under control, which then allows for the yeast to grow.

There is no need to wash inside the vagina, a simple wipe around the vulva (lips) using plain water will be sufficient to maintain hygiene and cleanliness. Avoid tight underwear and clothing especially during the warm weather as this can encourage both bacteria and yeast to grow.

Condoms are the only form of contraception to protect you against transferring thrush to your partner or receiving thrush from your partner. You can get FREE condoms from insert link

Trichomonas Vaginalis (Trich or TV)

What is it?

Trich is caused by a parasite, Trichomonas Vaginalis that lives in the urogenital tract of men and women.

What are the symptoms?

In women:

  • A vaginal discharge, yellow/green in colour, which may smell unpleasant and look frothy
  • Soreness, itching and inflammation in and around the vagina
  • Frequent need to urinate and/or pain when urinating (peeing)
  • Pain when having sex

In men include:

  • pain when urinating (peeing)
  • abnormal discharge from the penis
  • Inflammation of the glands or foreskin (less common )

How do I get tested?

Visit your GP or find you're nearest sexual health clinic using our services page.

Can it be treated?

Yes, Trich can be treated with antibiotics.

Can I prevent it?

Condoms are the only form of contraception to protect you against STIs. You can get FREE condoms from any easy access point for condoms


Contacts

You Choose
info@uchooseonline.co.uk

NHS Direct
0845 4647

Sex - Worth Talking About
0800 28 29 30

 Lambeth Teenage Pregnancy and Parenthood Partnership
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