Vaginal infection is a sickness of females caused by an out-of-control growth of infectious bacteria, fungi, parasites, or viruses in and around the vagina and vulva- the entrance of the vagina. Some of these microbes naturally reside in the genitals of the women without causing any illness, but they may turn harmful if they grow abundantly, because of the disruption of normal healthy conditions in the vagina. This can be caused by a variety of reasons including the use of tampons or any products that irritate the vaginal skin, practicing douching, and taking antibiotics or some kind of contraception. Some vaginal infections could be sexually transmitted, meaning women might have got them because of unprotected sex with their partners. 
Most Common Types of Vaginal Infections
- Bacterial vaginosis- It’s a bacterial vaginal infection caused by an overgrowth of bacteria that normally lives in a healthy vagina. The infected patients experience symptoms like pain during sex, an itchy vulva, a fishy-smelling odor coming from the vagina, a burning sensation while urinating, and a thin white or gray discharge.
- Chlamydia- It is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection caused by a specific bacterial strain known as Chlamydia trachomatis. It usually results in no symptoms. However, people affected with Chlamydia may experience some symptoms like unusual vaginal bleeding, white/green/yellow vaginal discharge, pain during sexual intercourse, and a burning sensation when peeing.
- Gonorrhoea- It is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection caused by a bacterium, Neisseria Gonorrhoea. It leads to no symptoms in more than half of infected women. However, some patients do experience symptoms like pelvic pain, a burning sensation when passing urine, pain, and swelling of the labia, and an abnormal vaginal discharge that may be white, green, or yellow.
- Genital Herpes- It is a viral vaginal infection caused by Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 (HSV-2). Its symptoms include painful sores or ulcers on the genitals, inflammation of the lymph nodes, pain or burning sensation while urinating, swelling of the vulva, and fever and headaches.
- Genital Warts- It is a viral vaginal infection caused by Human Papilloma Virus. Its symptoms include the appearance of warts (abnormal skin growths) either in clusters or separately, around and inside the vagina and the anus; warts that may bleed, and itching, flushing, or discomfort.
- Vaginal Thrush- It is a fungal or yeast vaginal infection, resulting from a fungus/yeast called Candida albicans. The infection occurs when the Candida species enters the mucosal lining of the vagina and result in an inflammatory response. Some of its symptoms include thick, white, sticky vaginal discharge (just like cottage cheese); itching, irritation, and burning sensation in and around the vagina; flushing and swelling around the vagina and vulva; and pain to passing urine or having sex.
- Trichomoniasis- It is a very common sexually transmitted infection that occurs because of a protozoan parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. Approximately, 70% of the infected people do not show up any signs and symptoms at all while some patients may begin to show symptoms within 5-28 days of getting infected. If symptoms are present, they may include an unusual vaginal discharge like an increase in its volume, thin discharge, or change in its color to clear, yellow, or green; discomfort while passing urine; itchy, flushed, sore, or burning genitals. [1, 2]
How can vaginal infections be treated or prevented?
Vaginal infections can’t be cured by themselves. These must not be left untreated as they may result in complications that can adversely affect one’s general well-being. However, people suffering from vaginal infections can get treatment or manage their vaginal health condition. 
Depending upon the type of vaginal infection, its severity, and the symptoms experienced by an individual, the doctors prescribe appropriate treatment. For bacterial infections, the patients are provided with oral or topical antibiotics while fungal or yeast infections can be treated with antifungal agents. In the case of vaginal infections caused by a virus, their symptoms can sometimes be managed with antiviral therapy. 
People can reduce their risk of experiencing vaginal infections by following some preventive measures. To avoid vaginal infections, the first and foremost thing to do is to care for the vagina. Vaginal infections like bacterial vaginosis and thrush can be avoided by stopping the use of any products such as soaps, bath additives, shower gels, and intimate hygiene products that irritates the skin of the vagina and vulva. 
Many common vaginal infections that are sexually transmitted can be prevented to passed on through sexual contact with an infected partner by using good sex protection or condoms.
Moreover, every doctor recommends females to not douche- wash out their vagina, as this can reduce the number of good bacteria that live in the genital area and keeps it healthy. Also, the females are recommended to wear clean, cotton clean underwear and change it daily, not wear damp or tight clothing, follow healthy menstrual hygiene like changing sanitary napkins after every 4-8 hours of use, avoid the use of latex lubricants and condoms if allergic to it, and wipe their vagina from front-to-back after using the washroom.
Vitall STI testing Kits
Doctors usually recommend every female as well as their partner get tested for STIs before having sexual intercourse. Now, anyone can get rapid and confidential STI testing at their home and feel assured of their sexual health. Vitall offers various discreet STI test kits at affordable prices for both partners. These include Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea test; Chlamydia Gonorrhoea, and Trichomoniasis test; Female Extra Safe STI; Female STI; Female STI Complete Security; Hepatitis B and C test; HIV 1 and 2 test; Male STI test; Male Extra Safe STI test. [1, 3]
VitaPost Urinary Tract Support
To promote vaginal and urinary health as well as improve the immune system, women can try out VitaPost Urinary Tract Support. This is a natural everyday dietary supplement that is packed with patented ingredients like Pacran® (whole cranberry goodness), PreforPro® (traditional fiber-based prebiotics), and DE111® (a special probiotic). [1, 2, 4]