Name That Symptom – Diagnosing Common Vaginal Issues

The vagina is a complex organism. What other body part has an entire aisle dedicated to it at the local pharmacy? A storing house for all manner of blood, mucus, urine, yeast and some fluids that haven't even been identified by science, the vagina causes women profound stress and frustration. When something goes wrong, i.e. an unidentified infection or odor, the vagina can terrify a woman. So it's important to understand what various symptoms can actually signify. 
What's Wrong With My Vagina? 
First off, I must point out that only a doctor can provide you with a surefire diagnosis for whatever symptoms you're experiencing. It's possible for us to make educated guesses, but the body can be unpredictable. If your symptoms persist despite your best efforts to remedy them, see a doctor right away. With that out of the way, let's take a look at some of the more common and annoying vaginal issues: 
  • Itchiness, discharge and foul odor. These are signs of a yeast infection. It's estimated that as many as 3 out of every 4 women will suffer a yeast infection at some point in their lives. Birth control pills trigger a majority of these infections. If you take birth control pills, try weaning yourself off and see if your symptoms improve. 
  • Excess vaginal bleeding. Do you find yourself bleeding between periods? This symptom is a fairly common condition and can be triggered by stress or anxiety. In some cases, birth control pills may also be to blame for unexplained bleeding. 
  • Excess vaginal discharge. Discharge is normal during periods of sexual activity, including masturbation. If the problem persists, though, the cause may be related to stress, C-section, or the use of birth control pills. In certain cases, STIs may also be to blame. 
  • Vaginal dryness or insensitivity. This may be a consequence of stress, but other possible causes exist. Many women experience vaginal insensitivity after prolonged vibrator use because of the damage to nerves. Herbal preparations can restore lost sensitivity and repair damaged nerves. 
  • Burning during urination. This is never a good sign, and according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, it may be indicative of a sexually transmitted infection. If burning persists, see a doctor. If the burning is accompanied by abdominal pain or blood, see a doctor immediately. 
STIs – Not Always Apparent
The majority of STIs, including chlamydia and gonorrhea, show no symptoms at all. So if you're reading this article out of concern that you may have an infection, get tested. If left untreated, even the mildest STIs can lead to worse conditions like pelvic inflammatory disease. If you're just experiencing unidentified symptoms and have not engaged in risky sexual activity, the problem may be nothing serious at all.


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