A vaginal infection may develop when there is a change in the normal
balance of organisms in your vagina. These changes may be caused by an
overgrowth of yeast or bacteria in your vagina. The symptoms are often
Vaginal discharge that is usually white, looks like cottage
cheese, and is odorless.
Red, irritated skin around the opening to
the vagina (labia).
Pain while urinating when urine touches
Pain during sex.
Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are more likely to occur
during the week before a menstrual period. Itching and redness of the vulva can
also be caused by a reaction to vaginal products such as soap, bath oils,
spermicidal jelly, or douches.
Vaginal yeast infections may go away on their own; persistent
infections are treated with medications.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) causes a thin, grayish white
vaginal discharge with a "fishy" smell. Your symptoms may be worse after sex
and following your menstrual period. Some women with BV do not have symptoms.
BV may cause problems with pregnancy, such as preterm labor.
Bacterial vaginosis often clears up on its own without treatment.
You may be treated with antibiotics if you have persistent symptoms or if you