The Woman's Group

Infections

Bladder infection / urinary tract infection

A bladder infection, also called cystitis, occurs when the bladder becomes swollen. Women are more susceptible to this sort of infection because the female urethra is shorter than the male’s, and bacteria can move up to the bladder more quickly in women. This infection is likely to develop in women during the time of their first few sexual encounters.

To determine if it is a bladder infection, a physician can take a urine sample. Antibiotics can generally heal this sort of infection in three to seven days. To prevent a bladder/urinary tract infection, it is important to drink plenty of water and juice, urinate before and after sex, wipe from front to back after a bowel movement, use lubrication during sex and avoid the use of a diaphragm.

Gardnerella

Bacterial vaginitis, or gardnerella, is characterized by a change in amount, color, smell and consistency of discharge. Other side effects include painful intercourse, painful urination and itching. It is usually an infection that develops after intercourse. The infection can be treated with antibiotics. If the problem persists, the male sex partner may need to be treated as well.

Vaginal yeast infection

Yeast infections are caused by the fungus candida albicans that, aside from the vagina, can be found in the mouth, in the digestive track or on the skin. However, unless it’s in the vagina, it cannot flourish and grow substantially. A physician should always treat an initial yeast infection. At the onset of a second yeast infection, an over-the-counter yeast infection cream can be purchased.

Some STD's can mimic symptoms of a yeast infection, so it is important to distinguish between them. If there has been a change in sexual partner or if symptoms persist after treatment, be sure to have an examination by your physician.