ZocdocAnswersHow many types of vaginal bacterial infections exist?

Question

How many types of vaginal bacterial infections exist?

I've had what definitely seems like a vaginal infection for several weeks. I'm working on fighting it off using home remedies. But it doesn't really seem like bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection. Are there other kinds of infections that I could be dealing with? How many kinds are there?

Answer

If you are having symptoms that are concerning for a vaginal infection, you should see a doctor to have a full exam and assessment. There are many different types of vaginitis that can occur. Most of them usually present with itching, discharge (sometimes foul smelling) and pain. They are usually a result of vaginal and vulvar irritation. Usually, these symptoms are caused by a infection but they can also be caused by irritation of the vagina/vulva with a foreign body (ie tampon), hormonal fluctuation or other allergy to items placed in the vagina, such as condoms, douches, spermicides or creams. There are many different types of infectious causes of vaginitis. A yeast infection is caused by the yeast Candida and treated with an antifungal cream or antibiotic called fluconazole. Bacterial vaginosis is caused by a bacterial called Gardenella and can be treated with an antibiotic called metronidazole. Discharge is usually foul smelling. There are other organisms that can cause vaginal infection, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, campylobacter, improper hygiene and parasites. Your doctor will likely be able to diagnose the cause of your symptoms with a full speculum exam and by looking at the discharge under a microscope. You may need antibiotics in order for the infection to resolve.

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