Infections of the vaginal tract result from perturbations in the complex interactions between the microbiome and the host vaginal ecosystem. Recent data have linked specific vaginal microbes and urogenital infection with pre-term birth. Here we discuss how next generation sequencing-based approaches to study the vaginal microbiome will be important for defining what constitutes an imbalance of the microbiome and the associated host conditions that lead to subsequent infection and disease states.
Vaginal infections and vaginitis, or inflammation of the vagina, are very common — so much so that most women will experience one or the other, and likely both, during their lifetime. Symptoms of either a vaginal infection or vaginitis may include vaginal dischargeitching, burning, pain, and a strong odor. While some vaginal infections are caused by sexually transmitted diseases, other very common ones are not.
In the United States, vaginal infections are one of the most common reasons women see their doctor, accounting for millions of visits each year. Vaginal infections are caused by microorganisms, but women can take precautions, such as wearing loose, absorbent underwear, to reduce their risk of getting infections. Doctors examine a sample of fluids from the vagina or cervix to check for microorganisms that can cause infections.
It most often affects the skin around the vulva or anus. It can be itchy, painful and cause permanent scarring. Lichen sclerosus affects around one in 80 women.
You may routinely pamper your face and work hard to keep it moisturized and irritation-free, but what have you done lately for the more sensitive skin of your vulva, the external genital area surrounding your vagina? Many women have been primed to think no further than "itch equals yeast infection. These conditions aren't getting the medical attention they need — and women aren't getting the relief they deserve.
The external female genital area is called the vulva. The outer folds of skin are called the labia majora and the inner folds are called the labia minora. If you see changes on the skin of the vulva, or if you have itching, burning, or pain, contact your gynecologist or other health care professional.
Vaginal health affects more than just your sex life. Find out about common vaginal problems and ways to promote a healthy vagina. Vaginal health is an important part of a woman's overall health.
Top of the page Check Your Symptoms. Most women experience minor vaginal problems from time to time. These problems can be related to menstrual cycles, sex, infection, birth control methods, aging, medicines, or changes after pregnancy.
Lichen planus is a multisystem disease. Often genital involvement is missed or misdiagnosed. It can be rapidly progressive with high patient morbidity.