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Home > Living Well > Health Library > Female Genital Problems and Injuries
It's common to have minor vaginal problems from time to time. These problems can be related to menstrual cycles, sex, infection, and birth control methods. They also can be related to hormone changes, medicines, or changes after pregnancy.
A change in your normal vaginal discharge may be the first sign of a vaginal problem. Changes in urination also may be a symptom of a problem. These changes may include having to urinate more often or having a burning feeling when you urinate.
Conditions that may cause a change in your normal vaginal discharge include:
The exact cause of pelvic pain may be hard to find. How severe your pain is and what other symptoms you have may help find out what is causing the pain. For example, a condition such as functional ovarian cysts may cause pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding when you aren't having your period.
If you think you may have symptoms of an STI:
An infection may occur when there is a change in the normal balance of organisms in your vagina. The excess growth of yeast cells or bacteria can cause a vaginal infection. Viruses can also cause a vaginal infection.
Common symptoms of a vaginal infection include:
If you are pregnant and have vaginal symptoms, talk with your doctor about your symptoms. Do this before you consider any home treatment. Some home treatments may not work, depending on the cause of your infection. Certain infections can affect your pregnancy. So it is important to talk with your doctor and be treated in the right way.
Vaginal infections may increase the risk for pelvic infections, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Other vaginal or vulvar problems may occur from the use of birth control methods, the use of medicines, or changes in hormones, or as a result of changes after pregnancy. These problems include:
A young child with unusual vaginal symptoms should be checked by the doctor to find the cause. Vaginitis in a young child may be caused by:
A young child with vaginal symptoms must also be checked for possible sexual abuse.
Many conditions can cause a rash, sore, blister, or lump in your vagina or vulva. One of the most common causes of a rash is genital skin irritation. This may occur when soap is not rinsed off the skin or when tight-fitting or wet clothes rub against the skin. A sore, blister, or lump in your vagina or vulva may require a visit to your doctor.
Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind of care you may need. These include:
You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be able to take care of this problem at home.
Urinary symptoms may include:
Symptoms of a vaginal infection may include:
Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause vaginal symptoms. A few examples are:
Pain in adults and older children
Pain in children under 3 years
It can be hard to tell how much pain a baby or toddler is in.
Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.
Based on your answers, you may need care soon. The problem probably will not get better without medical care.
Based on your answers, the problem may not improve without medical care.
A vaginal infection may clear up without treatment in a few days.
If you could be pregnant, do a home pregnancy test. Anyone with abnormal vaginal symptoms should talk with a doctor about these symptoms before using any home treatment or nonprescription medicines. Try the following tips to help care for a vaginal infection.
This will help irritated vaginal tissues heal. When you have sex again, try using a vaginal lubricant, such as Astroglide, to reduce irritation caused by having sex.
Relieve itching with a cold water compress or cool baths. Warm baths may also relieve pain and itching.
Make sure that the cause of your symptoms is not a forgotten tampon or other foreign object that needs to be removed.
Stay away from nylon and synthetics, because they hold heat and moisture close to the skin. This makes it easier for an infection to start. You may want to remove pajama bottoms or underwear when you sleep.
These items can change the normal balance of organisms in your vagina.
If you have symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection and have been diagnosed and treated by your doctor for this in the past, you may want to try treating it at home. You can use an over-the-counter medicine to treat your symptoms. Examples of medicines are tioconazole (Vagistat), clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin), and miconazole (Monistat).
If your symptoms don't improve with home treatment, contact your doctor. Vaginal symptoms that may be related to another type of vaginal infection or a cervical infection need to be checked.
If you are pregnant or if you take the blood-thinning medicine warfarin, talk to your doctor before using an over-the-counter medicine for a yeast infection. If you take warfarin and use an over-the-counter medicine, you may have increased bruising and abnormal bleeding.
Call a doctor if any of the following occur during self-care at home:
You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared for your appointment.
Current as of:
November 22, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: November 22, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
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