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Genital Tract Infections

Genital tract infections are a cause of widespread health issues that can affect women of all ages, leading to discomfort, social stigma and potentially serious health complications if not addressed properly. This blog gives an overview of various types of female genital tract infections, risk factors, symptoms and treatment options.

Book an online appointment with Dr. Kiranjeet Kaur for Pregnancy & Gynecology related issues.

Types of Genital Tract Infections

Bacterial Infections: Bacterial vaginosis and several sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, gonorrhoeic and syphilis are the common bacterial infections of the genital tract. Bacterial vaginosis occurs due to an imbalance in the natural vaginal flora, whereas STIs typically spreads through unprotected sexual contact.

Fungal or Yeast Infection: This is primarily caused by Candida species of fungus. Yeast is a naturally occurring organism in the vagina, and overgrowth of yeast can result in infection, leading to symptoms like itching, burning, and unusual discharge.

Viral Infections: Genital tract infections can also be caused by viruses, such as the herpes simplex virus (HSV), human papillomavirus (HPV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). These infections vary in their impact on health and can cause significant long-term reproductive and general health issues.

Causes and Risk Factors

Sexual Behavior: Engaging in unprotected sex is a leading factor in the spread of genital tract infections, elevating the likelihood of acquiring STIs and other infections.

Hormonal Fluctuations: Changes in hormone levels due to menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause can predispose individuals to genital tract infections by altering the internal environment.

Personal Hygiene: Poor hygiene practices can facilitate the proliferation of harmful microbes in the genital area, heightening infection risk.

Recognising Symptoms

Symptoms of genital tract infections can vary widely. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Itching and Burning in the perineal area: These sensations are common indicators of infection and cause significant discomfort.
  • Unusual Vaginal Discharge: Noticing changes in the colour, texture, or smell of vaginal discharge can be a sign of infection.
  • Pain During Urination or Sexual Activity: This can be a symptom of an underlying infection.

Managing Genital Tract Infection

Preventive measures such as routine medical examinations, practicing protected sex, and adhering to proper hygiene practices are fundamental in avoiding and managing these infections.

Also Read : Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Specific treatment:

Antibiotics are routinely prescribed to treat bacterial infections of the genital tract, while anti-fungal drugs are used to treat common yeast infections. It's imperative to follow the prescribed treatment course fully to eliminate the infection.

Antiviral medications are essential for symptom management and complication prevention in viral infections like herpes and HIV. It is crucial to continue medical follow-up for those with chronic viral infections.

Awareness and understanding of genital tract infections are essential for safeguarding reproductive and overall health. If you suspect an infection, it's important to seek immediate medical attention for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment, minimising the risk of further health issues.

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