Menstrual problems hurt the lower reproductive tract of the body so one should be mindful before the infection worsens. So, the best you can do is notice the symptoms of infection, especially during your periods. The signs and symptoms of the infection during periods will include the following:
- Irritation and redness in the vagina and vulva
- A burning sensation while urinating or during sexual contact
- Itching and swelling of the vulva
- Vaginal pain and soreness accompanied by a vaginal rash
- Differences in vaginal discharge range from- watery to thick, white discharge
While you may notice the symptoms, it can be quite difficult to recognise the symptoms of infection and get the help they require. So, the first thing you should do is identify the kind of menstrual infections you’re suffering from.
3 common menstrual infections in women
Women must recognise the symptoms of infection and get the help they require. Listed below are three common menstrual infections that women may experience in their menstrual cycle:
1. Yeast infections
Yeast infection also known as vaginal candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by the fungus candida. Yeast infection occurs when the level of yeast and bacteria naturally present in the vagina becomes unbalanced. This condition results in inflammation accompanied by intense itchiness and a thick, white discharge from the vagina and the vulva, the tissues at the vaginal opening.
How to reduce the risk of yeast infection?
Yeast infection may not be entirely avoided, however following these tips may lower your chances of contracting yeast infection:
- Wearing breathable underwear is essential to prevent rashes, irritation, and most importantly infection. It is advised to wear cotton underwear as it keeps you dry by not holding onto moisture or heat.
- The golden rule to avoid infection is to wipe front to back at all times.
- Menstruators should change their pad every few hours whether it is a tampon, sanitary pad, or a cloth one. Using a pad for periods results in rashes, itchiness, irritation, and skin infections.
- Eating Greek yogurt might help reduce the chances of getting an infection, due to the probiotics it contains.
- It is advised to limit the intake of foods rich in sugar and spicy foods as it facilitates the ability of yeast to thrive in the body.
2. Urinary tract infections
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common type of infection that affects the urinary system. UTI can occur or affect any part of your urinary systems such as the urethra, ureters, bladder, and kidneys. A woman is more likely to contract Urinary tract infection because the urethra, a tube that carries urine out of the body in females, is shorter and closer to the anus.
How to prevent a UTI?
Listed below are the measures to prevent urinary tract infections:
- Drinking water helps dilute the urine. Hydrating leads to urinating which allows the bacteria to be flushed from the urinary tract before an infection can begin.
- Wiping from front to back prevents the spread of bacteria from the anus to the vagina and urethra.
- Not using feminine products in the genital area can irritate the urethra.
3. Bacterial vaginosis
This is a condition caused by an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. Disruption of the balance of bacteria leads to bacterial vaginosis.
How to avoid bacterial vaginosis?
These measures will help lower the risk of bacterial vaginosis-
- Women can use clean water to wash their vaginas instead of using mild unscented soaps to minimise irritation.
- Wear light, breathable clothes and undergarments to prevent irritation.
- Practice safe sex by using protection to prevent the spread of bacterial vaginosis.
- Women should also go for check-ups occasionally regardless of whether they have symptoms or not.
How can you avoid menstrual infections?
Maintaining good menstrual hygiene by keeping your vagina fresh and clean is important to ensure that your body does not come into contact with any infection. Menstruation itself is a difficult process to endure and being in contact with these infections makes it even more difficult and dangerous to achieve the overall well-being of a woman. These infections, if not treated or diagnosed, may adversely impact the body of the individual in the coming years.
The menstrual cycle itself is accompanied by uncomfortable symptoms which may differ from one woman to another. This makes it extremely important for a woman to be in tune with their body and to consult a doctor if symptoms of infection persist.