If you’re a woman, then you’re probably no stranger to the notion of vaginal irritation, be it in the form of infection or something as innocuous as random dryness. There are a number of factors that can cause a woman pain in the vaginal area, but no matter how you dice it, living with any sort of vaginal discomfort just plain isn’t fun.
Of course, some forms of vaginal irritation tend to be worse than others. Once that mild irritation turns into a full-blown assault on your body’s most sensitive region, you generally have two choices: go to a doctor to determine the cause, or attempt to administer your own treatment via over-the-counter creams or medications. Although the latter is far from ideal, the reality is that not everyone has the luxury of taking time off of work and going to the doctor to receive treatment for vaginal inflammation—especially those who are susceptible to numerous vaginal infections each year.
While you may be inclined to self-diagnose your condition the next time you find yourself faced with vaginal inflammation, there’s at least one good reason not to do so—namely, the fact that you’re not a doctor and don’t have the knowledge to differentiate between the various ailments that could be causing you pain.
When most women start to experience itching and burning symptoms in the vaginal area, they tend to assume that a run-of-the-mill yeast infection is to blame. After all, getting a yeast infection can often times be a simple matter of sitting in a wet bathing suit for too long, eating the wrong foods, or having your hormones get thrown out of whack. What you may not realize, however, is that yeast infections are not the only ailment known to cause vaginal discomfort. In fact, there’s another source of vaginal pain that produces symptoms similar to those of yeast infections: trichomoniasis.
Not familiar with the term? Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease that tends to manifest in a manner similar to most yeast infections. Symptoms in women can include vaginal itching and irritation, redness, and noticeable discharge. Those infected with trichomoniasis may also experience pain during intercourse, cramping in the lower abdominal region, and the urge to urinate frequently.
Though trichomoniasis is clearly no picnic, the good news is that similar to yeast infections and other such vaginal ailments, the disease is fully treatable. The problem, however, is that treatment isn’t simply available in over-the-counter form; nor is it the same medication used to treat yeast infections.
In order to obtain the proper medication to rid yourself of trichomoniasis, a medical exam is necessary to begin to pinpoint the cause of your discomfort—but even this isn’t enough to produce an unquestionable conclusion. Ultimately, the only way for a doctor to truly diagnose trichomoniasis is to administer an STD test.
By attempting to solve your vaginal woes without the help of a trained professional, you can, unfortunately, end up making your situation far worse. Taking the wrong medication (such as a yeast infection cream) for trichomoniasis can actually end up aggravating your physical symptoms. Worse yet, by continuing to engage in sexual intercourse while infected, you’ll probably end up passing the disease on to your partner, who, in turn, will probably end up giving it back to you.
So the next time you start to experience that unsettling feeling of vaginal irritation, don’t take matters into your own hands. Get diagnosed and treated properly, and rid your body of trichomoniasis before it wreaks havoc on your life.