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Infections in the genital area

Don’t just trust yourself alone

About three-quarters of all women had a vaginal fungal infection at least once in their lives, and about five per cent of women who go for screening suffer from bacterial vaginosis.
Marta Campbell
14.05.2021  08:30 Uhr

Patients have a variety of complaints caused by bacterial vaginosis, and due to the odour, it is also unpleasant for the woman herself as well as for those around her. It occurs when the number of lactic acid bacteria (lactobacilli), which ensure an acidic environment (pH 3.8 to 4.4) in the vagina, decreases. As a result, the pH rises and harmful bacteria can spread. Many patients notice the disorder by a grey-white discharge (fluorine), often smelling fishy. Vaginosis also increases the risk of gynaecological infections, including those of the mucous membrane of the Zervix and uterus as well as the fallopian tubes. Bacterial vaginosis is particularly problematic during pregnancy, as the women affected are more likely to experience premature labour pains, early rupture of the amniotic sac or premature birth. Treatment is usually local with antibiotics such as metronidazole (for example Arilin® vaginal suppositories or Vagi-Metro® cream) or clindamycin (for example Sobelin® vaginal cream). In more severe cases, oral use is advisable.

As a supportive measure, but also for prevention, PTA can recommend vaginal preparations with lactic acid or lactobacilli, such as KadeFungin® FloraProtect, KadeFungin® Lactic Acid Cure, Vagisan® Lactic Acid Vaginal Suppositories, Lactofem® Lactic Acid Vaginal Suppositories or Vagiflor® Vaginal Suppositories.

Dr. Christian Albring, President of the Professional Association of Gynaecologists and gynaecologist in private practice in Hanover, says in an interview with the PTA-Forum: »Probiotics could have a positive effect on the healthy bacteria in the vagina and strengthen the local immune system. The disadvantage is that germs can get into the vagina from the outside when they are inserted.«

Knowing the symptoms

Vaginal mycosis manifests itself in an increased discharge, which is yellowish-white in colour and appears curd-like to crumbly. The women affected often describe the external genital area as red and swollen, furthermore they complain of constant itching and severe burning. Typical pathogens are dermatophytes, yeasts of the Candida type such as Candida albicans or moulds. Reasons for excessive colonisation can be a weakened immune system, diabetes or pregnancy. A past antibiotic treatment is also a possible cause.

Over-the-counter medicines are available for treatment. The prerequisite for self-medication is that the patient is over 18 years of age, is not pregnant and does not have vaginal mycosis for the first time. In the case of an initial infection, medical treatment is always indicated, as well as in the case of symptoms such as abdominal pain, very strong itching, fishy-smelling, foamy, greenish-yellow discharge or general symptoms such as a temperature or aching limbs.

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