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Common Health Issues

See below for some information and helpful resources to some common feminine health issues. Contact your medical professional if you have specific questions or concerns.

Bacterial Vaginosis: Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) generally results in an excessive grayish white vaginal discharge and a bothersome "fishy odor" which can be worse after sexual intercourse. Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) sufferers describe the discharge as yogurt-like or pasty. Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) may also cause vaginal itching & redness.

For more information about Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), visit:
http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/bacterial-vaginosis.cfm
http://www.aafp.org/afp/980315ap/majeroni.html
Irregular periods/Amenorrhea: Amenorrhea, Irregular periods, or complete lack of periods, can be caused by many things, including stress, eating disorders, too much exercise, weight gain, weight loss, and birth defects.

For more information about irregular periods, visit:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003149.htm
Sexually Transmitted Disease: Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STD's are infections that you can get from having sex with someone who has the infection. The causes of STDs are bacteria, parasites and viruses. Most STDs affect both men and women, but in many cases the health problems they cause can be more severe for women.

For more information about STD’s, visit:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/sexuallytransmitteddiseases.html
Toxic Shock Syndrome: Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a rare but serious and sometimes fatal disease associated with tampon use. About half the cases of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) are associated with tampon use; the remainder occur in men, children and women who are not menstruating.

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is treatable, but early recognition and treatment are important.

The warning signs of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) include: sudden high fever (usually 102ºF/38.8ºC or higher), vomiting, diarrhea, sunburn-like rash, dizziness, muscle aches, fainting/near fainting when standing up. Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) can rapidly progress from flu-like symptoms to a serious illness that can be fatal. If you have any of these signs, immediately remove your tampon and contact a doctor.

Tell your doctor that you have been using tampons and think that you may have Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).

For more information about Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), visit:
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/toxicshock_t.htm
Urinary Tract Infection: A Urinary Tract Infection or UTI is any infection of the bladder, kidneys, ureter, or urethra. Women are much more likely to get Urinary Tract Infection (UTIs) than men as a result of a shorter urethra.

For more information about Urinary Tract Infection (UTIs), visit: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000521.htm
Vaginal Atrophy: (atrophic vaginitis) Vaginal Atrophy is thinning, shrinking tissues and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to a decline in estrogen. Vaginal atrophy occurs most often after menopause, but it can also develop during breast-feeding or at any other time a woman’s estrogen production declines. Vaginal Atrophy sufferers describe feeling vaginal dryness, soreness, itching and painful sexual intercourse. Vaginal dryness may lead to Vaginal Atrophy.
Vaginal odor: Vaginal odor is generally caused by unbalanced feminine pH. When vaginal pH is unbalanced, odor-causing microorganisms can flourish. Unbalanced vaginal pH can be triggered by menstruation, semen, douching, and even by using body soaps.
Vaginal pH: Vaginal pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline a substance is. The pH of a certain substance is described as a number from 0-14. The lower the number, the more acidic the substance. Distilled water is neutral, and has a pH of 7. The vaginal pH of a healthy vagina is 3.5 to 4.5, which is acidic.

Why does pH matter? You’ve probably heard that pH balanced shampoo can keep your hair strong and healthy, or that pH balanced deodorant eliminates odor and perspiration to keep you feeling fresh. But it’s not just our hair and underarms that benefit from pH balance. In fact, pH balance plays a large role in the overall health of our bodies. And different parts of the body function best at different pH levels.

What is healthy vaginal pH? A normal vaginal pH of 3.5 to 4.5 is important for maintaining good vaginal health. At this optimum pH level, your vagina contains a balance of necessary bacteria and some yeast cells. This delicate balance can be easily disturbed.

Normal Vaginal pH Level Why does vaginal pH matter? When this balance is disturbed, vaginal problems like vaginal odor and discomfort are more likely to occur. When feminine pH is unbalanced, odor causing microorganisms can flourish. Studies show that vaginal issues often occur when vaginal pH is unbalanced. By maintaining a healthy vaginal pH, you can help reduce your risk of vaginal issues.
Vulvodynia: Vulvodynia, also known as "chronic vulvar pain," is characterized by burning, irritation, and pain around the opening of the vagina. This can be caused by any number of reasons, including nerve injury.

For more information about vulvodynia, visit: http://women.webmd.com/vulvodynia
Yeast Infection: A vaginal yeast infection is an irritation of the vagina or vulva as a result of the fungus candida albicans. Yeast Infection symptoms include burning, redness, and swelling of the vagina and the vulva, pain when passing urine, pain during sex, a thick, white vaginal discharge that does not have a bad smell, and a rash on the vagina.

For more information about yeast infections, visit:
http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/vaginal-yeast-infections.cfm

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