8 Vagina Changes That Mean You’ve Just Caught An STD
What warrants a visit to the doc? Any abnormal discharge, foul-smelling odours, bumps or iffy changes in your lady parts, says Dr Deborah Bateson, WH sexual health expert. Until then, here’s a guide to what may be turning things funky downstairs…
Caused by a parasite, the common symptoms for this include musty-smelling discharge and vaginal burning or itching. But usually people have no symptoms at all. Ask your doc for a vaginal swab test. If trichomoniasis is diagnosed, a single dose of an antibiotic should clear it in about a week.
If you think you have genital warts, which are often skin-coloured and raised or cauliflower-shaped, see your doctor ASAP. These are caused by the HPV virus, although not everyone who has HPV gets them. Your GP can prescribe a topical treatment cream that usually clears the warts in four to six weeks or she can remove them in-office. Up to 80 percent of sexually active people get the HPV virus at some time.
Chlamydia or gonorrhoea
Both infections can present similarly, including a greenish-yellow discharge or burning when you wee, but they often have no symptoms at all. If left untreated, these STDs can lead to infertility. Yikes! Go to your doc to be diagnosed via vaginal swab or urine sample. If they come back positive you’ll be given antibiotics and advised to avoid sexual contact for seven days.
Caused by the HSV-1 or HSV-2 virus (most often the latter), below-the-belt herpes looks pimple-like or fluid-filled, can be painful and can crop up on the inside of the labia. While it’s not ‘curable’, antiviral drugs can help keep outbreaks dormant. Right now, researchers are working on a vaccine.
Good news: it’s rare. Symptoms include a single, painless sore or rash – and while it may disappear on its own, the underlying infection needs to be treated. If progressive signs (like all-over body sores) are ignored, it can spread to major organs, causing much more serious probs. A blood test will detect it and a round of penicillin will treat it.
Talk to your doc!
Ingrown hair or STD? Only your sexual health nurse or doctor knows for sure. Be prepared with a list of symptoms and the details of your sexual history since your last visit.