MORE TRUTHS ABOUT “TOILET INFECTIONS” [Part 2]

Now, how do I know if I have “toilet infection” (or don’t)?

Let’s get some things straight.

First, you are not likely to die from “toilet infections”! So, calm down. If the infection is a “sexually-transmitted infection” (STI), it may lead to difficulty in getting pregnant, (but, this is not as common as people say it is). So, the problem with “toilet infections” is discomfort — from the itching, discharge, unpleasant odor, and of course, fear and worry. I understand.

Next, no two ladies are the same when it comes to how they experience their bodies. Therefore, as a general statement, the key is to know what is “normal and usual” for you; you should become concern only when things have changed from how they used to be.
But I have to make some statements:

  • The vagina cleanses itself from the top downwards, therefore it is normal and healthy for every lady to have vaginal discharge — which is commonly whitish and thick, but could become clear and sticky sometimes. Plus, there is usually an accompanying normal odor. The amount and odor may also change, slightly, during exercise, sexual excitement, and ovulation. All these are normal.
  • But, if the amount of discharge noticeably decreases or increases (sometimes requiring the used of “pads”, as if one is menstruating!) and becomes watery; if it’s abnormally foul-smelling (sometimes, like the smell of fish!); if there are unusual colors (sometimes, ash, yellowish, or even green!); if it’s frothy (like foam of soap or saliva) or like cheese; if it itches, then, you may likely have one of the common, so-called “toilet infections.” [which may also cause pain during sex].
  • If there is pain (not just burning feeling), bleeding, wound/sore/blisters, with fever, vomiting, etc. If you see something growing “down there,” don’t just fold your arms and say “oh, this toilet infection again!” No, you likely have something else (especially if you are sexually active). See a doctor immediately.

And, what do I do if I have “toilet infection” (and how)?

  • Try to see if you can identify the cause of the infections. Note: “toilet” or “dirty toilet” is likely to be a wrong answer.
  • Remove the cause, if you can. If it’s poor hygiene, clean up; if it’s excessive washing, adjust; if it’s sex, recite A-B-C! Remove the cause; do what you can, if you can.
  • Try and keep things clean and dry “down there”. You may have to used “pads” and change them more frequently.
  • I could just tell you: “go to a Pharmacy, get Clotrimazole or any anti-fungal cream, rub it for 7 days and don’t forget to also get Flagyl tablets, take it twice daily also for 7 days”; but I wouldn’t! It’s better you see your doctor.
  • For those that are bold enough to do this and after 7 days there seem to be no improvement in the symptoms, please, forget your boldness (and shyness) and see a doctor, immediately!
  • Try to “zip-up” if you are on treatment.

But, how do I prevent “toilet infections” (and why)?

I think we have talked about this. Remember: Always keep the area clean and dry; change to loose-fitting, cotton underwear (“pants”); avoid “excessive washing” sessions — regular bathing is enough, etc. I know you remember.

It’s getting too long, again.

Thanks. Bye.

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Dr. 'Malik Haruna King is a practicing Nigerian Medical Doctor and Sex Therapist. He helps people with sensitive health issues find answers to questions they are too ashamed to ask!