Vaginal infections are a common health problem. More than three quarters of all women will have a vaginal yeast infection in their lifetime. Bacterial infections may be even more common, especially in young and middle-aged women. About 3 out of every 10 women have bacterial vaginosis. And the vast majority of those don’t even show symptoms.
While vaginal infections are very common, many women find it difficult or embarrassing to talk about the health of their vaginas. A vaginal infection is nothing to be ashamed of, and no cause for alarm — but it does need to be treated, to prevent more serious consequences.
There are three main types of vaginal infections:
- Bacterial vaginosis, caused by an overgrowth of bacteria
- Candidiasis, or yeast infections, caused by the fungus Candida albicans or other Candida species
- Trichomoniasis, caused by a very small parasite that is spread through sex