How do I know if I have a vaginal infection?

How do I know if I have a vaginal infection?

If you have a discharge that smells different for you or if the area around your vulva or vagina is itchy, red, or sore, you should make an appointment with your health care provider and get treated.

Not all vaginal odors are caused by an infection. Poor hygiene (not washing your vulva/vagina regularly with warm water and soap) can cause an unpleasant smell. Wearing tight fitting clothing or underwear made of nylon that doesn’t breathe can cause sweat and bacteria to get trapped which can also cause an unpleasant odor.

If you have vaginal odor or signs of irritation (new discharge, redness, itchiness, burning) make an appointment with your health care provider. If you are sexually active, use condoms every time you have sex as this will lower your risk of getting an STI (sexually transmitted infection) and bacterial vaginosis (a common vaginal infection).

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