Vaginal Infections: The Types and Causes

Vaginal infections are very common, and may appear even if you take good care of yourself. Learn more about them in this article.
Vaginal Infections: The Types and Causes
Maricela Jiménez López

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Maricela Jiménez López.

Written by Okairy Zuñiga

Last update: 26 May, 2022

Vaginal infections   can cause changes in both the vaginal area and the vulva .
In this article, we’ll talk about the most common vaginal infections and the causes that tend to trigger them more frequently.

Causes of vaginal infections

Vaginal Health

Some women suffer more often. However, it does not necessarily imply poor hygiene, bad habits or risky sexual practices.
Visit this article: Fight Bacterial Vaginosis With 5 Natural Remedies

Not changing condoms

Although it is not directly linked to the appearance of vaginal infections, it is considered one of its causes when having anal and vaginal sex without changing condoms. What happens in this case is that fecal bacteria are spread from the anus to the vagina. To avoid the problem, it is important to change the condom if you want to perform both sexual practices.


Due to Use of Antibiotics

This sounds contradictory because in theory antibiotics seek to eliminate disease-causing agents. However, you can experience vaginal infections because this type of drugs affects both the beneficial bacteria (bacterial flora) and the harmful bacteria,  which makes us more susceptible to developing fungal infections.

Hormone alteration

Hormonal changes can also cause vaginal fungal infections due to increased estrogen in the body. The moments in which we are most susceptible are  during pregnancy , under hormonal therapy or during menopause.

You wear clothing made of synthetic materials

Non-breathable underwear

As we all know, warm, humid and poorly oxygenated sites are places where bacteria and fungi that cause infections develop more easily. In this category we find:
  • Tight pants
  • Underwear made of synthetic materials
  • Lycra pants or leggings

All of them create a perfect environment for the development of microorganisms in the genital area, especially yeast. If you like tight pants, try to take them off or change them every 10 hours. In addition, it is recommended that you check the label and choose those made with at least 50% cottton.
We recommend you read: 5 Undergarments That Help You Stay Healthy

High blood glucose levels

The taste for sweets is not exclusive to humans, yeasts also love it, so there is a connection between diabetes and yeast infections. It is important to eat a diet low in fats and sugars, both to improve health and to prevent certain diseases. In case of having diabetes, you must make sure to keep your glucose levels within the physiological range.

Types of vaginal infections

Not all vaginal infections are the same. Each one has different characteristics and must be treated in a particular way.

Vaginal mycosis or fungal infection

Fungal Infections

This is the case of candidiasis. Fungal infections are the most common. Specifically, candidiasis usually produces:
  • Thick vaginal discharge
  • Redness in vagina and vulva
  • Itching

Its treatment is simple in most cases. You can buy ovules or creams that you can find at any pharmacy.

Bacterial vaginosis

It is common in women of reproductive age. Vaginosis increases the risk of developing sexually transmitted diseases. It is characterized by:

  • Vaginal discharge with a “fishy” smell after sexual intercourse
  • Pain when urinating
  • Discolored or white discoloration
  • Vaginal itching and pain

Vaginal infections by trichomonas

It is caused by a microbial agent called Trichomonas vaginalis . This type of infection should be treated with antibiotics , since it is spread through sexual intercourse. Their characteristics are:

  • Smell of mold
  • Greenish yellow discharge
  • Vaginal burning and itching


Woman with Discomfort from Vaginal Infection

It is a sexually transmitted infection. Not only is it able to affect the genital area, it can also cause other diseases such as arthritis, pneumonia or conjunctivitis. It gives rise to bad odors in the vaginal discharge, which in these cases, assumes a whitish color.

Vaginal infection of viral type

This type of infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus . In addition to irritation, blisters appear in the genital area that turn into ulcers.
Another reason why this type of infection appears is the human papilloma virus that causes genital warts. In either case, it is important to see a doctor.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.