Thrush and genital warts

Most women experience problems like itching and burning in their vaginal area from time to time. The problems can have various causes, such as infections, rashes or sexually transmitted diseases like genital warts (HPV). It’s really important that you see a doctor to have some tests to find the cause of your problems. It’s often the area around the vaginal opening that’s irritated and itching. For women past the menopause, hormonal changes may cause vaginal dryness that makes sex painful. Quite often there’ll be discharge, sometimes smelly, along with the irritation in the vaginal area.

Thrush

Normally, there’s some thrush present in the vagina. But it’s usually kept at bay by the normal bacteria in the vagina, which create an acid environment.  But if the balance is upset for some reason, the thrush will start to multiply.

Symptoms

Symptoms of thrush include irritation in the vagina and on the skin surrounding it, smelly discharge, pain and burning during or after sex, a burning sensation when you urinate and a need to urinate frequently. 

Reasons for thrush

Exaggerated hygiene in the vaginal area and using soap or washing powder with perfume may cause infection. Or if you’ve had a course of antibiotics or experience hormonal changes.

Treatment

We’ll take a sample of the tissue in your vagina. Either we analyse it here under a microscope or send it for analysis at the Aarhus University Department of Clinical Microbiology. If the infection is caused by bacteria, you’ll get some suppositories or cream for treatment of the vaginal area. And we recommend that you avoid using soap and washing powder containing perfume.

Genital warts

Genital warts are small growths that look like other warts; they can be flat, have stalks or look like cauliflower. The warts are usually found on the labia and at the vaginal opening, but they may also be located inside the vagina or on the cervix. Some women have them around the anus as well.

Symptoms

You can experience itching and burning. Some genital warts can be seen or felt; others are flat and almost invisible. They often take months to develop. 

Reasons for genital warts

Genital warts are caused by HPV virus and they are caught during sexual contact. It’s often young women who’re infected.

Treatment

Genital warts are cut away or removed with laser. It’s very important that you have genital warts treated because cell changes may develop in untreated genital warts. Remember that your partner needs to be checked for genital warts as well, as it’s a sexually transmitted disease. You should avoid sexual contact until the treatment is completed. After that, you should use a condom until you’re no longer infected with the virus. After treatment you should have regular checkups.