I’m a pharmacist and these conditions are most likely to affect women down there – especially this summer

AN EXPERT warns women of the symptoms to watch out for down there, especially in summer weather.

The vagina is a delicate balance of flora, and two conditions are common when things go off course.

Watch out for symptoms like itching this summer


Watch out for symptoms like itching this summerCredit: Alamy

Thrush affects three quarters of women in the UK at least once in their lifetime.

And bacterial vaginosis (BV) affects a third.

This makes the two conditions extremely common, but not something to dismiss.

Both require treatment, but fortunately over-the-counter medications are available.

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High-street store Boots is the first to market a dual-action treatment to combat both irritations.

Boots Dual Action Thrush and BV Pessaries are available now online and in over 1,400 stores priced at £11.99 (or £9.99 for Boots Advantage Cardholders).

It can be used for both conditions alone or to treat both at the same time (since unfortunately you can get both at the same time).

The symptoms of thrush and BV are different but easily confused.

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Thrush typically causes itching, stinging during urination and sex, and a white vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese, according to the NHS.

BV, on the other hand, causes a more off-white watery discharge that can smell like fish. However, half of women have no signs.

A GP or in-store pharmacist can help you figure out which one you have and get the best treatment, such as: B. a double impact pessary.

Warm up

As the weather warms up, Bina Mehta, a boat pharmacist, said women should be wary that thrush is more likely to strike in the summer.

She said: “Thrush tends to grow in warm, humid conditions and develops when the balance of bacteria changes.

“During the summer season, the condition can be more prevalent, so this is something to watch out for as you exercise, swim and generally sweat more in the summer.

“To avoid thrush in the summer, I would recommend wearing breathable clothing and cotton underwear and avoiding staying in wet swimwear for too long and then drying off properly afterwards.”

BV can be triggered by sex with men and can be passed from one woman to another during sex (although it is not considered an STI).

It is especially likely when a woman gets a new sexual partner.

Thrush can also occasionally occur after sex.

So if you’re “single and ready to socialize” this summer, there may be some excitement down there.

Bina said, “Thrush and BV can be really uncomfortable, and it’s one of the last things we want to have in the summer when we’re having fun outside or relaxing on vacation.”

Your period and hormonal birth control pills can also increase the likelihood of thrush and BV.

And be warned that you’re more likely to get BV with an IUD.

BV also increases your risk of contracting an STI, “possibly because the infection makes your vagina less acidic and lowers your natural defenses,” Bina said.

Round and round

BV and thrush usually go away with treatment, but sometimes they come back or even reappear.

In these cases, a GP or sexual health clinic can help recommend the best, as you may need longer treatment.

Some things are always recommended to avoid for both conditions. Never use soaps, bath bombs, or scented deodorants near your vagina, and don’t shower.

Quitting smoking can prevent BV, while wearing loose clothing prevents a warm, humid environment in which thrush thrives. I’m a pharmacist and these conditions are most likely to affect women down there – especially this summer

Sarah Y. Kim

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