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Home > Yeast and Bacteria

What is the role of Yeast and Bacteria in the vagina?

Yeast and bacteria are the major players in determining vaginal health. Your body has limited resources, so only so much yeast and bacteria can survive at any given time, causing them to compete. If the yeast grows too much, you can end up with a yeast infection. If the wrong kind of bacteria gains control, you can end up with odor or a bacterial infection.

Luckily, there are two types of bacteria: pathogenic bacteria and beneficial bacteria. The pathogenic bacteria are the kind you don’t want – odor-causing bacteria, infection-causing bacteria. The beneficial bacteria are the good kind – the lactobacillus that keeps the yeast and pathogenic bacteria in check. As long as everything stays in balance, the beneficial bacteria thrive and the yeast and pathogenic bacteria are unable to take control.


What is a Yeast Infection?

A Yeast Infection, the second most common vaginal infection, occurs when there is an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina. Symptoms often include a white vaginal discharge with a cottage cheese consistency and may be odorless or have a yeasty smell.


What is Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacterial Vaginosis, the most common vaginal infection, occurs when there is an overgrowth of bad, or pathogenic, bacteria in the vagina. Symptoms often include an excessive grayish white vaginal discharge and a bothersome "fishy odor".


What is the difference between a Yeast Infection and Bacterial Vaginosis

The two most common types of vaginal infections are bacterial vaginosis (BV) and yeast infections. BV is the most common form of vaginal infection. Nearly half of all vaginal infections are classified as bacterial vaginosis, while about 29% are classified as yeast infections. It is common for women to mistake one for the other. If you suspect you have an infection, see your doctor immediately.

       ●BV generally results in an excessive grayish white vaginal discharge and a bothersome “fishy odor” which can be worse after sexual intercourse. Many people describe the discharge as yogurt-like or pasty. May also have vaginal itching & redness.

      ●Yeast infections can be very uncomfortable. Symptoms generally include itching and burning in the vagina and around the vulva, a white vaginal discharge that may look like cottage cheese, pain during sexual intercourse, and swelling of the vulva. May be odorless or have a yeasty smell.


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