A vaginal infection is an infection of the vagina and has similar symptoms to an STI. It is not an STI. You often do not get the infection from sex.
The infection is caused by a fungus (candida) or by bacteria (bacterial vaginosis).
You can prevent most vaginal infections if you take good care of your vagina. Antibiotics and stress can also cause vaginal infections. Only take antibiotics when necessary.
You may have a vaginal infection if you have one or more of the following symptoms:
- vaginal discharge that is different from usual:
- liquid discharge that smells bad;
- a lot of discharge that is water-like or white and crumbly;
- pain during sexual intercourse;
- irritation, itching or redness of the vagina and the area around it;
- pain when urinating;
- swelling of the labia.
If you think you have a vaginal infection, talk to a doctor. A vaginal infection can be treated easily. The doctor will give you a prescription for a medicine or cream.
Ask a doctor for advice if your partner needs to be tested and treated as well.
More information or help needed?
You can talk to a family doctor about almost every intimate issue. If necessary the family doctor can refer you to a specialised health professional. Find a family doctor in your neighbourhood:
Community health centre (wijkgezondheidscentrum)
You can visit a family doctor in a community health centre. Other care professionals such as nurses and social workers also work at community health centres. Care is provided free of charge. Find a community health centre in your neighbourhood:
CAW - Centrum Algemeen Welzijn
Centre for general well-being - Help with all kinds of issues: a difficult relationship, medical, financial, administrative, legal or material problems, family problems,... CAWs also provide assistance to victims of violence and abuse. Find a CAW in your neighbourhood: