Multiple Underwear Changes a Day: COVID-19 and Its Impact on Women's Intimate Health
A Taiwanese woman recently unleashed a cry for help on social media Dcard, detailing an unexpected symptom of her COVID-19 infection: relentless vaginal discharge and fluid loss, forcing her to change underwear up to thrice daily.
This post swiftly drew similarly afflicted voices out of the woodwork, leaving many wondering - is this a hidden consequence of the COVID-19?
Why COVID-19 Patients are More Susceptible to Vaginitis?
Candida vaginitis is becoming more prevalent during the pandemic. Gynaecologists suggest that women with COVID-19 may be more susceptible to this uncomfortable condition as their immunity decreases. Candida, a fungus found in the female vagina, can proliferate and cause infections when the pH or hormones in the vagina change. Candida vaginitis is a common female disease. 7 to 8 out of 10 women have suffered from Candida vaginalis, with 40% experiencing a recurrence. 5% have had Candida vaginalis 3 times in a year.
What are the Symptoms of Candida Vaginalis Infection?
- Itchy vulva
- Increased vaginal discharge
- White, cheesy or tofu-like discharge
- Redness and swelling of the vulva/vagina
- Discomfort during sexual intercourse
Pain, inflammation, and ulcers in the vulva, perineum, and groin are the severe symptoms that can result from Candida infection. While mild symptoms may resolve on their own, severe or persistent cases require urgent medical attention and treatment. Vaginal plugs, topical creams, and oral medication are just a few of the options available to alleviate discomfort and promote healing. If you're experiencing recurrent symptoms, your doctor can take a discharge for testing and identify the bacteria responsible for your infection to prescribe the right medication.
How to Prevent Candida Vaginalis
The best way to prevent the recurrence of Candida vaginalis is to take care of your personal hygiene:
- Wash your underwear frequently
- Choose cotton underwear and avoid wearing tight or nylon underwear
- Do not use disinfectant to cleanse the vagina as this may irritate the delicate skin and cause damage and inflammation
- Do not use vaginal cleansing devices
- Avoid using perfumed sanitary towels or toilet paper
- After using the toilet, wipe from the front to the back of the vulva to avoid bringing bacteria from the anus to the vagina