Toilet infections (Vaginal Infections) which are often referred to as toilet disease by some people is a condition in which a female experiences discomfort such as burning, itching and unpleasant odor from the vagina.
Toilet infection is medically termed as vaginal infection or vaginitis, and they are conditions that cause infection or inflammation of the vagina creating a discharge, foul odor, and irritation and itching.
Toilet Infection does not actually exist as a disease in Medicine, but a non-medical person will often refer to an infection around the Vagina as toilet infection.
The condition is often referred to as toilet infection because most ladies start experiencing the discomfort after they use public toilet seat.
Toilet infections can be very uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing as the itching tends to occur when you are in public.
There are several kinds of toilet infections, but the most common types are:
- Viral vaginitis
- Bacterial Vaginosis
- Vaginal Yeast Infection
- Others include
- Non Infectious vaginitis
Vaginitis has many causes and you may have more than one at the same time, thus, knowing the exact type of toilet infection you are experiencing may be a bit difficult despite that they may have different symptoms.
Facts About Toilet (Vaginal) Infections
Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina, often due to vaginal infections. It is difficult to diagnose because it has many causes. Most sufferers use a variety of over-the-counter medications to treat the itching, discharge, and discomfort of these conditions.
Vaginitis occurs when the vaginal flora and fauna has been changed by certain medications such as antibiotics, hormones, contraceptive preparations, vaginal medication, sexual intercourse, sexually transmitted diseases, stress, etc…
Some vaginal infections are transmitted through sexual contact, although some, such as yeast infections, probably are not. Others may be due to hormonal changes (especially when a woman is going through menopause) or due to trauma. Some infections are associated with more serious underlying diseases.
Many women often think they have a yeast infection when, in fact, they have a similar vaginal infection that will not respond to yeast medications. A study by the American Sexual Health Association reported that 62% of women mistake bacterial vaginosis for a yeast infection, before being diagnosed.
The important thing is to recognize the symptoms if you develop a vaginal infection and to see your healthcare practitioner for precise testing. This will help you get the most appropriate and effective treatment right away.
Symptoms of Toilet Infections
The common symptoms of the various kinds of toilet infection are;
- vaginal discharge, and
Some amount of vaginal discharge occurs normally in women of childbearing age, as the glands in the cervix produce a secretion that moves downwards mixing with bacteria, dead vaginal cells and Bartholin’s gland secretions near the opening of the vagina which may make the discharge whitish or yellowish in color.
There are times during the menstrual cycle when the cervical glands produce more mucus than others, depending on the amount of estrogen produced, and that is normal.
Sexual excitement and emotional stress can both increase the normal physiologic vaginal discharge, which is frequently clear, and watery in consistency.
If your vaginal discharge is abnormal in color and has a foul smell, you may be developing a form of toilet infection (vaginitis).
The following are the symptoms of each type of Toilet (vaginal) infection:
- Itching around the vagina
- Burning during urination
- Abnormal vaginal discharge with a foul odor
- Discharge may be thin with white or gray color
- It is also possible that some women may not have any symptoms
Vaginal Yeast Infection
- Vaginal discharge is thick and whitish-gray in color
- Vaginal discharge that can be itchy when it comes
- Painful urination
- painful intercourse
- Strong itching around the vagina
Symptoms of trichomoniasis occur within 4 to 20 days after exposure since it is a sexually transmitted disease
- lathered vaginal discharge with yellow-green or gray color
- Burning during urination
- Itching of the vagina
- Foul smelling discharges
- Discomfort during intercourse
In general, Pain is not a frequent symptom of vaginal infections and should prompt you to see your health care practitioner, if you do experience pain.
There is a condition called vulvodynia, where you may have burning, stinging, irritation, or rawness of your genitalia. Vulvodynia is defined by symptoms, and there is often no infection or skin disease of the vagina. You may have intermittent pain, off and on. This is an odd condition that requires further management with your doctor or healthcare practitioner.
Causes of Toilet Infections
As stated above, the general signs and symptoms of toilet infections are:
- Itching: this itching can be so intense, and in some women, the itching comes with pain whenever you try to scratch or rub the area. This can be very discomforting.
- Pain on Urination: Some people experience severe pain which is usually burning pain or it is peppery in nature, when urinating or when having sex.
- Abnormal Vaginal Discharge: There could be a discharge from the vagina which is usually noticed when it becomes much, or when it starts smelling or when the color is abnormal.
- Abnormal Menstrual flow: Infection could affect the number of days it takes for your flow to end, and it could also affect the Amount and the timing.
- Abdominal Pain: Toilet infections are important causes of chronic (long) lower abdominal pain in some women that may be mistaken for menstrual pains.
Some Habits That Make You Have Toilet Infection
This refers to the various ways that women clean their vagina and some of these ways can be harmful. Some women make use of salt and warm water; others use Antiseptics, while some use Medicated Soaps to wash it together with water. All these could lead to the killing of some bacteria that are helpful to the vagina (help to protect it from harmful bacteria or fungi).
Method Of Cleaning The Anus:
The recommended method for women to clean the anus after using the toilet is by cleaning it from front to the back. When you clean the wrong way (from back to the front), you can mistakenly wipe the fecal matter on the vagina and that will carry all the germs of the fecal content into the vagina. So to avoid this, simply wipe from front to the back to avoid introducing harmful microbes into the vagina.
Use Of Dirty Toilet:
This is the most common mean by which women get infected, and is probably the reason why women refer to it as Toilet Infection. As explained above, the toilet is not the only way you can get infected, as some are actually sexually transmitted.
Most women get infected by squatting to urinate, which is not good because someone might have used the same place and that person might have been infected already, so by squatting to urinate, you get infected when your urine touches the ground, picks up the micro-organism in the infected person urine and then splash back and touches your vaginal area. A single drop is all you need to be infected because millions of these organisms exist in just a drop.
Water System Toilet:
If you are using the water system of the toilet, it is recommended that you use enough tissue paper (toilet paper) inside the seat before using the toilet. This is because; it is common for the water to splash and touches the vagina which is exposed directly to the toilet sink. Also, to avoid getting infected easily, just to put enough toilet tissue in the water so as to prevent the splashing.
Use Of Some Perfumes And Soaps:
Some women use perfumes and spray on the vagina in order to make it smell nice, and trust me, am here wondering who is supposed to come and smell it! Unfortunately, perfumes or scented soaps are a very good source of growing germs, so stop using any perfume or scented soap on your vagina. Simply wash with ordinary clean water while bathing, that is enough to keep the smell healthy.
Use Of Wet Under-Wears:
It is surprising that some women use the same pant or underwear day in day out for multiple days before changing. This will make germs to grow on it and bacteria grow in minutes. Thus within hours, you can be infected already. Also, the use of Nylon Under wears make you sweat easily and can make germs to grow easily too.
Weakened immune system:
Your immune system is just like a soldier that fights diseases in your body. When it becomes weak and unable to fight infections, then normal micro-organisms that were not harmful becomes harmful because there is nothing to control their actions. The immune system can become weak due to HIV/AIDS, taking Steroids, Excessive Alcohol, having Diabetes, Pregnancy, etc.
Wrong Use of Antibiotics:
Some people misuse drugs so much, and when you use Antibiotics inappropriately, you are causing harm to yourself because it can cause different diseases and not just Toilet Infection. Antibiotics do not just destroy the Harmful microorganisms in the body but they also attack the protective bacteria in the vagina, which normally stop the harmful organisms from overgrowing.
It is therefore advisable that you should never use any drug without a prescription from your doctor or health care provider.
Birth control pills:
Many Changes in the female body occur as a result of hormones and with increased hormonal levels from estrogen-containing birth control pills, the vaginal environment becomes disturbed. This can lead to an environment for the candida fungus and the bacteria to grow and cause Toilet infections.
Changes such as ovulation and menopause can lead to toilet Infections too because of the change in the environment of the Vagina.
Fungal (yeast) Attack
A majority of adult women have had at least one genital yeast infection in their lifetime, and vaginal yeast infection is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, but some men will develop symptoms such as itching and penile rash following sexual contact with an infected partner.
The yeast is normally kept under control by naturally occurring bacteria in the body, and yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of normally growing fungi in the vagina that creates unpleasant symptoms.
If the natural balance of microorganisms is disrupted, the yeast grows out of control, possibly caused by any of the events already mentioned above, that may include:
- Yeast infection may occur after taking a course of antibiotics for another condition such as strep throat.
- Both diabetes and pregnancy make the vagina better suited for fungal growth, as these conditions lower the glycogen store in certain vaginal cells, and may also raise the sugar content (and the pH) of the vagina.
- Birth control pills can change the vaginal environment, especially, with increased hormonal levels from estrogen-containing birth control pills.
- Hormonal changes such as ovulation, menopause, pregnancy, etc…
- Steroid use
- Wearing underwear that is tight or can increase temperature, moisture, and local irritation.
- Weakened immune system, e.g HIV/AIDS
- Use of douches or perfumed feminine hygiene sprays
- Scratches in the vagina
Other causes of vaginal inflammation may be allergies to spermicides, vaginal hygiene products, or detergents and fabric softeners. Older women may experience atrophic vaginitis, which is a thinning of the vaginal walls) with menopause.
Bacterial Vaginosis is the most common type of toilet disease and is caused by bacteria. Bacterial vaginosis is the situation in which the good bacteria are not enough to check the bad bacteria and hence causing overgrowth of organisms.
Certain factors can, however, increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis. They include:
- Frequent douching
- Use of an Intrauterine device (IUD)
- Having more than one sexual partner
- Having a new sexual partner
Bacterial vaginosis is usually not life-threatening but can lead to serious problems in some cases.
Having Bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, premature delivery, and uterine infection after pregnancy.
Pelvic infection is more likely to occur if you have Bacterial vaginosis, and you undergo pelvic procedures such as abortion, cesarean section etc.
Also, having Bacterial vaginosis makes you more vulnerable to catch sexually transmitted infection
Causes of Non-Infectious Vaginitis
Non- Infectious vaginitis is a case where the symptoms like itching, burning, and vaginal discharge happens without an infection. This is mostly as a result of allergic reaction to various products. Such products include:
- Perfumed soaps
- Vaginal sprays
- Pant Liners
- Fabric softeners
It may also occur as a result of lower levels of hormones or removal of ovaries which can cause the vagina to be dry, resulting in burning and pain during intercourse. Also, external objects such as a forgotten tampon may cause vaginal irritation
Prevention and Treatment of Toilet Infections
Do you know that untreated toilet infections (vaginal infection) can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), which can result in infertility in women? You can prevent toilet infection by observing the following:
- Stop Vaginal douching, and just use clean water to wash your vagina when bathing if you feel dirty.
- Always change your inner-wears, at least every day and if you live in places that are hot, you need to change twice.
- Always stand or just bend while urinating, as this prevents you from getting the infection through splashing of the urine.
- Do not share inner-wears. Yes, it is the truth; some ladies do that
- Stop using Perfume on the vagina, and stop the use of perfume or scented soap on the vagina.
- Use Cotton Inner-wears which can absorb moisture easily than nylon. This will help prevent irritation of the vaginal environment.
- Care in Intercourse, and make sure you are not wounded in the process, because some people tend to use some unimaginable means. Try not to harm yourself either through abrasion or through the use of some objects because a tear, scratch or injury breaks the natural barrier of the skin and infection can more easily ensue.
How Is Vaginal Infection Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and perform a physical exam. Urine tests and samples of any discharge will likely be done, and you may be asked certain personal questions like:
- When did this condition begin?
- Has the discharge been the same throughout the month?
- What does the discharge look like?
- What are its color and consistency?
- Is there an odor?
- Do you have pain, itching, or burning?
- Have you changed detergents or soaps recently?
- Do you often wear tight underwear or pants/jeans? Etc…
The doctor will likely inspect your vagina and cervix for any discharge or lesions. Also, a speculum can be introduced into the vagina to see the cervix, during the vaginal examination. Swabs will be taken of any discharge to determine if the infection is fungal (yeast), protozoan (trichomoniasis), or bacterial (bacterial vaginosis).
In some cases, a Pap test will be performed to exclude the possibility of cervical cancer, but newer DNA-based tests are quite accurate for diagnosing vaginal infections.
A colposcopy which uses a lighted microscope to get a magnified view of the surface of the cervix might be recommended if your cervix appears abnormal.
Treatment of Toilet Infections
Know that your doctor understands your health condition better, and your doctor knows best on how to treat you when you are asked questions related to your health. When treating yourself for Toilet infections, the drug you may use for treatment of the infection may not be good for some medical conditions that you may have.
Antibiotics are the recommended treatment for bacterial vaginosis, and may include:
- metronidazole (Flagyl) taken by either oral (pill) form or vaginal metronidazole gel (Metrogel). The oral metronidazole can cause some minor but unpleasant side effects, and the gels do not typically cause side effects, although yeast vaginitis can occur as a side effect of the medication.
- Vaginal clindamycin cream (Cleocin)
- Tinidazole (Tindamax) which is an antibiotic that appears to be effective in treating bacterial vaginosis, and may have fewer side effects than metronidazole.
Recurrence of bacterial vaginosis is possible and it is unclear why so many recurrent infections develop. However, following recurrent symptoms, the second course of antibiotics is generally prescribed.
Treatment of bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women is recommended to decrease the risk of pregnancy-associated complications related to infection.
Drug Treatment of Yeast infection
Yeast infections are treated usually but not always with vaginal creams and vaginal applications rather than oral medication.
Infections are treated with an Oral single dose of an anti-fungal drug which could include:
- Fluconazole (Diflucan) or Itraconazole (Sporanox): These drugs are taken once or for 3-5 days with the same cure rates, but care must be taken because they might cause liver problems and the symptoms of liver problems may manifest with yellowish skin, yellowish eyes, and/or pale stools. Stop taking the drug and see your doctor immediately, if you begin to notice any of these signs.
- Less severe infections are treated with drugs such as:
Vaginal tablet, in which the tablet is inserted into the Vagina and has been found to be effective. Also, a Cream application using an applicator stick can be used for 7 to 14 days. Your choice of tablet or cream depends on your convenience or availability of the drug, and please, continue with the drug for about 7 days or till 14 days depending on your doctor’s prescription so as to properly and completely treat the infection and to prevent it from reoccurring.
For individuals that keep having infections even after treatment (Recurrent infection), this type is treated with oral Fluconazole and Itraconazole or vaginal clotrimazole and you might need to do that for a period of six(6) months.
Complications of Toilet Infections
When not treated immediately, or even when treatment seems not to work, complications do arise that may lead mainly to Infertility.
When the Immune system is not strong either due to HIV, Diabetes, Pregnancy, etc, the infection can be so severe that it can cause Death.
For pregnant women, toilet (vaginal) infections, without treatment, can affect your baby. Your baby may be born with low birth weight and may be born prematurely.
Home Remedies For Toilet Infection
Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix apple cider vinegar with water for a douche, as apple cider vinegar is believed to restore the acidic pH of the vagina.
Get a douche kit from a drugstore or you can use an enema kit, which has the same equipment as a douche kit.
Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with one cup of warm filtered water, and use the douche twice a day for four days and then daily until all symptoms disappear. Don’t use white vinegar, as this is too acidic.
Try a clove of peeled garlic, which can be inserted into the vagina. This has been reported to be helpful in treating toilet infection because the garlic contains allicin, which is a natural antibiotic.
- Peel a clove of garlic, and poke some holes in the garlic so that the allicin can be released.
- Insert the clove into your vagina, and replace the garlic every four hours for seven days or until symptoms have disappeared.
Try a douche made from hydrogen peroxide, which has disinfectant properties that can also get rid of irritants that can cause toilet infection.
Mix 3% hydrogen peroxide with an equal amount of warm distilled water that is sterile and bacteria-free. Douche with this mixture, and use as a douche twice a day for four days and then daily until all symptoms disappear.
Oregano Essential Oil
Use oregano essential oil and water as a douche, utilizing three drops of essential oregano oil in eight ounces of distilled water. Repeat twice a day for ten days and then daily until all symptoms disappear.
Essential Tea Tree Oil
For yeast infections, douching with two to three drops of essential tea tree oil in eight ounces of distilled water can help. Repeat twice a day for ten days and then daily until all symptoms disappear. You can also apply two to three drops of the tea tree oil on a tampon and insert the tampon into your vagina, leaving it for about one hour. Never ingest tea tree oil, as that can yield negative effects, and do not use essential oil treatments if you are pregnant, nursing, or expect to become pregnant in the immediate future.
Using plain yogurt sounds messy, but inserting yogurt into your vagina is a way of re-populating the vagina with harmless bacteria that may be able to “crowd out” the infection causing ones. However, there are no scientific studies to back up this practice.
Use plain yogurt and a 10 mL syringe, and fill the syringe with the plain yogurt and fill your vagina by inserting the syringe and depressing the plunger. Do this every night, and go to bed as usual, but wear a sanitary pad. The messiness comes in the morning when you get out of bed, but you should also wear a thin pad during the day. Repeat every night until the symptoms disappear.
A probiotic will help replenish good bacteria in your body, however, probiotic capsules can be expensive and can be found in most groceries and drugstores. Buy a brand that has Bifidobacterium Longum; Lactobacillus Rhamnosus; Bifidobacterium Infantis; or Lactobacillus acidophilus, but there is not a lot of evidence showing if probiotics as a supplement or in yogurt are helpful in preventing trichomoniasis.
Another natural method of reducing vaginal pain and itching caused by toilet infection is to take 2 tablespoons of chamomile and pour it into 0.5 liters of boiling water. Allow the mixture to boil for 5 minutes, and make a douche with it every day during the week.