MANILA - Many women suffer from vaginal infection, but are too ashamed to have it treated.
In an interview on DZMM, Dr. Gianna Montenegro, an obstetrician and gynecologist, said a lot of women go to their doctor because of vaginal infections, but are too shy to talk about it.
"Most of them talagang nahihiya kasi it's a very intimate part of their body, but you'll be surprised that it's the most common problem they bring to the gynecologist," she said.
The top four kinds of vaginal infection, according to Montenegro, are bacterial vaginosis, atropic vaginitis, trichomoniasis, and yeast infection or candidiasis.
Symptoms of these conditions include itchiness, discolored discharge and bad smell.
"In an everyday setting, it is presumed na walang discharge ang babae. If you have, this is two weeks after your menses, this should be clear discharge. Dapat walang makati, dapat walang odor. And then when there is a little more discharge, you feel more wet, you feel there's smell, there's a little yellowish discoloration, at makati, magdududa ka na that you have an infection," Montenegro said.
Although vaginal infections look simple enough, it can eventually cause serious consequences in the future.
"Kapag ang isang babae, ni-neglect ano, she took it for granted, akala niya normal, so this infections can go up the uterus. It can have future consequences," Montenegro said.
Vaginal infection may also cause pelvic inflammatory disease, or infertility.
"You can have infertility in the future kasi mabo-block 'yung tubes mo," Montenegro said.
According to Montenegero, women who overuse panty-liners, and who have undergone antibiotic treatment, are more susceptible to vaginal infections.
"Women who overuse panty-liners, tight undergarments, they came from an anti-biotic treatment, mahina ang immune system, or they are diabetic, it promotes the growth of fungus," she said, adding that antibiotics often kill other bacteria, causing the "bad" bacteria to overgrow.
She also advised women to allow their vagina to "breath," as moisture promotes the growth of fungus and bacteria.
Panty-liners and tight undergarments also tend to prevent ventilation.
"It [undergarment] should be cotton. The more maluwag para it promotes ventilation," Montenegro said, adding that the vagina should always be kept dry to prevent infection.