An often worrying and discomforting condition caused by a range of health issues, vaginal pain is something that affects women of all ages. This condition can be caused by infections, hormone related problems or even cysts. The pain can be located on the outer genital region at the vulva involving the skin and labia or even within the walls of the vagina.
Causes of Vaginal Pain
Vaginal pain during periods or menstruations are often associated with gynecological problems and require further women’s health investigations such as a thorough examination, blood test and even scans.
However, if vaginal pain comes together with vaginal discharge, itching and general discomfort, then it is likely caused by some kind of infection. These infections can either be STI and STD related, or hygiene related vaginal infections. The pain arising from such infections occur at the outer genital region or within the walls of the vagina during sex.
One reason why the pain occurs during an infection is that the walls of the vagina get inflamed and irritated. Upon physical contact during sex, pain is triggered.
Non-STI VS STI Infections
The infections that can give rise to vaginal pain include non-STI infections like Yeast, Monilla, Candida, group B streptococcus, Gardnerella (also known as bacterial vaginosis). These infections can occur due to a change in hormones, hygiene concerns or even bacteria from your partner after sex. Sometimes, these infections create a discharge that may have an odour . This discharge can either be clear and watery, thick and white, or even yellow or green in colour.
If the infection was caused by an STI or STD such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomonas, mycoplasma hominis, ureaplasma urealyticum or other vaginal bacteria, it can also lead to vagina pain. Such infections may or may not produce discharge. Additionally, the presence of odour is uncertain. Sometimes, there might not be any symptoms at all. In the event that symptoms do show up, they may only appear 3-5 days after sexual exposure.
If you suspect that an STD is causing you vaginal pain, DTAP Express Vaginal STD swab test will allow you to test for common STD infections with the aid of a soft self-swab. Studies have shown that self-administered swabs are as accurate as those taken by a healthcare worker. Self-testing comes with the added benefit of privacy, overcoming any embarrassment or shyness one may have about seeing a healthcare worker about a potential STD infection.
For those who prefer a comprehensive investigation, the DTAP Express Full Vaginal STD swab test will pick up the other causes of an infection, whether they are STI or non-STI related.