Of the most common vaginal infections, bacterial vaginosis is most commonly associated with a "fish-like" odor in discharge.
Sexually transmitted diseases and infections
Candidiasis or thrush is a fungal infection (mycosis) of any species from the genus Candida (one genus of yeasts). Candida albicans is the most common agent of Candidiasis in humans. Also commonly referred to as a yeast infection, candidiasis is also technically known as candidosis, moniliasis, and oidiomycosis.
Candidiasis encompasses infections that range from superficial, such as oral thrush and vaginitis, to systemic and potentially life-threatening diseases. Candida infections of the latter category are also referred to as candidemia or invasive candidiasis, and are usually confined to severely immunocompromised persons, such as cancer, transplant, and AIDS patients, as well as nontrauma emergency surgery patients.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STD), also referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STI) and venereal diseases (VD), are illnesses that have a significant probability of transmission between humans by means of sexual behavior, including vaginal intercourse, anal sex and oral sex. Some STIs can also be contracted by using IV drug needles after their use by an infected person, as well as through childbirth or breastfeeding.
Sexually transmitted infections have been well known for hundreds of years, and venereology is the branch of medicine that studies these diseases. While in the past, these illnesses have mostly been referred to as STDs or VD, in recent years the term sexually transmitted infections (STIs) has been preferred, as it has a broader range of meaning; a person may be infected, and may potentially infect others, without having a disease.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) or very uncommonly vaginal bacteriosis is a disease of the vagina caused by bacteria. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), risk factors for BV include douching and having new or multiple sex partners, although it is unclear what role sexual activity plays in the development of BV. BV is caused by an imbalance of naturally occurring bacterial flora and is often confused with yeast infection (candidiasis) or infection with Trichomonas vaginalis (trichomoniasis), which are not caused by bacteria.
Vaginal infections are composed of three primary conditions: bacterial vaginosis, vulvovaginal candidiasis, and trichomonas. Vaginitis is any condition that causes infection or inflammation of the vagina. Vulvovaginitis is inflammation of both the vagina and vulva (the external female genitals).
Vaginal wet mount
Infectious diseases, also known as transmissible diseases or communicable diseases, comprise clinically evident illness (i.e., characteristic medical signs and/or symptoms of disease) resulting from the infection, presence and growth of pathogenic biological agents in an individual host organism. In certain cases, infectious diseases may be asymptomatic for much or even all of their course in a given host. In the latter case, the disease may only be defined as a "disease" (which by definition means an illness) in hosts who secondarily become ill after contact with an asymptomatic carrier. An infection is not synonymous with an infectious disease, as some infections do not cause illness in a host.
Infectious pathogens include some viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, multicellular parasites, and aberrant proteins known as prions. These pathogens are the cause of disease epidemics, in the sense that without the pathogen, no infectious epidemic occurs.
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common vaginal infections
A vaginal wet mount (or vaginal smear or wet prep) is a gynecologic test wherein a sample of vaginal discharge is observed by wet mount microscopy by placing the specimen on a glass slide and mixing with a salt solution. It is used to find the cause of vaginitis and vulvitis.