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A foul-smelling vaginal odor is a distressing condition. Sexually active women present with this condition more.

What are the causes?

Vaginal and endometrial infections are the prime causes. Trichomonas, chlamydia, and candida are a few common culprits. Sexually active women get exposed to these organisms very commonly.

Vaginitis normally presents with painful intercourse, backache, dysuria, lower abdominal pain and smelly discharge, that is usually foul-smelling. The texture and consistency of the vaginal discharge differs according to the causative organism.

Candidiasis causes a thick white creamy discharge with itching. Chlamydia causes a yellowish foul-smelling vaginal discharge. In any case a fasting blood sugar level, a high vaginal swab for culture, a PAP smear, and an ultrasound scan are essential. You might need antibiotics.

Cancers of the cervix, endometrium and ovaries can result in vaginal discharge. These are colorless, odorless unless bleeding or infection supervenes.

Infections while on an IUD?

Intrauterine devices are foreign to the body. They are made of inert material. But some people may have allergic reactions.

There is also a risk of infection, which is increased for diabetics. Due to high blood sugar levels, tissues become excellent breeding grounds for for micro-organisms. Many undiagnosed diabetic patients present with infections. A proper low-sugar diet, regular adequate exercise and regular medication help with blood sugar control.

Immuno-compromised individuals like HIV/AIDS patients are at particular risk of infection. HIV/AIDS affects the T-cells in the body, reducing its ability to mount a defense to any infection. Patients sometimes die of opportunistic infections.

Lymphoma and leukemia are two other conditions where body defenses are low. These are white blood cell disorders.

Organ transplantation is a procedure where a compatible organ from a donor is surgically attached to the body of a recipient. Donor and recipient compatibility is essential. Other than in monozygotic identical twins, no two people are exactly alike. To lessen the overwhelming immune response against the transplanted organ, powerful immune-modulating drugs should be administered.

What can you do?

Personal hygiene is vital. Most infections can be prevented this way. Before you decide on a contraceptive method, you should read up on your options and choose the best method for your individual circumstance. Do not go with trends. Do not what your neighbor or friend has done, and talk through your options with your gynecologist instead.

An intrauterine device is ideal for contraception soon after delivery. Lochia washes off the potential bacteria and the risk of infection is actually lower than in other women. So think hard and choose wisely. There is no clear evidence to suggest that the copper containing IUDs are better than hormone releasing ones with regards to infection rates. IUDs do not protect against STDs.

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