The vagina, under normal conditions, has a delicate dynamic ecosystem formed by various bacteria whose mission is to protect it from the possible external aggressions of pathogenic germs. This defensive process is carried out by bacteria among which the Lactobacillus or Doderlein bacilli predominate and whose mission is to create an environment in which the pathogenic germs cannot develop.
This balance between defensive germs and aggressors can be easily altered and if this defense is modified, pathogenic germs such as fungi, trichomonas or those present in bacterial vaginosis will proliferate and cause a vaginal infection.
Under normal conditions, vaginal secretions are odorless, clear or transparent, of viscous consistency, homogeneous, and have a pH less than 4,5. They are composed of mucus from the cervix, secretions coming from the vaginal wall and their amount and appearance may vary according to the phase of the menstrual cycle, sexual arousal and activity, contraceptives or pregnancy.
When a vaginal infection occurs, the characteristics of the vaginal discharge change, becoming more abundant, with a bad smell, white, yellow or brown. The analysis of this secretion is a diagnostic test frequently used in gynecological consultations when a vaginal infection is suspected.
A vaginal swab for analysis is performed when there is a suspicion of a vaginal infection. The presence of itching, stinging or burning, associated with changes in the usual characteristics of vaginal discharge are characteristic symptoms of the presence of infection. Sometimes, the symptoms and appearance of the vaginal discharge are so characteristic that the diagnosis is so evident and its performance is not required. But when in doubt about the possible causative agent, a sample of the vaginal discharge is taken.
At Harley Street Hospital, we have the best doctors who are trained to diagnose and properly treat these conditions. Book a consultation to get a specialist´s opinion.