Vaginal infections occur when there is a virus, bacteria or fungus that has occurred in your vagina.
Sexually transmitted diseases are a common cause of vaginal bacterial and viral infections in the general population. In those receiving chemotherapy, however, a common cause of infections is due to yeast or fungus.
Herpes Simplex Virus
This may be noted when you have a weakened immune system, and if you had prior exposure to the herpes virus through sexual contact with an infected partner. You may never have had an outbreak of a herpes virus.
Symptoms of a vaginal herpes infection include an outbreak of lesions in your genital area. The herpes virus lives in your nerves, and will come and go through out your lifetime. There is no cure. The incidence of outbreaks, however, usually becomes less frequent with time.
Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that you can pass on to your partner. In order to diagnose herpes, your healthcare provider can obtain a blood test, to see if you have been exposed to the virus. He or she may also take a sample (usually with a cotton swab) of the fluid from the lesions, and examine the cells under the microscope, after it has been sent for a culture.
Treatment for a herpes virus includes Acyclovir, an anti-viral medication, which is taken in either a pill or an intravenous (IV) form. This will get rid of lesions associated with the herpes virus. However, there is a concern that lesions may return. It is likely, that during chemotherapy, you will remain on lower doses of Acyclovir therapy in order to prevent an outbreak in the future.
Vaginal Yeast Infections
Also called candida albicans, a vaginal yeast infection can cause you to feel very uncomfortable. Vaginal yeast infections are very common. Symptoms include:
Yeast like to live in warm, moist environments, normally. The yeast is prevented from multiplying by the acidic environment in your vagina. Once the acidic balance of your vagina is changed (when the acid balance becomes too low), the yeast will grow and flourish. Things which may cause your acid-balance to be too low, include:
Note: We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information contained in this website is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute for medical advice.
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