An Abuja based gynaecologist, Dr. Ikenna Oti, on Tuesday said low levels of oestrogen in the body could expose women to vaginal infection called vulvovaginitis.
Oti told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja that vulvovaginitis is an infection that affects women’s vulva and vagina, and common to women of all ages.
He said that about 75 per cent of women would have this infection in their life time and most times could have a second episode.
The expert, however, listed some factors that could pose a risk of developing the condition in women as bacteria, yeast, viruses as well as parasites.
He said that environmental factors like allergens, sexually transmitted infections and chemicals could contribute to developing the disease in some patients.
He also said that other factors that could pose the risk of developing the disease was poor genital hygiene, diabetes and the use of bubble baths.
Oti also mentioned the use of antibiotics, contraceptives, feminine intimate sprays and tight fitting/non-absorbent clothing as factors that could cause the infection in women.
The gynaecologist added that menstrual cycle, menopause, pregnancy, foreign bodies and sexual activity with more than one partner could also be contributory factors to vulvovaginitis.
He said that preventive measures should start from personal hygiene, stressing that it helps a lot in preventing the infection.
“After using the bathroom, wipe from front to back to avoid spreading bacteria from the anus to the vagina.
“Avoid heavily perfumed soap or shower gels, as they sometimes can irritate the genital areas. So also can the overuse of antibiotics.
“Also, ensure that there is no underlying medical condition such as diabetes.
“Use condoms to prevent sexually transmitted infections as another way of preventing vulvovaginitis,’’ he said.
Besides, he suggested the use of cotton pants rather than nylon pants so as to prevent the infection.
The physician, however, said that the treatment for vulvovaginitis depends on the type of infection and the organism that caused it.
Oti also recommended routine personal hygiene such as sit baths and wiping properly after using the toilet to help heal the infection and to also prevent recurrence.
He further suggested that patients should imbibe the habit of wearing loose clothing, cotton underwear and also removing underwear at bed time while treating the infection.