Trusted Care for Gynecological Infections at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican Hospitals
An infection is the body’s reaction to disease-causing microbes (germs), such as fungi, bacteria, or viruses. Infections that frequently affect women include:
- Upper respiratory infection (common cold, usually coronavirus)
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Yeast infection
- Influenza (viral flu)
- STDs (sexually transmitted diseases or infections, including chlamydia, herpes, and HPV)
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What Causes Infections?
Bacteria, fungi, and viruses live all around us. These tiny organisms can all cause infections. Usually your body’s immune systems keeps these germs at bay.
Some things that may increase the risk of infection include:
- Certain medications. Antibiotics can cure many bacterial infections, but may increase the risk of yeast infections. Other medications that may increase the risk of infection include immunosuppressant drugs, such as those taken to prevent rejection after an organ transplant, and corticosteroids.
- Hormonal changes. The hormone swings that occur during perimenopause and pregnancy increase the risk of infection.
- Decreased immunity. Any medical treatment or condition that weakens your immune system increases the risk of infection. This includes, diabetes, long-term steroid use, HIV, and chemotherapy.
- Introduction of foreign materials or objects. Using a diaphragm for birth control increases the risk of UTIs by making it more difficult to empty the bladder. Because germs can travel up the tube, a catheter (a tube to drain urine from the bladder) increases the risk of infection. Sex toys can also carry germs if washed improperly.
- Sexual activity. Intercourse can introduce germs into the reproductive or urinary tracts, especially in women.
Symptoms of Infections
Symptoms vary according to the location, type, and severity of infection. The basic signs of infection include:
- Inflammation (swelling)
- Fever, although sometimes an infection may not cause fever
Treatment for Infections in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV
Treatment and prevention of infections depends on lifestyle habits, your risk factors, medical history, and the severity and type of infection.
Good hygiene practices can prevent many infections. For women, things can contribute to good hygiene include:
- Wearing cotton underwear
- Wiping from front to back after using the toilet
- Urinating after sex
- Changing out of wet clothing and undergarments as soon as possible
Douching is not recommended and may actually increase the risk of infection.
Most infections that affect women’s reproductive and urinary tracts are fungal or bacterial, so doctors at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals commonly prescribe antifungal and antibiotic medications to treat these infections. Some medications are inserted into the vagina or applied to the genital region. Others are taken by mouth.
Without treatment, infections can cause further complications, including infertility. Appropriate treatment relieves discomfort and pain and improves overall health.
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican doctors offer complete care to treat women for infections in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.