What are the Most Common Vaginal Infection Symptoms?

Misty Amber Brighton

Some of the more common vaginal infection symptoms are an itching and burning sensation in the genital area. This can sometimes be accompanied by redness, swelling, or sores. A woman might also experience discharge that is very thick, or she may have an excessive amount of it. At times, this secretion can have a foul odor to it, or the vagina itself could have an unusual smell.

A vaginal infection can lead to an increased odor during menstruation.
A vaginal infection can lead to an increased odor during menstruation.

One of the first signs of a yeast infection is usually itching and burning of the vulva or outside of the vagina. The stinging can seem to be worse shortly after urinating; in fact, doing so may also cause a burning sensation. These vaginal infection symptoms can range from moderate to intense, depending on the severity of the condition.

A vaginal infection can cause itching.
A vaginal infection can cause itching.

Some women report redness and swelling in their genitals whenever they experience bacterial vaginosis. In more severe cases, there might also be tiny sores on the vulva or near the vaginal opening. These lesions may also burn and itch, but do not normally ooze.

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Vaginal discharge is a common symptom of a vaginal infection.
Vaginal discharge is a common symptom of a vaginal infection.

Discharge from the vagina is another one of the vaginal infection symptoms commonly experienced. It is typically very thick and may have the consistency of cottage cheese. This type of secretion usually occurs in small amounts. There could also be a large amount of discharge present, in which case it may be thinner.

Thick gray or white discharge may accompany a fungal vaginal infection.
Thick gray or white discharge may accompany a fungal vaginal infection.

The discharge itself may have a very foul odor. Even if a woman does not experience this, she may nonetheless notice that her vagina has an unusual stench to it. This is often a strong fish-like smell which may be heavier if she is menstruating at the time. Sprays and perfumes designed to mask this condition may nonetheless irritate the skin in this sensitive area.

People with new or multiple sexual partners are more likely to develop bacterial vaginosis.
People with new or multiple sexual partners are more likely to develop bacterial vaginosis.

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Discussion Comments

bear78

I was diagnosed with a vaginal infection last week. I had a frequent urge to urinate and burning during urination. I had never experienced something like this before. I kept going to the bathroom thinking that I had to urinate, but I only had very little urine every time. And when I did urinate, it burned a lot.

My doctor gave me antibiotics for it and my symptoms of vaginal infection are almost entirely gone.

bluedolphin

@turquoise-- Have you seen a doctor?

It can be difficult to know sometimes whether we're experiencing an infection or not. It's a good idea to see your gynecologist if you suspect an infection. It's important for women to get treatment for vaginal infections quickly. Otherwise, the infection could spread and lead to serious complications. So even if you have only one symptom, take it seriously and make an appointment with your doctor.

Yes, vaginal discharge normally does have an odor. It is not odor-free. Discharge has a slightly sour odor for most women. But the type of odor that occurs during infection is different. It's very strong and repulsive. You will certainly notice when your discharge suddenly becomes very foul smelling. And when this happens, it's time to see a doctor regardless of whether you have other symptoms like burning, itching, inflammation and frequent urination or not. I was treated for a urinary tract infection last month and the only urinary tract infection symptom I had was the foul odor.

turquoise

Does vaginal discharge normally have odor at all? I think I'm experiencing this symptom but does this mean I have an infection?

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