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Most women suffer from a vaginal infection at least once in their lives, but when infections happen repeatedly, it’s important to work with your gynecologist to find a way to prevent future outbreaks. Although most vaginal infections do not cause serious long-term health complications, some can be a sign of more serious problems. If you’re experiencing recurring vaginal infections, these tips may help you get the treatment you need to avoid future flare-ups.

Get the Right Diagnosis

In some cases, women attempt to treat their vaginal infections at home, only to find that the infection keeps coming back after treatment stops. When this happens, it is usually because they are using the wrong treatment for the infection they have. For example, bacterial vaginosis, or BV, is an extremely common infection that shares symptoms with yeast infections. Women who have BV may assume that they have a yeast infection and use over-the-counter yeast infection medications for treatment, only to find that the symptoms return. When you have a vaginal infection, see your gynecologist for a definitive diagnosis, so that you get the right treatment the first time.

Consider Underlying Conditions

In some cases, recurrent vaginal infections can indicate an underlying medical condition that needs to be treated. Undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes, for instance, is associated with recurring yeast infections, as elevated blood glucose levels can upset the balance of yeast and bacteria in the vagina. STDs can also cause vaginal infections. If you have recurring infections, talk to your doctor about STD testing and other kinds of screenings you may need. Treating the underlying condition can resolve your recurring infections.

Practice Safe Sex

If you have a vaginal infection, you can transfer your infection to your partner during sexual intercourse. Your partner can then transfer the infection back to you. To break this cycle, avoid sexual intercourse until you are better, or ask your gynecologist if using a condom will protect your partner from infection.

Take control of your sexual health today with gynecology services in Washington, D.C . at Washington Surgi-Clinic. From STD testing and Pap smears to birth control counseling and pregnancy termination, we offer comprehensive women’s health services with a focus on patient confidentiality. To find out more about our services or to make an appointment, call (202) 659-9403.