15th Mar, 2016
Laura: Hi doctor, i have this very embarrassing toilet disease.
I itch all the time and I also have vaginal discharge.
I should have known better than to use that public toilet.
Like Laura, most people think using a public toilet automatically translates into having "toilet disease".
To start with, toilet disease is a misnomer, it doesn't exist. Don’t get me wrong, there are some faeco-oral diseases that can be gotten from using a dirty or public toilet which doesn't even occur because of sitting on dirty toilet seats but from touching toilet surfaces/holding a toilet seat thereby transmitting infections. Examples of these faeco-oral diseases include gastroenteritis, cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A & E, etc.
What then causes this so called "toilet disease"?
Some of the ladies who come down with "toilet disease" are sexually active (unprotected) and could have a sexually transmitted disease (S.T.I), others will argue that they aren't sexually active yet they have vaginal discharge and itching.
***it is normal for every woman to produce a vaginal discharge that is described as clear or slightly cloudy, non-irritating and odour free usually during ovulation*** Anything short of this might suggest an infective process.
There are so many factors that could cause vaginal discharge other than having unprotected sexual intercourse or multiple sexual partners, they include:
- Douching: Washing or cleaning out the vagina with water or other mixtures of fluids is called douching. Douching removes the normal bacteria in the vagina. How then is the vagina cleaned? It is best to let your vagina clean itself. The vagina cleans itself naturally by making mucous which washes away blood, semen, dead cells, etc. as a form of vaginal discharge. You can wash the outside of your vagina with warm water and a mild soap when you bathe. Douching is different from washing the outside of your vagina while you have your bath. Rinsing the outside of your vagina with warm water will not harm your vagina but douching most often leads to health issues.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Prolonged or inappropriate use of antibiotics, steroids e.g. prednisolone. These drugs kill the normal flora i.e. the bacteria protecting the vagina gets killed by the use of these drugs allowing fungal growth resulting in vagina itching and discharge.
- HIV, pregnancy and other immune suppressing conditions.
- Use of vaginal sprays, scented soaps, powder, and tampons usually cause irritations.
- Wearing tight non cotton underwear: This can cause an increase in moisture and temperature and can lead to local irritation.
- Diabetes mellitus.
- Intrauterine devices.
- Contraceptive pills.
- Cervical cancer.
Stay connected for more symptoms, types and treatment of Vaginal Discharge.