Is It a Vaginal Infection Or Is It All In My Mind?

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Betty Dodson

Dear Dr. Betty,

I have a question about vaginal infection and wish to get your expert answer. Thank You.

Doctor, I suspect myself having vaginal infection since January 2009... I visited doctor and she gave me a type of cream which called candid cream and some fluconazole 200mg tablet, the doctor also advised me to wash my genital area with salt water. However, It seem din recover after applied the cream and have the medicine...

As a result, i bought some OTC cream which contain clotrimazole from pharmacy. Besides, i take acidophilus and evening primrose oil as supplement and drink granberry juice. However, sometimes, I still feel itchy and burning around my genital area and sometimes small rash may appear near my vulva area and disappear after few days... And, I usually feel itchy especially 1 weeks before my menstrual period.

Doctor, can you briefly explain to me what is the feeling when a girl having vaginal infection? Will the itchness stay continuously or come on and off because i not sure whether i having vaginal infection or phychologial feeling because my itchy will only appear on-and -off, especially when I am free and think of my genital area and the itchy... However, once I am busy of something or went for holiday and din think about my vaginal problem, I am ok about that.... I am really worry whether I having vaginal infection or psychological problem...

Hope to get your expert knowledge soon. Besides, I hope doctor can give me some advice to cope with this problem.

Thank you very much.


Dear C,

I'm a sexologist not a medical doctor. However, basic information about vaginal infections or itching is available online. The following information comes from

The National Women’s Health Resource Center defines “Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) as the most common of three vaginal infections that fall under the category known as vaginitis. The other two infections are trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted disease, and the fungal infection commonly known as a yeast infection. BV is actually a syndrome resulting from an imbalance in the different types of bacteria in the vagina (also called vaginal ‘flora’). A healthy vagina has numerous organisms that naturally live there. The vast majority—about 95 percent—belong to a type of bacteria called lactobacillus.”

BV is a broad category that includes yeast overgrowths, the most common problem for modern vaginas due to the amount of sugar consumed. In my world, an antibiotic is always a last resort. It is well-known they upset the vaginal flora. Unless a test for trichomoniasis came back positive, diet and probiotics would be my approach to vaginal healing.

Vaginal itching and soreness can also be caused by penetrating a dry vagina. I recommend using additional lubrication for all forms of sex play, especially penetration. Even if we are sexually aroused and wet, our own lubrication can dry out too quickly during extended intercourse. If using condoms, check out the ingredients in the water based lube to avoid anything with glycerin because it’s a sugar. For masturbation use a quality massage with no added scent.

Dr. Betty