Reproductive tract infections (RTI’s) refer to infections that affect the reproductive system which can lead to adverse health outcomes such as infertility and ectopic pregnancy amidst other adverse outcomes. These infections are very uncomfortable for females. Examples of RTIs include bacterial infections such as syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, and cancroids. RTIs viral infections include human papillomavirus, herpes genitalia, hepatitis B virus, and HIV.

Symptoms of Reproductive Tract Infections

Typically, symptoms of RTIs in females include:

  • Itching
  • Vaginal discharge that may have an unpleasant odor
  • General discomfort
  • Pain ranging from mild to severe in the lower abdomen
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding between menstrual cycles
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Fever, sometimes accompanied with chills
  • Painful, frequent, or difficult urination

Predisposing factors

There are harmful habits like squatting when urinating, wrong method of cleaning the anus after defecating, vagina douching. Also, the use of perfumes on the private area, use of dirty toilets, use of wet underwear, and engaging in unprotected sexual activities. All these predispose a person to reproductive tract infection.

Although, most people find treating toilet infections quite embarrassing. It is however important to treat it early so it does not snowball into another issue that will affect the sexual health.

Precautionary measures

Below are helpful tips to prevent toilet infections:

  • If you must have sex, abstain from unprotected sexual intercourse as much as possible.
  • Do not douche your vagina. Avoid the use of medicated soap or antiseptics in the vagina. Only use water to clean up the vagina while bathing.
  • Daily change of underwear. Change your underwear every day or twice a day when menstruating or after sweating a lot. Underwears must always be clean and dry. Pads, tampons, and panty liners must be changed as often as possible.
  • When using a public toilet, you should stand or bend when urinating. This helps to prevent infection by preventing urine splashing on sensitive area.
  • Do not share underwear with anyone whom you don’t know his/her sexual history and hygiene.
  • Do not use perfume or scented soap on the vagina. This consequently changes the chemical balance of the vagina which may predispose a person to toilet infections.
  • Do not engage in sitting in extremely hot baths.
  • Always wipe from front to back after using the restrooms.
  • Manage your diabetes. If you have it, be sure to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels and keep them under control.
  • Avoid self-medication when you sense any sensation around your private area. Visit a doctor instead.

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