When a female patient presents a doctor with the problems that accompany a reproductive tract infection, she often has a vaginal infection. Infections of the vagina can be produced by the multiplication of microorganisms that are known to live in the vagina. Multiplication of protozoa can cause Trichorias vaginalis; multiplication of Candida albicans can cause a yeast infection.
Infections of the vagina can also result from an unbalanced growth of the bacteria in the vagina. Such an infection typically results from the depletion of some bacteria and the overgrowth of others. When infections of the vagina are caused by bacteria, they can lead to future problems, such as pelvic inflammatory disease and pregnancy complications.
Yet not all women with infections that threaten to impede the enjoyment of their sex life have infections of the vagina. Many women suffer from infections of the urinary tract. Most such infections are caused by bacteria.
Why do so many women get infections of the urinary tract? Bacteria usually find it easier to travel 1.5 inches along the female urethra than to traverse the 6 inch long male urethra. Bacteria must journey through the urethra in order reach the urinary tract. Bacteria growing in that area can produce the symptoms that are typical of urinary tract infections.
When not classed according to their location, reproductive tract infections can be classed according to their mode of transmission. Some are sexually transmitted infections; others can develop without the transfer of bodily fluids.
A patient with an HIV infection has a sexually transmitted infection (STI). A patient with an HIV infection can not give that disease to others by simply touching them or breathing on them. Transmission of the organism associated with HIV infections requires the transfer of a body fluid from the infected individual to the healthy individual.
Although HIV has, without a doubt, stirred-up a good deal of controversy, it is certainly not the only known STI. Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are STIs that are known to have affected many reproductive systems in the past. Herpes is a present-day STI, one that can now be controlled by certain medications.
The researchers at UCLA who have studied Herpes infections have sought to find every avenue by which that infection might be transmitted. They have checked many different brands of condoms, looking for evidence that any one condom had a leak. They have also tried growing Herpes virus from a swab used to touch a selected lavatory seat. Their research has suggested that Herpes could be contracted from contact with a contaminated toilet seat.
Those findings could lead to a rewriting of the information on reproductive tract infections. It certainly underlines the importance of medicines that can treat such infections.