How do vaginal infections affect the body?

Kevin W. Windom, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Vaginal infections can affect the body if  the bacteria or yeast ascends into the cervix and uterus or possibly get into the blood stream.  It is rare for vaginal yeast infections to get into the blood stream, but it is not uncommon for a bacteria of the vagina to become a systemic or total body infection.  It is very worrisome for patients with gonorrhea or chlamydia because these infections can ascend through the cervix and into the uterus and up the fallopian tubes.  If the infection goes up the fallopian tubes and  into the abdomen, it can cause a severe infection.  Also, as these infections traverse through the uterus and fallopian tubes, they can cause severe scarring and possible infertility.

Other than irritation to the vagina, vaginal infections don't generally affect the rest of the body greatly. Occasionally, vaginal infections can have an effect on pregnancies, causing early delivery. It is important to note that having a vaginal infection can increase your risk of contracting other sexually transmitted infections. Also, some types of vaginal infections can be transmitted via sexual contact.

Continue Learning about Vulvovaginitis



Vulvovaginitis refers to numerous types of infections that can affect the vulva and vaginal area. Causes of vulvovaginitis include yeast, bacteria, parasites STDs and other viruses. If you have symptoms of vulvovaginitis like odor...

, discharge, itching, rash or pain in the vagina, you should call your doctor. You will want to make sure that you are treated for this condition, as it does not always go away on its own.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.