Vaginitis is the inflammation of the vagina that results in itching, pain and discharge. The most common types of vaginitis are:
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Yeast infections
Causes depend on the type of Vaginitis. It is most commonly caused by bacteria.
- Bacterial vaginosis is usually caused by anaerobic bacteria which is different from the normal bacteria found in vagina (lactobacilli). Bacterial vaginosis is usually linked to sexual intercourse even though it can occur in women who are sexually inactive.
- Yeast infections occur due to an overgrowth of fungal organisms, usually C. albicans.
- Trichomoniasis is usually transmitted sexually and is caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis.
- Non infectious vaginitis is caused by irritants such as deodorants, perfumes, perfumed soaps, detergents, vaginal sprays etc.
Symptoms of vaginitis include:
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Change in color, odour and amount of discharge
- Painful urination
- Painful intercourse
- Irritation around the the genital area
- Light vaginal bleeding or spotting
Diagnosis of vaginitis involves:
- Medical history
- Physical examination
- Pelvic examination
- Vaginal pH testing
- Lab testing of vaginal discharge sample
Good hygiene is the major preventive measure for vaginitis.
- Overall good personal hygiene
- Wear cotton underwear
- Use mild soaps without irritants or scents
- Use condoms to avoid infections from sexual contact.
Treatment depends on the cause of vaginitis.
- Over the counter medications, creams, suppositories, gels or oral drugs are prescribed depending on the type of vaginitis.
- Non infectious vaginitis can be treated by avoiding the source of irrigation.
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