What is Vaginitis?
Vaginitis, also known as vaginal infection and vulvovaginitis, is an inflammation of the vagina and possible vulva. It can result in discharge, itching and pain, and is often associated with an irritation or infection of the vulva. Infected women may also be asymptomatic.
It is usually due to infection.
The four main kinds of vaginitis are:
A woman may have any combination of vaginal infections at one time. Testing for vaginal infections is not a part of routine pelvic exams.
If there is discomfort in the vulvovaginal area, women can request their health care providers evaluate for the presence of an infection.
The cause is usually a change in the normal balance of vaginal bacteria or an infection. Vaginitis can also result from reduced estrogen levels after menopause.
Generally, vaginal infections don’t cause serious complications.
In pregnant women, however, symptomatic bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis have been associated with premature deliveries and low birth weight babies.
Women with trichomoniasis or bacterial vaginosis are also at a greater risk of acquiring HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Causes of vaginitis:
Cause of vaginitis depends on the type of vaginitis one has.
- Bacterial vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis results from an overgrowth of one of several organisms normally present in your vagina.
This type of vaginitis seems to be linked to sexual intercourse it also occurs in women who aren’t sexually active.
- Yeast infections
A yeast infection occurs when there’s an overgrowth of a fungal organism — usually C. albicans — in the vagina.
Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by a microscopic, one-celled parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis.
- Noninfectious vaginitis
Vaginal sprays, douches, perfumed soaps, scented detergents and spermicidal products may cause an allergic reaction or irritate vulvar and vaginal tissues.
The following factors increase the risk of developing vaginitis:
- Hormonal changes, such as those associated with pregnancy, birth control pills or menopause
- Sexual activity
- Having a sexually transmitted infection
- Medications, such as antibiotics and steroids
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Use of hygiene products such as bubble bath, vaginal spray or vaginal deodorant
- Wearing damp or tight-fitting clothing
- Using an intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control
Symptoms of vaginitis:
Signs and symptoms may include:
- Change in color, odor or amount of discharge from your vagina
- Vaginal itching or irritation
- Pain during intercourse
- Painful urination
- Light vaginal bleeding or spotting
Diagnosis of vaginitis:
In order to diagnose vaginitis, the doctor may:
- Review the patient’s medical history, including r history of vaginal or sexually transmitted infections.
- Perform a pelvic exam, to confirm what kind of vaginitis you have.
Treatment of vaginitis:
Treatment varies according to the type of vaginitis.
- Bacterial vaginosis.
For this type of vaginitis, the doctor may prescribe metronidazole tablets (Flagyl) taken orally, metronidazole gel (MetroGel) or clindamycin cream (Cleocin) that is applied to the vagina.
- Yeast infections.
Yeast infections usually are treated with an antifungal cream or suppository, such as miconazole (Monistat), clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin) or tioconazole (Vagistat).
The doctor may prescribe metronidazole (Flagyl) or tinidazole (Tindamax) tablets.
- Thinning of vaginal lining (vaginal atrophy).
Estrogen — in the form of vaginal creams, tablets or rings — can effectively treat atrophic vaginitis.
- Noninfectious vaginitis.
The doctor may prescribe topical estrogen, such as a cream, to relieve symptoms.
By : Natural Health News