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Vaginitis: A Problem Almost Every Woman Faces in Her Life

Vaginitis: A Problem Almost Every Woman Faces in Her Life

Vaginitis: A Problem Almost Every Woman Faces in Her Life

Vaginitis is inflammation of the vagina that may result from an infection, change in the vaginal flora or bacterial concentrations, or lower estrogen levels. It is a common condition and tends to affect most women more than once in their lifetime. This condition is classified into four major types.

Types of Vaginitis

  • Bacterial vaginosis caused by an abnormal increase in the number of bacteria normally found in the vagina.
  • Trichomoniasis, an infection of the vagina caused by the parasites trichomonads generally acquired through sexual intercourse.
  • Vaginal yeast, vaginal candidiasis or fungal infections that are caused by an overgrowth of the candida albicans fungi found in the vagina.
  • Atrophic vaginitis, caused by lower estrogen levels especially after menopause.

Risk Factors of Vaginitis

The incidence of vaginitis is often higher due to the following factors:

  • Hormonal imbalances from pregnancy, menopause, and birth control pills
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Multiple sex partners
  • Antibiotic or steroid therapy
  • Douching and the use of vaginal sprays or deodorants
  • Bubble baths and moist or tight fitting underwear
  • Diabetes, especially uncontrolled

Symptoms of Vaginitis

Vaginitis results in inflammatory changes around the vagina, and most symptoms are related to these changes. Here’s a list of the different symptoms that you may experience if you have this condition.

  • Changes in the color, quantity, and odor of vaginal discharge. The kind of vaginal discharge often helps diagnose the type of vaginitis too. While bacterial vaginitis produces a grey or white discharge with a foul of fishy odor, vaginal yeast infections produce thick cheesy white discharge with lots of itching. Similarly, trichomoniasis causes yellowish green discharge.
  • Itching around the genitals, especially in the vagina
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Rarely, slight vaginal bleeding

Treatment of Vaginitis

The treatment of vaginitis depends on its type. Bacterial vaginitis is treated successfully with antibiotics, mainly metronidazole and clindamycin creams for 5-7 days. On the other hand, vaginal yeast infections require antifungal therapy that includes miconazole, clotrinazole, or tiocanazole creams and suppositories. Trichomoniasis is treated with metronidozole or tinidazole oral tablets. In case of post-menopausal or low estrogen related vaginitis, the insertion of estrogen containing vaginal rings, tablets, or creams is often successful in halting atrophic vaginitis.

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This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not medical advice.

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.