Vaginitis occurs when your vagina is irritated or inflammed and is commonly caused by an infection. The three most common vaginal infections are bacterial vaginosis, candida vaginitis (yeast infection) and trichomonas vaginitis.
Signs and symptoms of vaginitis
When you have vaginitis you may experience some or all of these symptoms:
- abnormal or increased discharge
- fishy odor
- painful urination or vaginal bleeding
Causes of vaginitis
Vaginitis may result from bacterial infections, fungal infection, protozoan infection, contact dermatitis or even an allergic reaction. The only type of vaginitis that is sexually transmitted is trichomonas.
Bacterial – infection is caused when healthy vaginal organisms are replaced by harmful bacteria. It is referred to as bacterial vaginosis and is the most common type of vaginitis.
Yeast – infection is called candidiasis. It is caused by a fungus and is the second most common type of vaginitis.
Protozoan – infection is called trichomoniasis and it is considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD). It is the least common and comprises 3% – 5% percent of all vaginitis infections.
Complications associated with vaginitis
If you don’t treat bacterial vaginosis there can be an increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, pre-term birth, premature rupture of membranes, low birth weight, intra-amniotic infections, endometritis, cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN), post-gynecological surgery infections and increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
Testing for an infection
Thankfully the tests administered for vaginitis are easy. After examining your vagina your doctor will use a swab to get a sample of the discharge which will help identify whether or not you have an infection. Vaginitis is found by checking vaginal fluid appearance, vaginal pH, the presence of volatile amines (the odor causing gas) and the microscopic detection of clue cells.
Treatment will depend on the cause of the infection: bacterial vaginosis can be treated orally (by mouth) or intra-vaginally (inside vagina) with a prescription for medication; a yeast infection can be treated orally or intra-vaginally with either prescription or over-the-counter antifungal medications; and a trichomonas infection is usually treated with an oral antibiotic prescription.
- Start with good hygeine. Wash area with a mild soap (perfumed products may cause irritation) and dry well.
- Douching and feminine hygiene sprays can disrupt the normal balance of vaginal organisms. Try to avoid them.
- Wipe front to back after going to the bathroom to avoid spreading bacteria.
- Avoid tight jeans, panty hose without a cotton crotch and other clothing that can trap moisture.
- Always practice safe sex. Use latex condoms, they can reduce the risk of spreading sexually transmitted diseases.
- Try to relax. Stress can be a contributing factor for vaginitis.
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Birth Control Buzz is a service company that provides birth control prices, types of birth control(prescription required), health administrative services, and birth control statistics predominantly to US patients seeking to purchase pharmaceuticals on-line. For more information, call 1-866-868-8850 or visit http://www.birthcontrolbuzz.com/.