Vaginitis

:: Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina that can result in discharge, itching and pain.

Bonum / Conditions / Vaginitis

Symptoms

Vaginitis symptoms can vary, but patients typically experience:

  • Change in color, odor or amount of discharge from your vagina
  • Vaginal itching or irritation
  • Painful urination
  • Light vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • Pain during intercourse
Lady-with-stomach-cramps-vaginitis

Overview

The cause is usually a change in the normal balance of vaginal bacteria or an infection. Reduced estrogen levels after menopause and some skin disorders can also cause vaginitis.

The most common types of vaginitis are:

  • Bacterial vaginosis, which results from a change of the normal bacteria found in your vagina to overgrowth of other organisms.
  • Yeast infections, which are usually caused by a naturally occurring fungus called Candida albicans.
  • Trichomoniasis, which is caused by a parasite and is commonly transmitted by sexual intercourse.

Treatment depends on the type of vaginitis you have.

Prevention

Good hygiene may prevent some types of vaginitis from recurring and may relieve some symptoms:

  • Avoid baths, hot tubs and whirlpool spas.
  • Avoid irritants. These include scented tampons, pads, douches and scented soaps. Rinse soap from your outer genital area after a shower, and dry the area well to prevent irritation. Don’t use harsh soaps, such as those with deodorant or antibacterial action, or bubble bath.
  • Wipe from front to back after using the toilet. Doing so avoids spreading fecal bacteria to your vagina.
Other things you can do that may help prevent vaginitis include:
  • Don’t douche. Your vagina doesn’t require cleansing other than normal bathing. Repetitive douching disrupts the normal organisms that reside in the vagina and can actually increase your risk of vaginal infection. Douching won’t clear up a vaginal infection.
  • Use a latex condom. Both male and female latex condoms may help you avoid infections spread by sexual contact.
  • Wear cotton underwear. Also wear pantyhose with a cotton crotch. If you feel comfortable without it, skip wearing underwear to bed. Yeast thrives in moist environments.

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