Vaginitis refers to any inflammation or infection of the vagina. This is a common gynecological problem found in women of all ages.

What are the most common types of Vaginitis?

  • Yeast infection by a species of Candida fungus or Bacterial vaginosis, both normally living in vagina. Something happens that upset the balance leading to overgrowth of Candida or bacterial vaginosis and infection occurs.
  • Vaginitis by the parasite Trichomoniasis vaginalis, Chlamydia Vaginitis by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis,  Gonococcal Vaginitis by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhea and viral Vaginitis by Herpes simples and human papiloma virus. All are sexually transmitted diseases
  • Vaginitis  irritation by an allergic reaction to, or irritation from  vaginal sprays, douches, or spermicidal products, perfumed soaps, detergents, or fabric softeners
  • The other type of “atrophic Vaginitis,” usually results from a decrease in hormones because of menopause, surgical removal of the ovaries, radiation therapy, or even after childbirth particularly in breastfeeding women. Lack of estrogen dries and thins the vaginal tissue, and may also cause spotting.

What are the most common risk factors for Vaginitis?

It is common in pregnant woman .It is also common in women who have un-controlled diabetes , using an immunosuppressant medication , using high-estrogen contraceptives , thyroid or endocrine disorder  , an antibiotic course or women who are undergoing corticosteroid therapy, which slows the immune system

What are the symptoms of Vaginitis?

The symptoms may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Consult your physician for diagnosis.

  • For Candida the most common symptoms may include a thick, white, cottage cheese-like vaginal discharge, watery and usually odorless , itchiness and redness of the vulva and vagina
  • For bacterial vaginosis the most common symptoms may include a milky, thin discharge at times, or a heavy, gray discharge, “fishy” odor.
  • For Trichomoniasis the most common symptoms may include a frothy musty-smelling, greenish-yellow discharge, itching in and around the vagina and vulva, burning during urination, discomfort in the lower abdomen, and pain during intercourse, some women are asymptomatic.
  • For Chlamydia the most common symptoms may include increased vaginal discharge, light bleeding, especially after intercourse, pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis, burning during urination, pus in the urine, redness and swelling of the urethra and labia, some women are asymptomatic.
  • For Gonococcal infection the most common Symptoms may include: yellowish or bloody vaginal discharge, painful or burning urination, vaginal bleeding during intercourse and lower abdominal pain during intercourse.
  • For noninfectious Vaginitis the most common symptoms may include vaginal itching, vaginal burning, vaginal discharge, pelvic pain (particularly during intercourse).
  • For viral herpes the most common symptoms may include pain in the genital area associated with lesions and sores visible on the vulva, or vagina, but occasionally are inside the vagina and can only be found during a pelvic examination, for viral human papillomavirus (HPV) the most common symptoms may include painful warts to grow on the vagina, rectum, vulva, or groin. However, visible warts are not always present, in which case, the virus is generally detected by a Pap test.

How is a Vaginitis diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical and pelvic examination, diagnostic procedures often include a microscopic examination of the vaginal discharge.

How to treat Vaginitis?

Specific treatment will be determined based on your age, overall health, and medical history, cause of the disease, type and severity of the symptoms and your tolerance for specific medications. Generally treatment may include:

  • For Candida:  anti-fungal, vaginal creams and suppositories, antibiotics
  • For Bacterial vaginosis: oral antibiotics. It is important that pregnant women receive prompt treatment as bacterial vaginosis can cause complications during pregnancy
  • For Trichomoniasis both partners must be treated by taking oral antibiotics. It is important for pregnant women to receive prompt treatment as Trichomoniasis can cause complications during pregnancy.
  • For Chlamydia: oral antibiotics. It is especially important for pregnant women infected with Chlamydia to be treated, as the consequences for a newborn that has passed through the birth canal of an infected mother are quite serious.
  • For Gonococcal Vaginitis if left untreated, Gonococcal infections can lead to serious conditions such as pelvic inflammatory disease increasing risk of infertility, pelvic adhesions, chronic pelvic pain, and ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. Because of these risks, early treatment of the infection with antibiotics is essential.
  • Treatment for noninfectious Vaginitis generally includes estrogen creams or oral tablets, which can restore lubrication and decrease soreness and irritation.