Vaginitis: Types, Causes, Treatment
Vaginitis is a medical term used to define infected or inflammation condition of the vagina. These infections can be caused due to some micro-organisms, like bacteria, fungi, and viruses. It can also be caused due to change in the bacterial community or using some irritant at your vagina. Some times it can also be noticed that change in the estrogen level during pregnancy can also lead to the vaginitis. During pregnancy, there may be a complication of the disease. There can be a more than one cause for the disease.
Symptoms of the disease are burning, itching, pain, bad odor, and vaginal discharge. Generally, a woman can notice its symptoms by herself looking at their vaginal discharge color and odor. But sometimes a diagnosis by a doctor is recommended. A vaginal discharge that contains odor or irritation, is usually considered an abnormal discharge. It can cause itching, burning or both, and burning sensation can feel like a bladder infection. Itching can be possible at any time of the day, but it is often the most troubled at night. These symptoms are often worse than sexual intercourse.
Diagnosis usually involves screening, measuring pH, and culturing vaginal secretion for infection. Almost every woman has faced it at least once in her lifetime. Women of reproductive age are most often affected.
Types of Vaginitis
- Yeast or Candida vaginitis
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Trichomoniasis vaginitis
- Non-infectious vaginitis
- Atrophic vaginitis
- Aerobic vaginitis
Yeast or Candida vaginitis: Candida vaginitis is commonly known as yeast or fungal infections. Vaginal yeast infections are those that most women think when listening to the word vaginitis. There are many species of fungi, but yeast infection is caused by Candida. Candida normally presents in the vagina, as well as in the mouth and digestive system. An infection occurs when the number of commonly occurring Candida increases in numbers to generate annoying symptoms. Generally, yeast is present in the vagina, but the infection occurs when a woman’s system balance changes.
Bacterial vaginosis: Bacterial vaginosis is a common vaginal infection among sexually active women. Gardnerella is a bacterium that causes the disease. Bacterial vaginosis often causes an abnormal digestive vaginal discharge. Discharge is usually thin and milky and has a smell like fish. This smell can be more obvious after intercourse.
Trichomoniasis vaginitis: Trichomoniasis protozoa are caused by a single cell organism. When this organism infects the vagina, it can cause a prolific, green-yellow color discharge and can cause odor. Symptoms appearing in a woman with trichomoniasis can be irritation during urine along with itching and soreness. In addition, there may be discomfort in the lower abdomen and painful intercourse. These symptoms can get worse after the menstrual cycle. It has been seen that many women do not develop any symptoms. It is important to understand that trichomoniasis vaginitis can be transmitted through intercourse.
Sometimes a woman may have itching, irritation, and even vaginal discharge without infection. The most common cause is an allergic reaction or irritation. The use of vaginal spray, douche or spermicidal products may be an allergic reaction. However, the skin around the vagina is so sensitive that using any rigid or scented soap, lotion, sexual lubricants, detergent, and fabric softener can cause allergic or irritation.
Atrophic vaginitis, also known as genetic traits of menopause (time of stoppage time). This is caused by decreasing levels of hormones during and after menopause. In this type of vaginitis, the vagina becomes dry or atrophic. Women may experience itching and irritation or urinary problems and symptoms of pain after intercourse.
Women with aerobic vaginitis show signs of burning, stinging and painful intercourse and yellow color discharge is also seen with an unpleasant odor. Symptoms can last for human years. Occasionally there are no symptoms in the person infected.
Causes of Vaginitis
- Hormonal changes or imbalances
- Sexual intercourse
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Use of vaginal spray
- Wearing tight fitted clothes
These are some reasons that can cause this disease. Avoiding this you can be free from this disease.
Symptoms of Disease
- Irritation of the genital area.
- Burning, itching, and pain in the vagina
- Change in the color and odor of Vaginal discharge
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Painful urination
- Light vaginal spotting
- Persistent pain
- Skin infection
- Causative condition like gonorrhea and candida infection.
These are the symptoms which can be easily noticed by the women herself. If it is not noticeable than it is always better to consult with the doctor for the diagnosis.
Diagnosis of the disease
Doctors or health professional will recommend you for these tests for the confirmation or the exact cause of the disease.
- Vaginal wet mount
- Medical History
- Pelvic Examination
- Lab testing
- pH test of vagina
Treatment and Management
Diagnosis and proper cause of the disease will help in better treatment. After diagnosis doctor or health professional will help you for appropriate treatment.
Medications: Metronidazole tablet or Clindamycin cream which can be prescribed by your doctor for bacterial vaginosis. Butoconazole and clotrimazole are for fungal infection.
Cortisone cream: It is used for severe irritation in the vagina.
Antihistamines: if the inflammation appears to stem from an allergic reaction.
Topical cream: if the vaginitis is due to low estrogen levels.
If a woman is pregnant, her doctor should know about all the medications, because vaginitis can affect the fetus and make it complicated.
Other than the usage of medications some of the natural treatment is also possible for the disease. A woman can use home remedies depending upon their symptoms. Some of the natural remedies are given below:
- Tea tree oil
- Coconut oil
- Oregano oil
- Boric acid
- Cold compress
It is advised for a pregnant woman that they will avoid any natural or home remedies for vaginitis disease. If she wants to use any home remedies then consult with their health professional.
Vaginitis is one of the common diseases among women. Many women once in their life has faced this problem. It is rarely dangerous disease and easily curable. With a better diagnosis option, it can easily be diagnosed and treated. Completing a medication course prescribed by the doctor simply remove any infection and ease the inflammation. Women can also prevent it by taking good care of their vagina, maintain proper hygiene, clean it with mild soap, avoid any irritants.