Have you been experiencing incessant itching and burning in your vagina? You might want to get it checked for Vaginitis. The inflammation in your vagina can cause loads of discomfort and pain that is not bearable.
The female reproductive system is tricky to understand and when there is an infection things can get a lot messier and painful.
In this blog, we are going to understand every aspect of vaginitis, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
We will also be sharing some self-care tips that can help prevent vaginitis. So, if you are someone who is experiencing these symptoms, or know someone who is, then this blog is for you.
Comprehending Vaginitis And Its Causes
Vaginitis is a condition that is encountered by women at least once in their lifetime. This is an infection that causes inflammation in and around your vagina. The infection can either be bacterial, fungal, or yeast.
Types Of Vaginitis
Below explained are various types of vaginitis easily comprehended by a layman.
➡️ Atrophic Vaginitis
This is the type of inflammation that is caused after a woman reaches the stage of menopause.
Here, the lining of the vagina gets thinner because of low production of estrogen in women. The lack of estrogen causes irritation, dryness, and discomfort in the vagina.
➡️ Bacterial Vaginosis
This is a condition where some types of bacteria have an imbalance in the vagina.
When the normal growth of bacteria is decreased in the vagina, then women experience the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis. It does not cause serious complications, but pregnant women can have adverse effects.
This type of infection is usually caused by a sexually transmitted parasite called trichomonas vaginalis.
It affects the urinary tract organs and increases the risk of HIV and other STIs. Pregnant women are also at risk after developing this infection.
➡️ Candida Albicans
This is a type of fungal infection because of yeast. This yeast is caused by overgrowth of fungus in the vagina during hormonal changes.
A weak immune system, diabetes, or high consumption of antibiotics can also cause it.
Causes Of Vaginitis
Vaginitis can be caused by either one or more than one of the points mentioned below:
- Poor hygiene practices
- The spread of bacteria from the bum-hole to the vagina
- Low levels of estrogen
- Shaving pubic hair all the time
- Lack of labial fat pads
- An allergic reaction to condoms, douches, perfumes, semen, soaps, lubricants, tampons, or semen
- Wearing extremely tight panties
- Not changing a damp panty for a long time
- Taking antibiotics for a long period
- Unprotected sexual intercourse
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Other health conditions like Gardenerella, gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, mycoplasma, and campylobacter
Symptoms Of Vaginitis
The symptoms of vaginitis can be either one or more than one of the points mentioned below:
- Irritation in the vaginal walls
- Excess discharge in the form of white, and gray color
- Bad odor from the vagina
- Irritation while urinating
- Redness and swelling in and around the vagina
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding or spotting
- Soreness or discomfort in the pubic region
- Experiencing pain while having penetrative sex
- The vulva is painful to touch
Diagnosis Of Vaginitis
The diagnosis of vaginitis can be performed at home or your healthcare provider’s clinic.
Routine questions about your sex life and menstruation will be involved to understand your condition. A physical exam will be performed to confirm the type of infection you are experiencing.
The doctor may also collect the discharge from your vagina in a swab to test it. A urine test for the possible STIs present in your body.
A closer look at the samples under the microscopic device will help determine the cause and type of infection.
Treatments Of Vaginitis
The treatment of vaginitis will be decided upon diagnosis of the infections. After that, your doctor may prescribe:
- Metronidazole (in tablet, cream, or gel form) or clindamycin (in cream or gel form) to treat Infections.
- Antifungal medications or suppositories to treat fungal infections. You can buy anti-yeast medication without a prescription from your pharmacy, but if the infection does not go away or comes back, you should consult a doctor. Metronidazole or Tinidazole Tablets to treat the symptoms of Trichomoniasis.
- Estrogen cream or tablets may help treat vaginal dryness and itching associated with atrophic vaginitis.
Self-Care Tips To Prevent Vaginitis
The prevention of vaginitis involves practicing good hygiene for the overall body and taking special care of the intimate areas. Some of the practices are explained below:
- Avoid using scented soaps, pads, tampons, or panty liners.
- If you have sex toys, then make sure to wash and sterilize them before and after every use.
- Say no to bubble baths as they can lead to the overgrowth of bacteria. Instead, go for a quick shower routine that firmly cleanses your body and washes away quickly.
- Avoid douching, or using deodorants on your pubic region.
- Wear breathable and cotton panties for proper airflow.
- Change your underwear after an intense workout or swimming session.
- Skip the scented fabric detergent for your intimate clothes.
- Always clean from the front to back motion to prevent the spread of bacteria from your anus.
- Practice safe sex.
- Do not take antibiotics unnecessarily.
- Visit your Gynecologist regularly.
- Avoid flavored condoms.
- If you are having anal sex, then make sure to use a new condom for vaginal sex after anal intercourse.
- Use only water-based lubricants.
Maintaining good hygiene practices will save you from half of the infections and promote overall well-being.
Safe sex with sterilized sex toys should be the routine if you want to keep things interesting in your love life.
Some vaginal infections go on their own, or with the use of Over-the-counter medications, but when things get messier and medications do not work, you should not neglect them.
Consult with your healthcare provider when you spot bleeding, or experience pain and discomfort.
This will also help in identifying the underlying conditions of your health. So, practice hygiene and avoid the irritants that can build into bacteria.
- Neal CM, Kus LH, Eckert LO, Peipert JF. Noncandidal vaginitis: a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and management.