Vaginitis is an infection or inflammation of the vagina which can cause symptoms such as discharge, itching sensation, and pain. This condition is generally triggered by a change in the balance of vaginal bacteria or an inflamed infection.
Recognizing the Symptoms of Vaginitis
When it comes to the symptoms of vaginitis, the variations are wide. However, some of the most common symptoms include:
- Altered Whiteness: Changes in the texture of vaginal discharge, from thick to white or greenish-yellow, often accompanied by an unpleasant aroma.
- Itchy feeling: An itching sensation around the vaginal area, including the vulva and labia majora, can be another sign of vaginitis.
- Redness and Pain: The skin around the vagina can look red and sore. Vulvitis, this condition is called, can be one of the consequences.
- Spotting or Bleeding: Sometimes, there is also the possibility of spotting or bleeding from the vagina, which needs to be watched out for.
- Discomfort when Urinating and Having Sex: Vaginitis can also cause discomfort when urinating and during sex.
Factors That Increase the Risk of Vaginitis
The risk of developing vaginitis in women can be increased by a number of factors. Some of them include:
- Sexual Life: Multiple sexual partners can affect the risk of vaginitis.
- Medical Conditions: Diabetics who are not controlled are prone to vaginitis.
- Hygiene Habits: The practice of vaginal douching or cleaning the vagina in certain ways can also contribute to the risk of vaginitis.
- Choice of Clothing: Excessive wearing of damp or tight pants can create an environment favorable to the development of vaginitis.
- Contraceptive Method: Using spiral birth control or spermicide also has the potential to increase the risk of vaginitis.
- Feminine Care Products: Using inappropriate feminine hygiene products can upset the natural balance of the vagina and increase the risk of vaginitis. This is one of the reasons why Nona Woman launched an organic intimate wash that maintains your vagina’s pH balance.
- Drug Use: Side effects of some medications, such as antibiotics or corticosteroids, can also trigger the development of vaginitis.
- Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations that occur during pregnancy or as a result of taking birth control pills can also play a role in the risk of vaginitis.
Causes of Vaginitis
Vaginitis can be triggered by a variety of factors that we need to understand. However, most cases of vaginitis are related to a bacterial infection. Normally, the vagina contains a balanced variety of bacteria. However, vaginitis occurs when the balance between the 'good' and 'bad' bacteria in the vagina is disturbed.
In addition to bacterial infections, some vaginitis triggers include:
- Yeast infection, where the growth of yeast in the vagina is excessive.
- Pinworm infection that spreads from the anal area.
- Allergic reaction or irritation of the vagina, often related to the use of feminine hygiene products.
- Sexually transmitted diseases such as trichomoniasis, chlamydia and genital herpes.
- Thinning of the vaginal wall due to decreased estrogen levels, can occur after menopause or after surgical removal of the uterus (hysterectomy).
Diagnosis of vaginitis
To confirm the diagnosis of vaginitis, the doctor will first ask about the patient's symptoms and whether the patient has had similar complaints before. Next, the doctor will carry out a series of examinations, including:
- Pelvic Examination
The doctor may use an instrument (spectulum) to look inside the vagina and look for signs of inflammation and vaginal discharge.
- Sampling in the Laboratory
The doctor will take a sample of vaginal discharge or discharge for testing in the laboratory to determine the type of vaginitis that is occurring.
- pH measurement
This measurement is carried out using a pH test kit or pH paper attached to the vaginal wall. An increase in the pH value may indicate the presence of bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. However, keep in mind that pH measurement alone is not a reliable diagnostic test.
Vaginitis is a common problem among women, but the treatment depends on the root cause. There are steps you can take to relieve symptoms and prevent recurrences:
- Antibiotic Drugs: If bacteria are the trigger for vaginitis, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics such as metronidazole or clindamycin. Both of these drugs are effective in treating bacterial infections.
- Antifungal: Fungal infections can be treated with antifungal drugs such as miconazole, clotrimazole, or fluconazole. This will help restore the balance of microorganisms in the vaginal area.
- Hormone Therapy: Sometimes, a decrease in the hormone estrogen can be a trigger for vaginitis. Hormone replacement therapy can help treat this problem and relieve symptoms.
- Irritation Prevention: Vaginitis caused by irritants or allergens can be avoided by avoiding triggers, such as excessive vaginal cleansing or latex condoms. This will help maintain the vagina's natural pH balance.
- Relieve Symptoms: If you have inflammation and itching, your doctor can prescribe appropriate medications to relieve the discomfort.
If you experience symptoms of vaginitis such as abnormal vaginal discharge, itching, or a change in your urination habits, consult your doctor immediately. Appropriate and fast treatment will help prevent further complications.