What is vaginitis?
Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina. As many as one third of women will have symptoms of vaginitis sometime during their lives. Vaginitis affects women of all ages but is most common during the reproductive years.
A change in the balance of the yeast and bacteria that normally live in the vagina can result in vaginitis. This causes the lining of the vagina to become inflamed. Factors that can change the normal balance of the vagina:
· Use of antibiotics, Infection
· Changes in hormone levels due to pregnancy, Douching, Spermicides, Sexual intercourse
How is vaginitis diagnosed?
To diagnose vaginitis, your health care professional will take a sample of the discharge from your vagina and look at it under a microscope. Your health care professional also may suggest other tests.
Treatment will depend on the cause of the vaginitis.
What is a yeast infection?
Yeast infection also is known as candidiasis. It is one of the most common types of vaginal infection.
A yeast infection is caused by a fungus called Candida. It is found in small numbers in the normal vagina. However, when the balance of bacteria and yeast in the vagina is altered, the yeast may overgrow and cause symptoms.
What factors increase the risk of getting a yeast infection?
Use of some types of antibiotics increase your risk of a yeast infection. The antibiotics kill normal vaginal bacteria, which keep yeast in check. The yeast can then overgrow. A woman is more likely to get yeast infections if she is pregnant or has diabetes. Overgrowth of yeast also can occur if the body’s immune system, which protects the body from disease, is not working well.
What are the symptoms of a yeast infection?
The most common symptoms of a yeast infection are itching and burning of the area outside the vagina called the vulva. The vulva may be red and swollen. The vaginal discharge usually is white, lumpy, and has no odor. Some women with yeast infections notice an increase or change in discharge.
What treatments are available for vaginal yeast infection?
Yeast infections can be treated either by placing medication into the vagina, Econazole 150mg or by taking a pill, Flucanozole 150mg (Diflucan)-not recommended if pregnant. To apply antifungal with topical steroid cream sparingly on are of itchines eg. Econazine & Candacort cream.
Should I use an over-the-counter medication to treat a yeast infection?
Over-the-counter treatments are safe and often effective in treating yeast infections. If this is the first time you have had vaginal symptoms, you should see your gynaecologist. If you have used an over-the-counter medication and your symptoms do not go away, see your gynaecologist.
What is bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis is caused by overgrowth of the bacteria that occur naturally in the vagina.
What are the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?
The main symptom is increased discharge with a strong fishy odor. The discharge usually is thin and dark or dull gray, but may have a greenish color. Itching is not common.
How is bacterial vaginosis treated?
Oral antibiotics used to treat bacterial vaginosis are Metronidazole or Clindamycin. They can be taken by mouth or inserted into the vagina as a cream. If untreated could lead pelvic infection known as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.
Atrophic vaginitis is not caused by an infection but can cause vaginal discharge and irritation, such as dryness, itching, and burning. This condition may occur any time when female hormone levels are low, such as during breastfeeding and after menopause. Atrophic vaginitis is treated with estrogen, which can be applied as a vaginal cream eg Premarin cream. A water-soluble lubricant also may be helpful during intercourse.