Vaginitis is one of the most common reasons a woman comes to her gynecologist’s for treatment. At the same time, it is also a situation in which, to a large extent, self-diagnosis and self-treatment with information obtained from the internet is attempted, which can turn a simple infection of the lower genital tract into something much bigger and more serious. Without a culture of vaginal fluid and a gynecological examination, combined with taking a detailed medical history, treating a vaginitis can have serious consequences for a woman’s health and fertility. In pregnant women, in particular, a vaginitis can lead to an underweight newborn, premature labor or even spontaneous abortion if left undiagnosed or treated with the wrong treatment. What Is Vaginitis & Symptoms
This is an inflammation of the vagina that occurs, most often, when the normal flora of the vagina is disturbed (eg, by taking antibiotics). It can, however, be caused by bacteria, fungi or even sexually transmitted parasites or diseases.
Although there are cases in which vaginitis is completely asymptomatic, it is usually accompanied by discomfort such as itching, itching, stinging or pain during urination, pain during intercourse, smelly vaginal fluids and vaginal fluids with a different texture and color than normal.
Finally, some skin conditions, as well as decreased estrogen levels and vaginal atrophy – both seen after menopause – can also be responsible for the onset of vaginitis.
Types of Vaginitis
In addition to bacterial vaginitis, which causes itching, foul-smelling fluids and grayish-white vaginal discharge and is caused by certain bacteria, there is also fungal vaginitis which presents with white and thick discharge, itching and irritation of the external genitalia and is caused by certain fungi.
As already mentioned, vaginitis can also be caused by sexually transmitted parasites, as in the case of trichomonas, which appears with yellow-green discharge, a characteristic cervicitis and genital discomfort to a large extent.
Finally, chlamydia (a sexually transmitted disease) can be responsible for the appearance of vaginitis. Because this disease is usually asymptomatic, many women do not treat it properly. This can lead to serious complications, such as inflammation of the upper genital organs (fallopian tubes and uterus), which can reduce a woman’s fertility. For this reason, frequent visits to the gynecologist are recommended to check the health of the reproductive system in general.
In addition to the hormonal changes seen in various phases of a woman’s life, such as menopause and pregnancy, the likelihood of developing vaginitis increases with:
- Use of inappropriate cleaning products for the sensitive area.
- Diabetes mellitus that is not controlled.
- Specific medications (eg, steroids and antibiotics).
- Frequent change of sexual partners.
- Vigorous sexual activity.
- Synthetic underwear.
- Very tight clothing.
- Sexually transmitted diseases.
Also, during the summer months, leaving the wet swimsuit on the body for a long time can be a cause of vaginitis. Treatment of Vaginitis
Vaginitis is treated medicinally, after the cause that has caused it has first been clarified. The aim of the treatment is to restore the vaginal flora to normal levels, which can be achieved within a period of 3 days and up to 2 weeks, depending on the case. In simple cysts, revision is usually not necessary. In cases where the vaginitis has been caused by ureaplasma, mycoplasma or chlamydia, the resistance of the specific microorganisms will probably force the woman to return for a re-examination, to be sure of their elimination.
It is important to get targeted treatment, because using a vaginal cream or a vaginal suppository, for example, may not deal with the microorganism that has caused the inflammation if it is not sensitive to the specific treatments.