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Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH CONDITIONS

Vaginal Infection

Overview
Symptoms
Risk Factors
Treatment and Management
Doctors to Consult
Overview

Vaginitis is an encompassing medical term used to describe various conditions that cause infection or inflammation of the vagina. Vaginitis may also be transmitted sexually. Vulvovaginitis refers to inflammation of both the vagina and vulva (the external female genitals).

Organisms such as bacteria, yeast or viruses, as well as by irritations from chemicals in creams, sprays or even pieces of clothing that are in contact with this area may cause these conditions.

The vagina produces a discharge usually described as clear or slightly cloudy, non-irritating, and odor-free. The amount and consistency of discharge can vary during the menstrual cycle.

 

Symptoms
In general, the symptoms of vaginitis are:
  • Excessive amounts of vaginal discharge
  • Abnormal coloration of vaginal discharge (such as yellow, gray, or green)
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Itching on the outside of the vagina
  • Discomfort during intercourse

Candidiasis is a yeast infection caused by Candida albicans. It is found in the vagina of most women after menopause.  Specific symptoms are:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge which could range from slightly watery, white discharge to a thick, chunky discharge (like cottage cheese)
  • Vaginal and labial itching, burning
  • Pain during intercourse and when voiding urine.

Trichomoniasis occurs in both men and women. This parasitic infection often occurs with other STDs, such as gonorrhea and non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU), particularly in women. Symptoms are:

  • Vaginal itching
  • Discomfort during intercourse
  • Profuse, greenish-yellow, frothy or foamy and foul smelling vaginal discharge
  • Itching of the inner thighs
  • In men, there is a burning sensation after urination or ejaculation.

In Bacterial vaginosis, Lactobacillus bacteria are replaced by other types of bacteria that are present in smaller concentrations in the vagina. It often occurs during pregnancy and it can cause premature labor and delivery and premature rupture of membranes and postpartum uterine infections. The symptoms are:

  • Foul or fishy vaginal odor
  • Increased amount of gray-white vaginal discharge.
Risk Factors
  • Use of creams, sprays and douching
  • Wearing of tight clothing
  • Sexual activity, and
  • Anything that may disrupt the normal microenvironment of the vagina, such as extreme illness, contamination by feces, or lack of sufficient probiotic dietary intake
  • Unsanitary and improper use of sanitary pads, tampons, and panty liner
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Prevention and Management of Candidiasis
  • Avoid tight-fitting underwear
  • Avoid the use of feminine sprays, talc, or perfumes in the vaginal area, which may affect the normal balance of organisms.

Prevention and Management of Bacterial vaginosis

  • Avoid multiple sex partners
  • Incorporate yogurt with live Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures as part of long term diet.
Home Remedies
Doctors to Consult
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