Vaginal inflammation triggered by different types of infection or non-infectious factors called vaginitis – it is pretty common uncomfortable condition especially in women with diabetes. Bacteria, yeast, viruses or some chemicals (soap, spray, synthetic clothing) could irritate the delicate skin and tissues in vagina.
Vaginitis – types
Atrophic vaginitis (senile-vaginitis)
Typical for menopausal period because during this period of life women experience deficit of estrogen and the lining of the vagina (endothelium) gets thinner and susceptible to irritation and inflammation.
This condition usually caused by overgrowth of normal bacteria in the vagina. Some of the bacteria multiply too much, so that more are present than is normal (especially Gardnerella and Mobiluncus bacteria).
It is sexually transmitted infection which causes Trichomonas Vaginalis. This infection can spread to other parts of the urogenital tract, including the urethra and vagina.
Candida albicans can cause fungal infection in vagina.
Chlamydia is pretty common sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium “Chlamydia trachomatis” which can damage women reproductive organs. Untreated Chlamydia can trigger typical symptoms of vaginitis.
Gonorrhea is caused by bacterium “Neisseria gonorrhoeae” that can grow and multiply easily in the warm, moist areas of reproductive tract (vagina, cervix, uterus, Fallopian tubes).
Usually caused by chemical factors or objects which could cause allergic reaction.
Usually triggered by herpes simplex virus (HSV, herpes). The main symptom is pain in the genital area associated with lesions and sores. These sores are generally visible on the vulva, or vagina, but may be found inside the vagina during a pelvic exam.
Vaginitis – symptoms
- Vaginal irritation and inflammation (redness, swelling);
- Vaginal discharge (thin or thick, watery, grayish white or yellow);
- Vaginal itching;
- Vaginal burning;
- Vaginal odor (unpleasant, sometimes “fishy”);
- Vaginal pain;
- Dysuria (pain, discomfort or burning during urination);
- Dyspareunia (painful sexual intercourse).
Vaginitis – causes
- Vaginal infections (in 90% cases) – yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, Chlamydia, mycoplasma, herpes, campylobacter, parasites);
- Hormonal dysfunctions (mainly during decreased levels of estrogen);
- Allergic factors (condom, spermicide, tampon, soap, intimate perfume, vaginal douche, synthetic clothing, topical medication, lubricant and even semen).
Usually pelvic examination and laboratory tests of vaginal discharge are enough for determining the cause of vagitis.
Vaginitis – prevention
- Proper daily hygiene (keeping vaginal area clean and dry);
- Avoid vaginal douching;
- Avoiding chemical and allergic components;
- Cotton and loose clothing would be strongly recommended;
- Avoid synthetic underwear, tight jeans, non-breathable sport shorts and leggings, and pantyhose without cotton panel;
- Safe sex (modern contraception, STD prevention, limited number of partners).
- Yearly regular pelvic exam and Pap test.
Treatment method depends on causes. Most effective treatment is possible if getting the right diagnosis.
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