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Vaginitis in puberty

Inflammation or infection of the vagina called vaginitis. If infection spreads to vulva and the area outside the vagina, it called already vulvovaginitis. Both conditions are common in teen girls. Vaginitis in puberty is well known and most commonly occurs when the normal balance of yeast and bacteria in the vagina becomes disrupted for several reasons (sexual contacts, chemical irritation, poor hygiene).

Vaginitis in puberty – causes

  • Infections – yeast infection, bacterial infection, sexually transmitted disease (STD);
  • Chemical irritants – soaps, sprays, shampoos, perfume, pubic waxing;
  • Poor hygiene – lack of daily intimate hygiene, wrong toileting and improper wiping (back-to-front instead of front-to-back);
  • Hormonal insufficiency – mainly lack of estrogen which causes thin, delicate, sensitive and easily irritated lining in the vagina (making vagina more susceptible to infections).
  • Improper clothing – synthetic, wet, not breathing underwear, shorts or tight jeans.

Vaginitis in puberty – symptoms

Vaginal discharge during puberty is normal but vaginal secretions along with itching, unpleasant smell (especially “fishy” unusual odor) or changed color (brown, gray, yellow or green) could be a sign of a vaginal infection.

Vaginitis in puberty

Vaginitis in puberty

Typical symptoms include the following:

  • Symptoms of Vaginitis
  • Unusual vaginal discharge;
  • Vaginal itching or irritation;
  • Vaginal soreness, redness or swelling;
  • Vaginal discomfort of pain;
  • Frequent urination or painful urination;
  • Burning sensation during urination.

Vaginitis in puberty – treatment

Not-infectious vaginitis can be treated by simple remedies:

  • Warm sitz baths;
  • Cold or ice applications to the area;
  • Topical anti-inflammatory creams (mainly steroid creams).

Infectious vaginitis:

Diagnostic tests should identify the specific infections and be treated adequately by health experts.

Vaginitis in puberty – prevention

  • Never forget about daily proper hygiene,
  • In the toilet always wipe from front-to-back,
  • Avoid bubble-baths,
  • Avoid topical chemicals and scented products,
  • Avoid synthetic, wet and tight clothing;
  • Use only cotton underwear,
  • Wear loose-fitting,
  • Avoid vaginal douching and scented tampons.

Vaginitis in puberty – important to know

  • Sexually active teenage girls should have full information about safe sex and should have easy access to adequate private medical services including prevention of unplanned pregnancy and prevention of sexually transmitted infections;
  • All sexual partners of teenage girls with trichomoniasis and Chlamydia should be treated;
  • Sexually active teenage girls and their partners should be tested for HIV;
  • Vaginitis in puberty (especially recurrent cases) could have side effects such as labial adhesions;
  • Perianal pinworms in girls could trigger vaginitis;
  • Sometimes lichen sclerosis can be misdiagnosed as vaginitis.

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