Vaginitis is a medical condition which describes various disorders that cause your vagina to become infected or inflamed. This inflame vagina can result in discharge, itching and pain. A range of irritations like creams and sprays aside bacteria, yeast or viruses can trigger vaginal infection. In certain cases, vaginitis results from organisms that are passed between sexual partners, vaginal dryness and lack of estrogen.
What are the common types of vaginitis?
Vaginitis is a common condition that often affects women at some point in life due to various conditions.There are three common types of it and they are;
- Bacterial vaginosis: it is caused by overgrowth of the bacteria. Bacterial vaginosis is naturally present in the vagina and actually the most common vaginal infection in women of reproductive age. It is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI), but it’s recorded more often in sexually active people.
- Yeast infection: it is caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. The causative organism is a normal flora of humans living in the vagina, as well as in the mouth and the digestive tract. An infection occurs when the normally occurring candida increases its presence in the vagina.
- Trichomoniasis: it is caused by a parasite through sexual contact. This is a tiny single-celled organism known as a protozoa and an infection resulting from this can cause unpleasant symptoms like vaginal itching and a smelly discharge.
Causes and risk factors of vaginitis
Vaginitis has multiple causes, depending on what kind of vaginitis you have. Examples of prominent causes are;
- Multiple sexual partners : sexual intercourse, with multiple partners, can introduce new bacteria or STIs into the vagina, increasing the risk of developing vaginitis.
- Bacterial vaginosis (BV): BV occurs when there is an imbalance in the naturally occurring bacteria in the vagina. This and certain factors such as douching, and the use of intrauterine devices (IUDs) can increase the risk.
- Allergic reactions : some women may be allergic to certain substances, such as latex, spermicide or specific types of lubricants, leading to an allergic reaction and subsequent vaginitis.
- Yeast infections : Most yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans. Risk factors for yeast infections include the use of antibiotics, weakened immune system, hormonal changes and wearing tight-fitting, non-breathable clothing.
- Irritants: certain irritants can cause inflammation and irritation of the vaginal tissues, leading to vaginitis. These irritants may include harsh soaps, detergents, perfumes, scented products, and certain types of contraceptives.
Symptoms of vaginitis
Medical symptoms of vaginitis can take many forms depending on the type of vaginitis however, most of the common ones are;
- An abnormal thick, white vaginal discharge which may come off worst normally after sex or menstruation
- A discharge that is mostly watery and generally odorless.
- A vagina or vulva that’s itchy, red and sometimes swollen.
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Discomfort in your lower abdomen and vaginal pain with intercourse which may sometimes cause slight bleeding.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT VAGINITIS BEFORE AND DURING TREATMENT.
Identify the cause
- Consult a healthcare professional for accurate diagnosis
- Determine specific cause (e.g., bacterial infection, yeast infection, STI)
Maintain good hygiene
- Use mild soap and warm water for external genital area
- Avoid harsh soaps, douches, and scented products
- Follow instructions carefully and seek medical advice if symptoms persist or worsen
- Consider using antifungal creams or suppositories for yeast infections
- Consult a medical herbalist for appropriate prescription medications
- Herbal remedies for bacterial infections, antifungal medications for yeast infections
- Treat sexual partners if necessary
- Steer clear of scented products, harsh soaps, tight-fitting clothing, and douching
Wear breathable underwear
- Opt for cotton underwear and avoid tight-fitting clothing
Follow up with a healthcare professional
- Seek further evaluation if symptoms persist or worsen
- Adjust treatment plan as needed
How is vaginitis diagnosed?
You must visit your primary healthcare provider in occasions where you suspect a case of vaginitis. Doctors would normally have a thorough look at your medical history, complete a physical exam and swab the inside of your vagina to collect a fluid sample. The swap sample is sent off to a lab where a microbiologist checks the cells for signs of vaginitis.
Your healthcare provider may as well check the PH levels of your vaginal fluid to get closer to a diagnosis.Some providers may ask that you abstain from sex for 24 hours before your appointment. Also desist from taking any antibiotic for the speculated infection prior to meeting a healthcare provider for diagnosis.
How is vaginitis treated?
Some potent plant based medicines that can help you in the treatment of vaginitis have been tested by herbal researchers. Scientific research have proven their potency and efficacy in the treating vaginitis as a result of their strong antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory effects.
It’s worth mentioning that using lemongrass, parsley leaves, cinnamon bark, Dandelion roots and Stinging Nettles or any herbal remedy for vaginitis should be done cautiously and in consultation with a healthcare professional.
They can provide appropriate guidance based on your individual condition and advise on the best treatment options available.