1. What is vaginitis?
2. Prognosis of the disease
3. Symptoms of vaginitis
4. Medical tests for vaginitis
5. What are the causes of vaginitis?
6. Can it be prevented?
7. Treatments for vaginitis
8. Which specialist treats it?
What is vaginitis?
Vaginitis, also called vulvovaginitis, is inflammation or infection of the vagina and vulva. Inflammation of the cervix or external genitalia can also occur. It is one of the most common gynecological problems, as it is estimated that 90% of women will suffer from some type of vaginitis in their lifetime.
Prognosis of the disease
If you have bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis it is important to treat them, as they increase the risk of contracting HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. If you are pregnant, it may increase the possibility of premature birth.
What are the symptoms?
The main symptoms of vaginitis are itching, swelling and redness of the tissues. These symptoms are also accompanied by a strange vaginal discharge, called leucorrhea, which will be different depending on the cause of the disease. In addition, it is normal to feel pain when urinating or during intercourse, as well as abdominal pain.
These symptoms are very uncomfortable and, in some cases, mild complications may occur when there is an over-infection of the vulvar scratch lesions that have appeared.
The main symptoms are itching, swelling and redness.
Medical tests for vaginitis
Your health care provider will review your medical history and perform a pelvic exam to look for signs of infection.
A sample of vaginal secretions will also be taken to find out what is causing the infection. In other cases, an ultrasound will be performed if foreign bodies are suspected and physical examination is not sufficient.
Causes of vaginitis or why it occurs
Vaginitis can be caused by several things:
- Infections: usually due to bacteria, although it can also be due to a virus or fungi.
- Allergic reactions: to medications, condoms, lubricants, underwear material, intimate hygiene products or even the fabric softener used to wash clothes.
- Trauma or foreign bodies in the vagina.
- Hormonal: atrophic vaginitis is common in postmenopausal women due to decreased estrogen levels, thinning of the inner lining of the vagina and decreased discharge.
Can it be prevented?
To prevent vaginitis, it is advisable to wear non-pressing clothing and, above all, to take care of intimate hygiene by using products that do not irritate the skin or alter the vaginal pH.
Douching should be avoided as well as perfumed intimate products, as the latter can cause allergies.
Treatments for vaginitis
If the cause of vaginitis is the introduction of a foreign object into the vagina, it is important to remove it carefully so as not to further damage the vaginal walls. If the cause is an allergy to a chemical, find out what it is and stop using it.
Other infections are treated with medication and, in some cases, it is important to treat the partner as well. Depending on the case, antimicrobial creams or gels will be prescribed to reduce the symptoms.
What specialist treats it?
To treat and diagnose vaginitis you will need to see a specialist in Gynecology and Obstetrics.