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Overview of The Six Types of Vaginitis


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Women usually have a great deal of difficulty distinguishing between the types of Vaginitis based on symptoms they may be experiencing. The reason may be because she has more than one type of Vaginitis at the same time. In addition, it can even be difficult for your healthcare professional to determine which type of Vaginitis may be causing your symptoms. The key is to know as much as you can about the six types of Vaginitis so that you will be better prepared to discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider.

The six types of Vaginitis are: Bacterial Vaginosis, Candida or “Yeast" Vaginitis, Chlamydia Vaginitis, Noninfectious Vaginitis, Trichomoniasis Vaginitis, and Viral Vaginitis. Below is a short listing of the symptoms and usual treatment for each type.

Bacterial Vaginosis:

Women will notice a foul smelling vaginal odor, usually after having *** intercourse. They may notice a white or grayish colored vaginal discharge. There may be a thin discharge. Burning when urinating or itching around the outside of the vagina may also be experienced. Symptoms of burning or itching, or both at the same time, may occur.

The medications of choice for Bacterial Vaginosis are the antibiotics Metronidazole and Clindamycin. The form for these medications is a cream, gel or oral medication. They can be used safely during pregnancy, however the dosage will likely be different for a pregnant woman. Rarely, Bacterial Vaginosis will clear up without treatment. It is important not to wait before starting treatment, though, as untreated Bacterial Vaginosis can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease or PID. If pregnant, premature delivery or giving birth to a low-birth weight infant can occur if the infection is not treated.

Candida or “Yeast" Vaginitis

This vaginal infection usually occurs in women of reproductive age. Symptoms may be a itching in the vulvar area that may even be described as a burning. There may be a discharge that resembles cheese of a white or white-yellow color. There may be a swelling and/or redness of the perineum. There is usually no odor with the discharge. Symptoms usually increase within 1 to 3 days. It is very uncommon to find this type of infection in women who are younger than reproductive age or women who have started menopause (when they are not taking estrogen). Women who wear pantyhose are more likely to experience these types of vaginal infections. A woman can also lack one or more of these symptoms and still have the infection.

This type of vaginal infection can go away eventually, but will always need treatment to reduce the amount of yeast present. Itching and the resultant rubbing can cause the tissue of the vulvar to be irritated and worn down, thus making it imperative to receive treatment.

The drug of choice to treat this infection is miconazole nitrate (Monistat®) or Butoconazole (Femstat®), which is administered intravaginally for a period of 3 days. Terconazole is a commonly used prescription therapy if over-the-counter therapy does not work. Tea tree oil of 0.5% to 2% has also been shown to be effective in treating these infections.

Chlamydia Vaginitis

This vaginal infection can present itself with no symptoms whatsoever. Some women who have already started puberty can experience an off-white discharge with an odor that comes from the infected cervix.

It is treated with any of the Erythromycin family of medications.

Noninfectious Vaginitis

This is usually the term used for an irritation in the vaginal area in which there is no infection present. It is usually caused by an allergic reaction, or irritation caused by a vaginal spray, douche, spermicidal product, perfumed soap, detergent or fabric softener. Itching, burning, discharge and pelvic pain upon intercourse are the symptoms.

Treatment usually includes estrogen creams or oral tablets that can restore lubrication and decrease the soreness.

Trichomoniasis Vaginitis

Symptoms are frothy, musty-smelling, greenish to yellowish discharge, itching around the vagina and vulva, burning while urinating and pain during intercourse.

Oral antibiotics must be used to treat all exposed *** partners.

Viral Vaginitis

Common viral vaginal infections are herpes simplex virus (HSV) or the human papillomavirus (HPV). Both viruses are *** transmitted.

The genital warts that are the “symptoms" can be surgically removed, frozen or chemically treated.

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