What is vaginitis?  

cajunpet 70M
828 posts
7/24/2005 6:53 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

What is vaginitis?



~~~~~~~~ Welcome to Sexual Health and Sex Guide. ~~~~~~~~~~

What is vaginitis?

Vaginitis is a name for swelling, itching, burning or infection in the vagina that can be caused my several different germs. The most common kinds of vaginitis are bacterial vaginosis (BV) and yeast, a fungus. Sometimes trichomoniasis (trich, pronounced "trick") is called vaginitis too. Trichomoniasis is caused by a parasitic protozoa called Trichomonas vaginalis.

How common is vaginitis?

Vaginitis is very common. If you are like most women, you will have some kind of vaginitis at least once in your life.

How can I get vaginitis?

The healthy vagina has a balance of many different kinds of bacteria. "Good" bacteria help keep the vagina a little-bit acidic. This keeps "Bad" bacteria from growing too fast. A healthy vagina makes a mucus-like discharge that may look clear or a little milky, depending on the time of a woman's monthly cycle. When the balance between the "Good" bacteria and the "Bad" bacteria is upset, "Bad" bacteria grow too fast and cause infections. Discharge may have a funny color or a bad smell. Sometimes these "Bad" bacteria and other germs that cause vaginitis can be spread through sex. Other things that can upset the balance of the vagina are:

* antibiotics (medicines)
* pregnancy
* douching
* damp underwear
* tight pants
* poor diet
* vaginal products (sprays, lubricants, birth control devices)

What are the signs or symptoms of vaginitis?

The signs or symptoms of vaginitis are different, depending on the germ that you have.
Signs or symptoms of:

* a strong fishy smell, especially after sex
* white or grey discharge
* watery or foamy discharge

Some cases are so mild that women don't know they have it.

How can I find out if I have bacterial vaginosis?
If you have symptoms of vaginitis, see your health care provider for a correct diagnosis. To help your provider find out what you have:

* Schedule the exam when you're not having your monthly period.
* Don't douche 24 hours before your exam.
* Don't use vaginal sprays 24 hours before your exam.
* If you have sex less than 24 hours before the exam, use condoms.

Any three of the following may be used to diagnose BV. Other tests may also be available, ask your health care provider for more information.

* Visual exam by health care provider
* Fishy odor of discharge before or after the addition of potassium hydroxide (KOH) for "whiff" test
* Health care provider looks at sample of discharge under microscope looking for "clue cells"
* Elevated pH of vaginal fluid
* Gram stain to examine vaginal flora

How can I find out if I have vaginitis?

If you have symptoms of vaginitis, see your health care provider for a correct diagnosis. To help your provider find out what you have:

* Schedule the exam when you're not having your monthly period.
* Don't douche 24 hours before your exam.
* Don't use vaginal sprays 24 hours before your exam.
* If you have sex less than 24 hours before the exam, use condoms.

What can I do to reduce my risk of getting vaginits?

* Wash your vaginal area every day. Use mild soap. Rinse well and pat dry.
* Wipe your vagina and anus from front to back.
* Don't douche, this can upset the natural balance of the vagina.
* Take antibiotics only when needed. Antibiotics can kill "good" bacteria.
* Limit the number of your sex partners. Always use condoms with a new partner or with multiple partners.
* Wear cotton or cotton-lined underpants.
* Don't wear tight pants and don't wear panty hose in hot weather.
* See your health care provider if you have any unusual discharge or smell.

What is the treatment for vaginitis?

The treatment will depend on which germ is causing the infection.

Prescription medication, usually antibiotics, depending on the organism causing the infection is used to treat and/or cure BV. Treatments may include:

* Metronidazole (Flagyl)
* Clindamycin
* In most cases male sex partners do not need to be treated

Pregnancy and bacterial vaginosis
BV may cause babies to be born early or with low birth weight. It can also cause infections in the mother's womb or fallopian tubes. If you think you might be pregnant, talk with your health care provider.
Women in the first three months of pregnancy should not take some medicines for BV because they might hurt the baby. Your health care provider can give you another medicine instead.

Do I need to talk to my partner about vaginitis?

This depends. Women who are not sexually active may develop BV or yeast infections. Remember that most of the time these infections are caused by an upset in the balance of bacteria that is normal in the vagina.

Trichomoniasis on the other hand is sexually transmitted and it will be important for sex partners to be treated so it is not passed back and forth. It is important for partners to be treated even if they do not show any symptoms.

Should I talk to my health care provider about vaginitis?

Yes. Vaginitis is rarely dangerous. In most women, it is easy to treat. But if you are pregnant, an infection may cause special problems for you and your baby. Talking with your health care provider is a good way to find out more information and to stay healthy.

Copyright 2005, American Social Health Association

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Take care.
Keep On Blogging!!!! Have a great day.

Cajun Pet



keithcancook 60M
17718 posts
7/24/2005 3:19 pm

How horrible! I hope I never contract this terrible scourge.


KajunKittyt4U 52F
81 posts
7/24/2005 4:12 pm

Hi Pet, this is very good information. Thanks for taking time to post this article.

Hugs... Kitty.


interested13563 53M
2557 posts
7/24/2005 6:47 pm

Thanks for the complete information, cajun!


cajunpet 70M
1185 posts
7/25/2005 12:05 am

Thanks Keith, Kitty, and Interested for sharing your thoughts.


Take care.
Keep On Blogging!!!! Have a great day.

Cajun Pet


Goldenhairgodess 63F
396 posts
7/26/2005 11:23 pm

I am a bit confused. As far as I know, it is no longer nessesary to go to the Doctors for a perscription. Over the counter medications are available.
"Don't douche, this can upset the natural balance of the vagina."
As for don't douche, sorry but I just do not see that as reasonable. Even the before Doctor visit just says not for 24 hours rather than "don't". I have also heard that eatting yougart helps as a preventative.


cajunpet 70M
1185 posts
7/27/2005 11:58 pm

Thanks Goldenhairgodess for sharing your thoughts.


Take care.
Keep On Blogging!!!! Have a great day.

Cajun Pet


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