Vaginitis

Vaginitis is a term for a group of conditions that can make the vagina infected or swollen. Vulvovaginitis means the vagina and vulva are inflamed (the external female genitals).

Last Updated: February 21, 2024

Bacteria, yeast, or viruses can cause these infections. Chemicals can also cause vaginitis in creams, sprays, or even clothing that rub against this area and cause irritation. Some people get vaginitis because they share organisms with their sexual partners, have a dry vagina, or don't get enough estrogen.

The most common reason for observable vaginal infection in the Philippines is bacterial vaginosis (BV). The frequency of BV is 28.16 percent. About 55% of women will have had an episode of candidiasis by the time they turn 25.

Each type (i.e., bacterial, fungal, or irritant) of vaginal infection has different or no symptoms. In fact, for an experienced doctor, making a diagnosis can be challenging. Sometimes, multiple types of vaginitis coexist.

Yeast infection

Itching and burning of the vulva are frequent yeast infection symptoms. Urination or intercourse may aggravate the burning sensation. The vulva will look red and swollen. Varying vaginal discharge may occur. White, lumpy vaginal discharge is odorless.

Bacterial vaginosis

The predominant symptom is fishy-smelling discharge. Menstruation and intercourse may increase odor. Thin, gray, or greenish discharge is common. If there is a lot of discharge, itching may occur.

Trichomonas infection

A yellow-gray or green discharge from the vagina is a usual sign. This discharge may smell fishy. The vulva burns, irritates, reddens, and swells. Occasionally, urinating is painful.

Atrophic vaginitis

Symptoms include dryness, itchiness, burning sensation, discharge, and sex during pain.

Doctors will swab the inside of your vagina to acquire a fluid sample. They will send the sample to a laboratory where the cells will be examined for evidence of vaginitis. They will also test the pH levels of your vaginal fluid.

 

Treatment

Bacterial vaginosis

Oral Metronidazole or in gel can be applied intravaginally, or alternatively, Clindamycin cream can be used. However, Metronidazole can cause side effects in some women who take it by mouth, such as feeling sick, throwing up, and urine getting darker. Lastly, Metronidazole should not be taken when drinking alcohol because you may experience nausea.

Trichomonas

Metronidazole by mouth, either as a single dose or spread over seven days, is the drug of choice. Tinidazole, another medicine, can also be used in a single dose.

Both sexual partners must be treated to stop the infection from coming back. You and your partner should not have sex until you have both been treated.

Atrophic Vaginitis

Estrogen is used in the form of vaginal cream, vaginal ring, or tablet. Women could also benefit from using water-based lubrication while having sex.

Several measures can be taken to lessen vulnerability to vaginitis:

  • Avoid using scented tampons and sprays for feminine hygiene.
  • Do not douche. Leaving the vagina to cleanse itself is better.
  • To clean the vulva, use normal warm water. Using soaps and detergents can disrupt the delicate ecosystem of the vaginal tract.
  • After each usage, thoroughly disinfect or clean diaphragms, cervical caps, and spermicide applicators.
  • Use condoms during sex
  • If you are taking antibiotics for another type of infection, talk to your ob-gyn about how to avoid yeast infections.

 

References

Dayal S, Hong PL. Premature Rupture Of Membranes. [Updated 2022 Jul 18]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532888/

Ghomian, N., Hafizi, L., & Takhti, Z. (2013). The role of vitamin C in prevention of preterm premature rupture of membranes. Iranian Red Crescent medical journal, 15(2), 113–116. https://doi.org/10.5812/ircmj.5138

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (2022). Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM)/Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes (PPROM). Retrieved November 6, 2022, from https://www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/premature-rupture-membranes-prompreterm-premature-rupture-membranes-pprom#

University of Rochester Medical Center (2022). Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes (PPROM). Retrieved November 6, 2022, from https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=90&ContentID=P02496 

Last Updated: February 21, 2024