Vaginitis is the medical term for a vagina that has become swollen or inflamed. There are many reasons for vaginitis to occur. One important thing to remember though is that it is a curable condition. Only women are affected by this condition.
There are different types of vaginitis but the term refers to all types regardless of the cause.
What is Inflamed Vagina
There are different types of vaginal inflammation or vaginitis.
- Candida or yeast infection is the most common form of vaginitis. This occurs when there is an overgrowth of the fungus Candida in the vagina. This form of vaginitis produces a thick, white discharge that looks similarly like cottage cheese.
- Another common form of vaginitis is bacterial vaginosis. In this condition, there is an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina. This condition produces a thin, milky vaginal discharge that may even have a “fishy odor”.
- Noninfectious vaginitis is a form of vaginitis that cannot be transmitted. This condition results from chemical causes.
Causes of Inflamed Vagina
Different women of different ages can develop vaginitis.
- Yeast infection particularly Candida albicans.
- Bacterial infection particularly Gardnerella, gonorrhea, Chlamydia, herpes, campylobacter, parasites, and mycoplasma.
- Improper hygiene
- Change in pH balance.
- Physical factors like tight clothing.
- Chemical factors like tampon use, vaginal wash, birth control pills, and antibiotics.
- Hormonal changes
- Irritation or allergies from spermicides, condoms, douches, lubricants, or even semen.
- Presence of foreign bodies such as retained tampons or condoms.
Treatment for Inflamed Vagina
The success of treatment for vaginitis depends on the receiving the right treatment for the right causes. Some of the treatments for vaginitis include:
- Anti-fungal creams or suppository for yeast infections which is usually placed inside the vagina. Although there are yeast treatments available over-the-counter, it is important to seek consult with a medical doctor rather than trying any treatment commercially available.
- Antibiotics for bacterial infections. The type of antibiotic used depends on the bacteria identified. The best antibiotic used is one that can get rid of the bad bacteria but leaves the normal flora unharmed.
- Treatment for vaginitis transmitted sexually needs immediate treatment by a doctor. It is important that during infection, sexual contact is not advised to prevent spreading the infection to other people.
- Treatment for noninfectious vaginitis includes:
- Stopping or avoiding the use of the irritant causing the inflammation.
- Practice proper hygiene.
- Remove/change tampons as recommended.
- Medications as deemed proper by a medical doctor.