Vaginitis is inflammation of the vagina that can cause itching, discomfort and discharge.
Symptoms of vaginitis
- an abnormal vaginal discharge
- vaginal irritation or itching
- pain when peeing or having sex
- light bleeding or spotting
- a strong, unpleasant smell, particularly after sex, can be a sign of bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis, which can sometimes cause vaginitis
Causes of vaginitis
Vaginitis can be caused by any of the following infections or irritants:
- thrush – a common yeast infection that affects most women at some point
- bacterial vaginosis – a bacterial infection where the balance of bacteria inside the vagina is disrupted
- chemical irritation – for example, from perfumed soap, bubble bath, or fabric conditioner, or from spermicide (a chemical that kills sperm, sometimes used on condoms) and some sanitary products
- washing inside your vagina
- trichomoniasis – an STI (Sexually transmitted infection) caused by a tiny parasite
- chlamydia – an STI caused by bacteria
- gonorrhoea – an STI caused by bacteria
- genital herpes – an STI caused by the herpes simplex virus
Treatment for vaginitis depends on what’s causing it. Yeast infections, such as vaginal thrush, are usually treated with antifungal medicines, and bacterial infections are usually treated with antibiotics. In any case, you should consult your doctor.
To help improve your vaginitis you should:
- keep your genital area clean and dry – take a warm bath rather than a hot one and use unperfumed soap to clean your genital area
- avoid douching (spraying water inside your vagina) – it may make your vaginitis symptoms worse by removing the healthy bacteria that line the vagina and help keep it free from infection
- not use feminine hygiene products – such as sprays, deodorants or powders
- use pads rather than tampons if you’re using intravaginal creams or pessaries to treat an infection – tampons may ‘soak up’ the treatment
- wear loose-fitting cotton underwear – this may be beneficial if you have external soreness, but it won’t prevent getting vaginitis in the future
- You should also practice safe sex by using condoms to avoid getting or spreading STIs.
- If you have mild to moderate vaginitis, using a lubricant can help relieve pain and discomfort while having sex.
NEVER RELY COMPLETELY ON INFORMATION FOUND IN THE INTERNET REGARDING HEALTH. CONSULT A PHYSICIAN.