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Vaginitis: What Is It? Doctors who specialize in women's health explain


Vaginitis: What Is It? Doctors who specialize in women's health explain

According to data, the majority of women will at some point in their lives deal with this uncomfortable condition. Physicians and scientists explain vaginitis as follows.

According to Karyn Eilber, MD, a professor of urology and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Marina del Rey, California, the term "vaginalitis" refers to inflammation of the vagina.

According to Dr. Eilber, a deficiency in estrogen, irritation, or infection can all cause vaginal inflammation.

A 2018 study published in American Family Physician states that up to 50% of cases of vaginitis are caused by bacterial vaginosis, sometimes known as "BV." After that, 15% to 20% of cases of vaginitis are caused by trichomoniasis, a common (and frequently treatable) sexually transmitted infection (STI), and 20% to 25% are caused by yeast infections.

How vaginitis occurs

The type of vaginitis determines its cause. Although the precise cause of bacterial vaginosis is usually unknown, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that it is known to be caused by an imbalance between the "good" and "bad" bacteria in the vagina. Douching, not using condoms, or having new or multiple sex partners are some possible causes of this. In other situations, external factors like a food problem or weakened immunity may be to blame.

Dr. Eilber continues, saying that "a woman's risk of developing yeast [infection] vaginitis increases if she takes antibiotics for a bladder infection or urinary tract infection." A parasite infection that is spread through sexual contact causes trichomoniasis, also sometimes referred to as "trich."

Additionally, some individuals may develop "chemical vaginosis." This non-communicable kind of vaginal inflammation can be brought on by using moisturizers or vaginal lubricants that cause skin irritation.

How vaginalitis feels

Not all cases of vaginitis result in symptoms. According to Dr. Eilber, a woman may occasionally "merely feel more 'aware' of her vagina" as a result of vaginitis.

She continues, "Symptoms can include this "awareness," as well as itching and irritation, pain (during sex or urination), and even bleeding, depending on the type of vaginitis. A change in the vaginal discharge's color, odor, consistency, or amount can also affect some women.

Treatment for viginitis

According to Dr. Eilber, "some types of vaginitis can resolve on their own, depending on severity." However, if you're experiencing uncomfortable symptoms, antifungal drugs for a yeast infection and antibiotics for trichomoniasis or bacterial vaginosis should relieve your symptoms in a few days.

Vaginal estrogen therapy may not show results for up to eight weeks if you have genitourinary syndrome of menopause (vaginitis brought on by low estrogen), according to Dr. Eilber.

Vaginitis doesn't usually present a serious health risk if left untreated. According to Dr. Eilber, "genitourinary syndrome of menopause is a local condition as well, and vaginal infections stay confined to the vagina, so there is no overall health risk." However, a woman's sexual health and quality of life may suffer as a result of her symptoms.”

There are some known health risks if you don't seek treatment for vaginitis and it doesn't go away on its own. Sexually transmitted infections, pelvic inflammatory diseases, and pregnancy complications can all be made more likely by bacterial vaginosis.

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