Guide To Vaginitis
|The following is a list of the most common, and a few less common types of vaginitis.
This is the most common type of vaginitis in the US with nearly 30 percent of all women experiencing it at some time in their life (image). It used to be known as non-specific vaginosis, gardnerella vaginitis, hemophilus vaginitis and corynebacterium vaginitis. It used to be thought that bacterial vaginosis was caused by one type of bacteria, but now it is thought to be the result of different ones which produce similar symptoms.
According to the National Vaginitis Association, bacterial vaginosis is associated with potentially more serious infections including genital tract infection and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV. This is because bacterial vaginosis lowers the body’s immune system. However it is not considered an STD. It may also contribute towards pregnancy complications (miscarriage, low birth weight and premature ruptures) and for this reason the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all pregnant women be tested for the condition. It has also been linked to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
1. Grayish, white/yellow discharge or it may be thin and watery.
A yeast infection is the second most common type of vaginitis and are caused by yeast-like fungi called Candida albicans or Monilia. Both Candida and Monilial fungi occur naturally in the vagina. When something upsets the delicate balance of the vaginal ecosystem, they can multiple and cause a yeast infection. Anything from overuse of antibiotics to hormone changes and lowered immune system can trigger this situation. See also causes of yeast infections.
The Classic Symptoms
1. Vaginal discharge which is usually white, sticky and clumpy. It can smell sweet or bread-like.
• Abdominal pain, diarrhea and bloating
Trichomoniasis (or trichomonas) is the third most common type of vaginitis and is caused by a one-celled parasite called trichomonas vaginalis. This is transmitted sexually which makes it an STD. There are an estimated 7.4 million cases a year and statically women are far more likely to infect men. Usually trichomonas can be harmless, but symptoms can be uncomfortable. It only causes a problem when a woman is pregnant as it raises the risks of pregnancy complications. Symptoms usually occur between 5 and 28 days after infection. However according to the CDC, 85 percent of women are asymptomatic (experience no symptoms).
According to the CDC, trichomonas affects:
Vaginitis Diagnosis: Important step to attaining correct treatment.
The organism that causes this type of vaginitis has not been identified. Although it is suspected that cytolytic vaginosis may result from the overgrowth of lactobacilli. Doctors are not sure what causes this event to happen. Sometimes a woman has been treated for a chronic vaginal discharge with various medications including anti-fungal and antibiotics. These treatments can lead to an imbalance in the normal vaginal bacteria and lead to an overgrowth of lactobacillus.
1. Vaginal and/or vulva itching and redness.
Atrophic vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina caused by a thinning of the vaginal wall and decreased lubrication. It is closely linked to decline of estrogen in postmenopause women. For this reason it is also known as senile vaginitis. However younger women may experience this condition too if they take medications designed to lower estrogen levels (for conditions such as uterine fibroids, infertility, endometriosis and breast cancer). Estrogen levels can also be affected by stress, depression, and severe exercise. It may also occur in women who have had their ovaries removed. The vagina can also be irritated and dried by soaps, douching, fabrics softeners and perfumes sprayed in the area.
1. Burning on urination.
On the rare occasion vaginitis can result from a Shigella bacteria infection, although typically symptoms are more likely to be diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Those who travel to poorer countries may acquire an amoebic vaginal infection. Symptoms include a bloody mucus discharge and inflammation of the vagina. Occasionally vaginitis can occur from the overgrowth of the bacteria streptococcus which occurs naturally in the vagina. It may also occur from an overgrowth of E.coli which occurs more commonly in the digestive tract.
|Related Articles on Types of Vaginitis
For more female problems and solutions, see the following:
Return to homepage: Womens Health Advice