Vaginitis is a condition that causes inflammation in the vagina. Patients can experience pain, itching, and discharge. Every woman should know what this condition is and how to identify it.
Causes of Vaginitis
Vaginitis can appear due to reduced estrogen levels or as a side effect of a skin disorder. The most common causes include:
- Yeast Infections – Yeast infections are common and affect an average of 75% of women. A fungus known as Candida albicans causes this condition. The infection occurs when there is an imbalance of yeast and bacteria, allowing yeast to overgrow.
- Bacterial Vaginosis – This condition is caused by an overgrowth of a bacteria living in the vagina. It is a common diagnosis for women between the ages of 15 and 44. The cause is not known, but the infection usually occurs in women who are sexually active.
- Trichomoniasis – Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD). A parasite known as Trichomonas vaginalis causes it. Most patients do not know that they are infected.
Talk to your OB/GYN if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Vaginal irritation or itching
- Painful intercourse
- Painful urination
- Light vaginal bleeding
- Change in color, odor, or quantity of vaginal discharge
Do I Need to Talk to a Doctor About Vaginitis?
Some conditions are minor and may not require immediate medical assistance. If you aren’t sure, it is best to seek professional advice. You should also see your gynecologist if you experience pain or discomfort as well as:
- Notice unpleasant vaginal odor or discharge
- Have never had a vaginal infection
- Have had multiple sex partners
- Have had a new sex partner
- Fever and/or chills
- If you completed an over-the-counter treatment that didn’t work