“Although vaginitis, or inflammation of the vagina, can result from estrogen-related vaginal atrophy, it can also be caused by a yeast or bacterial infection or by irritation from…”.1

Umbrella
What may the Vaginitis Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Atrophic Vaginitis
  • Inflammation of the Vagina
  • Vaginal Inflammation
  • Vaginal Yeast Infection
  • Vaginitis
  • Vulvovaginitis

Definition

What is vaginitis?

DotS the definition of vaginitis may vary. The (United States) MedlinePlus’ definition is:

“Inflammation of the vagina is known as vaginitis”.2

Signs and Symptoms

What can vaginitis signs and symptoms include?

In Vaginitis: Symptoms & Causes – Symptoms the (United States) Mayo Clinic elaborate on:

“Vaginitis signs and symptoms can include:

  • Change in color, odor or amount of discharge from your vagina
  • Vaginal itching or irritation
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Painful urination
  • Light vaginal bleeding or spotting”.3

In Vaginitis: Check If You Have Vaginitis the (United Kingdom) NHS (National Health Service) elaborate on:

“Symptoms of vaginitis include:

  • An itchy or sore vagina
  • Vaginal discharge that’s a different colour, smell or thickness to usual
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Pain when peeing or having sex
  • Light vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • Sore, swollen or cracked skin around your vagina

You might not have all these symptoms”.4

Vaginal Discharge

Is there an association between vaginal discharge and the type of vaginitis?

The Mayo Clinic explain:

“If you have vaginal discharge, which many women don’t, the characteristics of the discharge might indicate the type of vaginitis you have. Examples include:

  • Bacterial vaginosis. You might develop a grayish-white, foul-smelling discharge. The odor, often described as a fishy odor, might be more obvious after sexual intercourse
  • Yeast infection. The main symptom is itching, but you might have a white, thick discharge that resembles cottage cheese
  • Trichomoniasis. An infection called trichomoniasis (trik-o-moe-NIE-uh-sis) can cause a greenish-yellow, sometimes frothy discharge”.5

Vaginitis Cause

What may cause vaginitis?

In Vaginitis: Symptoms & Causes – Causes the Mayo Clinic elaborate on:

Vaginitis

“The cause is usually a change in the normal balance of vaginal bacteria or an infection. Reduced estrogen levels after menopause and some skin disorders can also cause vaginitis”.6

The North American Menopause Society note:

“Although vaginitis, or inflammation of the vagina, can result from estrogen-related vaginal atrophy, it can also be caused by a yeast or bacterial infection or by irritation from soaps or hygiene products. Symptoms include vaginal discharge, itching, burning, and swelling of the vagina and vulva, sometimes accompanied by pain during urination. Once the cause is determined, vaginitis can be treated with medication or by stopping use of the irritating product”.7

Bacterial Vaginosis

What is bacterial vaginosis (BV)?

DotS the definition of BV may vary. In Bacterial Vaginosis the NHS’s definition is:

“Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common cause of unusual vaginal discharge. BV is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI), but it can increase your risk of getting an STI such as chlamydia”.8

In Bacterial Vaginosis: What Are the Symptoms of BV? the Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov elaborate on:

“Many women have no symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they may include:

  • Unusual vaginal discharge. The discharge can be white (milky) or gray. It may also be foamy or watery. Some women report a strong fish-like odor, especially after sex
  • Burning when urinating
  • Itching around the outside of the vagina
  • Vaginal irritation

These symptoms may be similar to vaginal yeast infections and other health problems. Only your doctor or nurse can tell you for sure whether you have BV”.9

Treatment

How is vaginitis treated?

According to the NHS:

“Treatment for vaginitis depends on the cause.

For example, you may need:

  • Antifungal medicine for thrush
  • Antibiotics for a sexually transmitted infection
  • Vaginal moisturiser, lubricant or hormone treatment for menopause symptoms
  • Steroid medicine for a skin condition”.10

Genital Hygiene

How can women keep their genital area clean and dry when they have vaginitis?

In Vaginal Itching and Discharge – Adult and Adolescence: Home Care the MedlinePlus elaborate on:

“Keep your genital area clean and dry when you have vaginitis. Make sure to seek help from health care provider for the best treatment.

  • Avoid soap and just rinse with water to clean yourself
  • Soak in a warm but not hot bath may help your symptoms. Dry thoroughly afterward. Rather than using a towel to dry, you may find that gentle use of warm or cold air from a hair dryer may result in less irritation than the use of a towel.

Avoid douching. Many women feel cleaner when they douche, but it may actually worsen symptoms because it removes healthy bacteria that line the vagina. These bacteria help protect against infection”.11

Health Care Provider

What if I think I have vaginitis?

If you think you have vaginitis, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this. The Mayo Clinic explain:

“While not all vaginal problems can be prevented, regular checkups can help ensure that problems affecting your vagina are diagnosed as soon as possible. Don’t let embarrassment prevent you from talking to your doctor about any concerns you might have about your vaginal health”.12

In Vagina: What’s Normal, What’s Not – What Are Signs or Symptoms of Vaginal Problems? the Mayo Clinic elaborate on:

“Consult your doctor if you notice:

  • A change in the color, odor or amount of vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal redness or itching
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods, after sex or after menopause
  • A mass or bulge in your vagina
  • Pain during intercourse”.13

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to the Vaginitis?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Vaginitis?

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Vaginal Discomfort: Discomfort Not Directly Related to Menopause – Vaginitis. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/causes-of-sexual-problems/vaginal-discomfort Accessed: 26 October 2020
  2. Vagina: Information. Review Date: 16 September 2019. Page Last Updated: 08 October 2020. MedlinePlus https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002342.htm Accessed: 26 October 2020
  3. Vaginitis: Symptoms & Causes – Symptoms. 13 November 2019. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vaginitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354707 Accessed: 26 October 2020
  4. Vaginitis: Check If You Have Vaginitis. Page Last Reviewed: 03 February 2020. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaginitis/#symptoms-of-vaginitis Accessed: 26 October 2020
  5. Vaginitis: Symptoms & Causes – Symptoms. 13 November 2019. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vaginitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354707 Accessed: 26 October 2020
  6. Vaginitis: Symptoms & Causes – Causes. 13 November 2019. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vaginitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354707 Accessed: 26 October 2020
  7. Vaginal Discomfort: Discomfort Not Directly Related to Menopause – Vaginitis. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/causes-of-sexual-problems/vaginal-discomfort Accessed: 26 October 2020
  8. Bacterial Vaginosis. Page Last Updated: 22 November 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bacterial-vaginosis/ Accessed: 26 October 2020
  9. Bacterial Vaginosis: What Are the Symptoms of BV? Medical Review In 2014. Page Last Reviewed: 01 April 2019. Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/bacterial-vaginosis Accessed: 26 October 2020
  10. Vaginitis: Treatments for Vaginitis From A Doctor. Page Last Reviewed: 03 February 2020. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaginitis/#treating-vaginitis Accessed: 26 October 2020
  11. Vaginal Itching and Discharge – Adult and Adolescent: Home Care. Review Date: 30 June 2019. Page Last Updated: 08 October 2020. MedlinePlus https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003158.htm Accessed: 26 October 2020
  12. Vagina: What’s Normal, What’s Not – What Are Signs or Symptoms of Vaginal Problems? 11 February 2020. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/vagina/art-20046562 Accessed: 26 October 2020
  13. Vagina: What’s Normal, What’s Not – What Can I Do To Keep My Vaginal Healthy? 11 February 2020. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/vagina/art-20046562 Accessed: 26 October 2020

Topic Last Updated: 26 October 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 26 October 2020
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