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Vaginitis

Vaginitis: Introduction

Vaginitis is a common condition in which there is inflammation of the vagina resulting in such symptoms as irritation and heavy vaginal discharge. Vaginitis can be caused by an infection or by non-infectious causes.

Infectious causes of vaginitis include a yeast infection caused by the fungus candida. Bacterial vaginosis is a vaginitis caused by an overgrowth of the bacteria gardnerella, which normally live in the vagina. Vaginitis can also be the result of trichomoniasis, which is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a parasite. Other sexually transmitted diseases that can cause vaginitis include chlamydia and genital herpes.

Non-infectious vaginitis is caused by exposure of the female genitals to irritating substances or to allergens, a substance that a women is allergic to. Typical irritants and allergens include perfumed soaps, bubble bath products, douches, detergents, spermicides and vaginal deodorants.

Symptoms of the different types of vaginitis vary depending on the cause but generally result in vaginal irritation, itching and abnormal vaginal discharge. Untreated vaginitis that is caused by a sexually transmitted disease can lead to potentially serious complications. For more information on complications and symptoms, refer to symptoms of vaginitis.

Women at an increased risk of developing vaginitis include women who are sexually active, especially if they do not use condoms. Other women at risk include those who are allergic or sensitive to products or substances that can come in contact with the genitalia, such as detergents, spermicides and perfumes.

Women who are prescribed antibiotics may also be at risk for developing vaginitis. Some antibiotics can cause an imbalance in the normal growth of bacteria and other microorganisms in the vagina, resulting in an overgrowth of candida and a yeast infection.

Making a diagnosis of a vaginitis begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. It also includes performing a pelvic exam in which the vagina is examined using a lighted instrument called a speculum. During the exam small samples are taken from the vagina and cervix for culture and sensitivity testing. This and various other tests on the samples are performed to determine if a bacteria, fungus or parasite is causing the infection and to determine the most effective medication to treat it.

If an allergy is suspected to be causing the vaginitis, diagnostic testing may include skin patch testing. In a skin patch test, small amounts of common allergens are applied methodically to the skin to determine what substances are triggering an allergic response.

A diagnosis of vaginitis can easily be missed or delayed, because some women have no symptoms and for other reasons. For information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of vaginitis.

Treatment of vaginitis varies depending on the cause. Vaginitis caused by a mild allergic reaction or irritation is treated by avoiding the specific product that causes symptoms. In moderate to severe cases, other treatment may be necessary. Vaginitis caused by an infection require medication and other measures. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of vaginitis. ...more »

Vaginitis: Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina characterized by discharge, odor, irritation, and/or itching. The cause of vaginitis ... more about Vaginitis.

Vaginitis: Vaginal inflammation or infection of any type. More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Vaginitis is available below.

Vaginitis: Symptoms

The symptoms of vaginitis result from the inflammation of the moist, sensitive mucosa of the vagina. Symptoms vary in character and intensity depending on the cause of the vaginitis and individual factors.

Symptoms of a non-infectious vaginitis can include vaginal and genital itching, burning and unusual vaginal discharge.

Some women with a vaginitis caused by ...more symptoms »

Vaginitis: Treatments

The first step in treating vaginitis is prevention. Prevention measures include seeking regular medical care throughout a lifetime. Regular medical care allows a health care professional to best evaluate the risks of catching sexually transmitted diseases that can cause vaginitis and regularly test for them. These measures greatly increase the chances of catching and treating sexually ...more treatments »

Vaginitis: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of vaginitis can easily be missed or delayed because there may be no symptoms and a woman may be unaware of an infection. Embarrassment and not being honest with a health care provider about specifics, as sexual activity or an abnormal discharge from the vagina or genital itching, can also delay a diagnosis.

The symptoms of various causes ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Vaginitis

Treatments for Vaginitis

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical testing related to Vaginitis:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Vaginitis?

Vaginitis: Related Patient Stories

Vaginitis: Deaths

Read more about Deaths and Vaginitis.

Alternative Treatments for Vaginitis

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed in various sources as possibly beneficial for Vaginitis may include:

Types of Vaginitis

Diagnostic Tests for Vaginitis

Test for Vaginitis in your own home

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Vaginitis: Complications

Read more about complications of Vaginitis.

Causes of Vaginitis

More information about causes of Vaginitis:

Disease Topics Related To Vaginitis

Research the causes of these diseases that are similar to, or related to, Vaginitis:

Vaginitis: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed diseases in related medical categories:

Misdiagnosis and Vaginitis

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Vaginitis: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research related physicians and medical specialists:

Other doctor, physician and specialist research services:

Hospitals & Clinics: Vaginitis

Research quality ratings and patient safety measures for medical facilities in specialties related to Vaginitis:

Choosing the Best Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Vaginitis, on hospital performance and surgical care quality:

Vaginitis: Rare Types

Rare types of diseases and disorders in related medical categories:

Research about Vaginitis

Visit our research pages for current research about Vaginitis treatments.

Clinical Trials for Vaginitis

The US based website ClinicalTrials.gov lists information on both federally and privately supported clinical trials using human volunteers.

Some of the clinical trials listed on ClinicalTrials.gov for Vaginitis include:

Prevention of Vaginitis

Prevention information for Vaginitis has been compiled from various data sources and may be inaccurate or incomplete. None of these methods guarantee prevention of Vaginitis.

Statistics for Vaginitis

Vaginitis: Broader Related Topics

Vaginitis Message Boards

Related forums and medical stories:

User Interactive Forums

Read about other experiences, ask a question about Vaginitis, or answer someone else's question, on our message boards:

Article Excerpts about Vaginitis

Vaginitis Due to Vaginal Infections, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID (Excerpt)

Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina characterized by discharge, odor, irritation, and/or itching. The cause of vaginitis may not always be determined adequately solely on the basis of symptoms or a physical examination. For a correct diagnosis, a doctor should perform laboratory tests including microscopic evaluation of vaginal fluid. A variety of effective drugs are available for treating vaginitis. (Source: excerpt from Vaginitis Due to Vaginal Infections, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)

Vaginal Infections & Vaginitis: NWHIC (Excerpt)

Vaginal infections are often accompanied by vaginitis, which is an inflammation of the vagina characterized by discharge, irritation, and/or itching. The cause of vaginitis cannot be adequately determined solely on the basis of symptoms or a physical examination. Laboratory tests allowing microscopic evaluation of vaginal fluid are required for a correct diagnosis. A variety of effective drugs are available for treating vaginal infections and accompanying vaginitis. (Source: excerpt from Vaginal Infections & Vaginitis: NWHIC)

Definitions of Vaginitis:

Inflammation of the vagina. - (Source - Diseases Database)

Inflammation of the vagina (usually associated with candidiasis) - (Source - WordNet 2.1)

 

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