Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina that can result in discharge, itching, and pain.
Vaginitis is usually caused by a change in the normal balance of vaginal bacteria, infection, or reduced estrogen levels after menopause.
Symptoms usually include an unusual vaginal discharge, itching or irritation, painful urination, and pain during intercourse.
To diagnose vaginitis, the doctor is likely to:
Review your medical history:
This includes your history of vaginal or sexually transmitted infections.
Perform a pelvic exam:
During the pelvic exam, your doctor may use an instrument (speculum) to look inside your vagina for inflammation and abnormal discharge.
Collect a sample for lab testing:
Your doctor might collect a sample of cervical or vaginal discharge for lab testing to confirm what kind of vaginitis you have.
Perform pH testing:
Your doctor might test your vaginal pH by applying a pH test stick or pH paper to the wall of your vagina. An elevated pH can indicate either bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. However, pH testing alone is not a reliable diagnostic test.
Not all infections that cause vaginitis are considered Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), but some STDs cause vaginitis.
Sometimes it may be Noninfectious vaginitis. To treat this type of vaginitis, you need to pinpoint the source of the irritation and avoid it. Possible sources include new soap, laundry detergent, sanitary napkins, or tampons.
Yeast infections are especially common during pregnancy because hormone changes can disrupt the pH balance of the vagina. Common yeast infection symptoms include vaginal itching and a white, thick discharge that looks like cottage cheese. Consult your doctor freely that you have a problem that could help avoid any complications.
Treatment usually involves medication that focuses on the underlying cause.
It can be resolved within days to weeks for which,
- Use an over-the-counter medication specifically for yeast infections. Options include one-day, three-day, or seven-day courses of cream or vaginal suppositories.
- Apply a cold compress, such as a washcloth, to the labial area to ease discomfort until the antifungal medication takes full effect.