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Health Condition

Vaginitis

About This Condition

Vaginitis is inflammation of the vagina.

Vaginitis is responsible for an estimated 10% of all visits by women to their healthcare practitioners. The three general causes of vaginitis are hormonal imbalance, irritation, and infection. Hormone-related vaginitis includes the atrophic vaginitis generally found in postmenopausal or postpartum women and, occasionally, in young girls before puberty. Irritant vaginitis can result from allergies or irritating substances. Infectious vaginitis is most common in reproductive-age women and is generally caused by one of three types of infections: bacterial vaginosis (BV), candidiasis (yeast infection), or trichomoniasis. A healthcare professional should be consulted for the diagnosis and treatment of any vaginal infection.

Although it is a type of vaginitis, yeast infection is not discussed on this page. For specific information on yeast infections (i.e., vaginitis caused by Candida albicans), see the yeast infections article.

Symptoms

Hormone-related vaginitis is marked by dryness, irritation, thinning of the vaginal mucous membranes and painful intercourse. Irritant vaginitis is characterized by itching and soreness. Infectious vaginitis also itches and typically includes vaginal discharge that varies in color, consistency, and odor, depending upon the infectious organism. Discharge may range from scant to thick and white and may or may not be accompanied by a strong odor. Symptoms are often worse immediately after intercourse or the menstrual period.

Other Therapies

References

1. Karkut G. Effect of lactobacillus immunotherapy on genital infections in women. Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd 1984;44:311-4 [in German].

2. Ya W, Reifer C, Miller LE. Efficacy of vaginal probiotic capsules for recurrent bacterial vaginosis: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2010;203:120.e1-e6.

3. Williams A, Yu C, Tashima K, et al. Weekly treatment for prophylaxis of Candida vaginitis. Presentation. 7th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic infections. Foundation for Retrovirology and Human Health in collaboration with the (US) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. January 30-February 2, 2000.

4. Litschgi MS, Da Rugna D, Mladenovic D, Grcic R. Effectiveness of a lactobacillus vaccine on Trichomonas infections in women. Preliminary results. Fortschr Med 1980;98:1624-7 [in German.]

5. Anukam K, Osazuwa E, Ahonkhai I, et al. Augmentation of antimicrobial metronidazole therapy of bacterial vaginosis with oral probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14: randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. Microbes Infect 2006;8:1450-4.

6. Karkut G. Effect of lactobacillus immunotherapy on genital infections in women. Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd 1984;44:311-4 [in German].

7. Williams A, Yu C, Tashima K, et al. Weekly treatment for prophylaxis of Candida vaginitis. Presentation. 7th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic infections. Foundation for Retrovirology and Human Health in collaboration with the (US) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. January 30-February 2, 2000.

8. Litschgi MS, Da Rugna D, Mladenovic D, Grcic R. Effectiveness of a lactobacillus vaccine on Trichomonas infections in women. Preliminary results. Fortschr Med 1980;98:1624-7 [in German.]

9. Anukam K, Osazuwa E, Ahonkhai I, et al. Augmentation of antimicrobial metronidazole therapy of bacterial vaginosis with oral probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14: randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. Microbes Infect 2006;8:1450-4.

10. Vujic G, Jajac Knez A, Despot Stefanovic V, Kuzmic Vrbanovic V. Efficacy of orally applied probiotic capsules for bacterial vaginosis and other vaginal infections: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2013 Feb 7 [Epub ahead of print].

11. Mittal A, Kapur s, Garg S, et al. Clinical trial with Praneem polyherbal cream in patients with abnormal vaginal discharge due to microbial infections. Aust NZ J Obstet Gynaecol1995;35:190-1.

12. Taheri M, Baheiraei A, Foroushani AR, et al. Treatment of vitamin D deficiency is an effective method in the elimination of asymptomatic bacterial vaginosis: A placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial. Indian J Med Res 2015;141:799–806.

13. Melchart D, Linde K, Worku F, et al. Immunomodulation with echinacea—a systematic review of controlled clinical trials. Phytomedicine 1994;1:245-54 [review].

14. Melchart D, Linde K, Worku F, et al. Immunomodulation with echinacea—a systematic review of controlled clinical trials. Phytomedicine 1994;1:245-54 [review].

15. Melchart D, Linde K, Worku F, et al. Immunomodulation with echinacea—a systematic review of controlled clinical trials. Phytomedicine 1994;1:245-54 [review].

16. Pena E. Melaleuca alternifolia oil: Its use for trichomonal vaginitis and other vaginal infections. Obstet Gynecol 1962;19:793-5.

17. Wilcox G, Wahlqvist M, Burger H, et al. Oestrogenic effects of plant foods in postmenopausal women. BMJ 1990;301:905-6.

18. Shalev E, Battino S, Weiner E, et al. Ingestion of yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus compared with pasteurized yogurt as prophylaxis for recurrent Candidal vaginitis and bacterial vaginosis. Arch Fam Med 1996;5:593-6.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.

Drugs used to treat VAGINITIS. Select drug name to view medication information and pricing