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General Information

Vaginitis is a general term for the inflammation of the vagina. It is often caused by infections that result in distress and discomfort.

Although some infections are associated with more serious diseases, the most common vaginal infections are:

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  • abnormal vaginal discharge
  • irritation
  • itching around the vagina
  • unpleasant odor
  • discomfort during sexual intercourse
  • burning during urination


Some vaginal infections are transmitted through sexual contact. Others such as yeast infections usually occur because of different causes and circumstances.

Some causes of Vaginitis include:

  • infection by pathogenic bacteria, fungi or other microbes
  • allergic reactions
  • irritation factors
  • other STDs such as HIV / AIDS

Allergic symptoms can be caused by:

  • detergents
  • fabric softeners
  • spermicides
  • vaginal hygiene products


Physical Examination

Most vaginal infections have similar symptoms and a physical examination cannot always adequately determine the correct diagnosis.

Laboratory Tests

Laboratory tests are usually carried out for accurate diagnosis, including:

  • evaluation of vaginal fluid under a microscope.

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There are many effective drugs available for treating Vaginitis, including the antibiotics:

  • Ampicillin
  • Ceftriaxone
  • Clindamycin
  • Metronidazole
  • Tetracycline

These are usually generally prescribed for women infected with Bacterial Vaginosis (BV).

Men with Bacterial Vaginosis usually do not require treatment unless their female sex partners suffer frequent repeat infections.


Allergic symptoms can be caused by:

  • detergents
  • fabric softeners
  • spermicides
  • vaginal hygiene products

Cervical inflammation from these products is usually associated with abnormal vaginal discharge.

Diagnostic tests should be carried out to differentiate from true vaginal infections.

Help Factors

Physical Hygiene

  • Abstain from sexual activity during treatment.
  • Always wipe from front to back after bowel movements.
  • Change underwear and workout clothes immediately after exercising.
  • Change tampons and sanitary pads often.
  • Dry the vaginal area thoroughly after showers or baths.
  • Get plenty of rest to help the body fight infections.
  • Practice good hygiene by regularly washing the inside folds of the vulva where germs breed.
  • Shower after swimming in a pool to remove the chlorine from your skin.
  • Use unscented tampons or sanitary pads.
  • Wear all-cotton underpants and panty hose with cotton crotches.


  • Eat well, including food products, such as yoghurt containing live cultures of lactobacillus acidophilus.
  • Limit your intake of sugar and foods containing sugar as it promotes the growth of yeast.
  • Try to keep blood sugars under control if you have diabetes.

Risk Factors

Avoid using:

  • bath oils
  • bubble baths
  • deodorant soaps
  • feminine hygiene sprays
  • perfumed soaps


Vaginitis Research

Studies are being undertaken to determine the factors that promote the growth and disease-causing potential of vaginal microbes.

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