Vaginitis Treatment in Bristol, VA
Vaginitis is a common condition afflicting women predominantly in their reproductive years which triggers vaginal inflammation. When it occurs in conjunction with vulva (external genitalia) inflammation, it is referred to as vulvovaginitis. Caused by either an infection due to a bacteria, yeast or parasite, or from a noninfectious source such as a physical irritation to the vagina or low estrogen levels due to menopause, vaginitis can create many uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptoms.
Fortunately, vaginitis is treatable with the help of a women's healthcare specialist who can identify the type and severity of your vaginitis and provide therapeutic solutions. To schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in Bristol that specializes in vaginitis treatment, call (423) 482-8711 or contact Dr. Dalal Akoury online.
Types of Vaginitis
Vaginitis can occur as a result of both infectious and noninfectious causes. The most common infectious forms of vaginitis include:
- Bacterial vaginosis: When the bacterial balance in the vagina becomes imbalanced—causing bad bacteria to flourish and overrun good bacteria—bacterial vaginosis can occur. Also referred to as gardnerella and BV, bacterial vaginosis is the most common type of vaginitis.
- Trichomoniasis: Commonly transmitted through sexual intercourse, trichomoniasis, also called trich, is caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis and is one of the most common curable STDs affecting women.
- Candidiasis (yeast infection ): As the second most common form of vaginitis, candidiasis is a fungal infection that occurs as the result of the overgrowth of a yeast called Candida albicans.
- Viral vaginitis: Viruses can impact the vagina and spread by sexual contact. Two of the most common viruses which can lead to vaginitis include the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Noninfectious vaginitis can also occur from a number of different sources. Most often, an allergic reaction or sensitivity can occur from vaginal sprays, douches or creams, or from fragranced products like perfumes, soaps and sexual lubricants, leading to the development of vaginitis. The other main form of noninfectious vaginitis is atrophic vaginitis which typically results from reduced estrogen levels during menopause, breastfeeding or any other time in a woman's life where estrogen is low.
Vaginitis symptoms may vary based on the type of vaginitis you have, but often include:
- Vaginal itching, burning or irritation
- Irregular vaginal discharge which may have an unpleasant color, consistency or odor
- Painful intercourse
- Painful urination
Treatment of Vaginitis
If you suspect you have vaginitis, it is important to schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider who can determine the type of vaginitis you have, and provide you with an adequate treatment plan. Your healthcare provider will begin with a pelvic examination and take a sample of vaginal discharge to send for testing. This sample can help to confirm the type of vaginitis you have by detecting certain parasites, yeasts or bacteria.
Once the type of vaginitis is confirmed, treatment can begin. Your treatment will vary based on the type of vaginitis:
- Bacterial vaginosis: Antibiotics, probiotics
- Trichomoniasis: Antibiotics (most commonly metronidazole) which should be administered to both sexual partners to prevent reoccurrence
- Candidiasis: Antifungal medication, dietary changes (to reduce sugar and simple carbohydrate intake), probiotics
- Atrophic vaginitis: Estrogen hormone replacement therapy
- Noninfectious vaginitis: Identification and removal of the source of your irritation
There are also certain steps you can take in your day-to-day life to reduce discomfort during vaginitis treatment and to help prevent future recurrences. These include:
- Wearing loose, comfortable cotton undergarments
- Practicing safe sex or abstinence
- Improving personal hygiene by ensuring vaginal area is clean and dry
- Obtaining regular gynecological screenings
- Avoiding douching, irritants and hot tubs/whirlpools
Fortunately, vaginitis typically does not cause any long-term health problems if properly treated. If you are pregnant, an infection could cause unique health concerns for you and your baby which is why prompt treatment is important. Untreated vaginitis could spread to other pelvic organs and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) .
To schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in Bristol that specializes in women's health conditions, call (423) 482-8711 or contact Dr. Dalal Akoury online.
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