Vaginal Infections And Its Causes

Vaginitis (Vaginal Infection) is an inflammation of a woman’s vagina.  At least one-third of women will have symptoms of vaginitis at some point during their lives. Vaginitis affects women of all ages but is most common during the reproductive years.  There are many possible causes, and the type of treatment depends on the cause.

The vagina holds organisms, such as bacteria and yeast, in balance so it can function normally. A change in the normal balance can allow either yeast or bacteria to increase and result in vaginitis.  This causes the lining of the vagina to become inflamed.  Vaginitis may cause itching, a bad odor, or a large amount of discharge.

To diagnose vaginitis, your doctor will take a sample of the discharge from your vagina and perform laboratory tests.

Here’s how you can lower the risk of getting vaginitis or vaginal infections:

  • Do not try to cover up a bad odor.  It could be a sign of infection that should prompt you to see a doctor.
  • Do not douche.  IT is better to let the vagina cleanse itself.
  • Thoroughly clean diaphragms, cervical caps, and spermicide applicators after each use.
  • Use condoms during sex.

Causes:

  • Yeast infection also is known as candidiasis.  It is one of the most common types of vaginal infection.Vaginal yeast infections are caused by a fungus called Candida. It is found in small numbers in the normal vagina.  However, when the balance of bacteria and yeast in the vagina is altered, the yeast may overgrow and cause symptoms.
  • A woman is more likely to get yeast infections if she is pregnant or has diabetes.  Overgrowth of yeast also can also occur if the body’s immune system, which protects the body from disease, is not working well.
  • Bacterial Vaginosis:  The bacteria that cause bacterial vaginosis occur naturally in the vagina.  Bacterial vaginosis is caused by overgrowth of these bacteria.  It is not a sexually acquired infection.  However, symptoms may worsen with sex.
  • Trichomoniasis is caused by the microscopic parasite Trichomonas vaginalis.  It is sexually transmitted.

Treatment will depend on the cause of the vaginitis.  Treatment may be either with either an oral treatment or with a cream or gel that is applied to the vagina.