Vaginitis in the simplest terms means the inflammation of the vagina. In most cases, it is due to an infection. The patient typically has a sort of a discharge, itching, burning, and even possibly pain. Vaginitis is a very common condition in women today. My friend had this when she was quite young and she used to tell me how painful and difficult it was for her to do her daily work. It is especially common in women with the condition of diabetes.
- It is important to note that, although people have frequently used the basic word "vagina" when they mean the female genitals in general, the vagina is a rather specific part of the genitalia itself.
- The vagina is the muscular canal from the cervix to the outside of the body, lined by a mucus membrane.
- It has an average length of about 6-7 inches in it. It is this tube that is quite affected by vaginitis.
- The only part of the vagina that can normally be viewed from the outside is the very vaginal opening; the external structures that can be seen from outside are, in fact, parts of the same vulva, including the labia majora, the mons pubis, the labia minora, and clitoris.
- Now that we are aware where exactly is the disease effected, let's look at the various types and causes of the disease so that if you feel that you are affected by this disease you could identify it and show the doctor for better guidance.
Types of vaginitis
There are several types of vaginitis. The most common are:
- The Atrophic vaginitis (or senile vaginitis) - the endothelium (the lining of the vagina) gets thinner when the estrogen levels decrease during the menopause. This makes the lining more susceptible to irritation and the inflammation.
- The Bacterial vaginosis - caused by the overgrowth of normal bacteria in the vagina. Patients usually have less of a normal vaginal bacteria called the lactobacilli.
- The trichomoniasis - sometimes referred to as the trich. This is a sexually transmitted single-celled protozoan parasite - The trichomonas vaginalis. It may infect the other parts of the urogenital tract, including the urethra (where urine comes out of) as well as the vagina.
- The candida albicans - this is a yeast that frequently causes a fungal infection. Candidiasis of the mouth or the throat is known as thrush. Candida exists in small amounts in the gut and is normally kept in check by the normal gut bacteria.
Symptoms of vaginitis
The most common symptoms of vaginitis include:
- Irritation of the genital area
- The vaginal discharge
- Inflammation - the redness, swelling of the labia majora, labia minora, and perineal area; mainly because of the presence of extra immune cells
- Dysuria - the pain or discomfort when urinating
- Dyspareunia - the painful sexual intercourse
- Bad vaginal odor
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms don't worry, the remedies are also provided here. As the post progresses, you will find out, what are the causes that trigger this disease, so that you are aware of them, and can avoid them, further, you will also be suggested some common remedies to fight out this problem, and if conditions truly worsen it's a humble request that you must consult a doctor because he can give you personalized help in this matter.
Causes of vaginitis
- The infectious vaginitis makes up of about 90 percent of all cases in females who have reached puberty. Infectious vaginitis includes the candidiasis, the bacterial vaginosis, and the trichomoniasis.
- Less commonly, the vaginitis may also be caused by gonorrhea, Chlamydia, mycoplasma, herpes, campylobacter, some parasites, and poor hygiene.
- The young girls, before they reach puberty, can also develop the vaginitis, but the cause may be different from those for older females.
- Different types of the bacteria are often involved; while the Streptococcus sppcauses the bacterial vaginosis in the pre-pubescent girls, in post-pubescent females, it is most often due to the Gardnerella.
- The improper hygiene in pre-pubescent girls can transfer the bacteria and/or the other irritants to the vaginal area from the anal region.
- The proximity of the vagina to the anus, the lack of estrogen, the lack of pubic hair, and lack of labial fat pads may all contribute to the increased risk of vulvovaginitis in prepubescent girls.
- The vulvovaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina and the vulva and can affect women of all ages. Sometimes, the vaginitis can be caused by an allergic reaction.
For example, some women may be allergic to the following:
- Certain soaps and
- Even the perfumes,
- Topical medications,
- Irritation from semen and
- Irritation from a pad or tampon can also cause vaginitis in some women.
So girls, if this is the case, and you sense trouble then, please take the necessary precautions, or measures, for you need to take care of your body before anything else in your life. If you're healthy only then will things fall in the right places. Having said so, let's move on to the segment of dragonizing the disease.
Diagnosis of vaginitis
- The doctor will usually carry out a physical examination and ask the patient questions regarding her medical history.
- A sample of discharge may be even taken to try to determine the cause of the inflammation.
- The cause of vaginitis may be diagnosed by checking the appearance of the vaginal fluid, the vaginal pH levels, the presence of the volatile amines (the gas that causes a bad smell), and the microscopic detection of specific cells.
- Now that we have a fair understanding of the disease let's look at how we can prevent it from appearing
Prevention of vaginitis
Now, prevention is always better than cure, right? Here are some basic tips that could help you avoid this terrifying disease. Having said so, it is true that a good hygiene may prevent some types of the vaginitis from recurring and may relieve some of your symptoms, so please note closely:
- Avoid baths, hot tubs and the whirlpool spas.
- Avoid irritants. These include the scented pads or the tampons, douches and the scented soaps. Rinse the soap from your outer genital area after a shower, and then dry the area well to prevent the irritation. Don't use the harsh soaps, such as those with the deodorant or the antibacterial action, or bubble bath.
- Wipe from front to back after using the toilet. Doing so avoids the spreading fecal bacteria to your vagina.
Other things you can do that may help prevent vaginitis include:
- Don't over clean. Your vagina doesn't require the cleansing other than normal bathing. Repetitive douching disrupts the normal organisms that reside in the vagina and can actually increase your risk of the vaginal infection. Douching won't really clear up a vaginal infection.
- Use a latex condom. Both the male and female latex condoms may help you avoid the infections spread by sexual contact.
- Wear a cotton underwear. Also wearing pantyhose with a cotton crotch. If you feel comfortable without it, skip the wearing underwear to bed. Yeast thrives in the moist environments.
Treatment for vaginitis
- The type of treatment depends on the causes of the vaginitis; it may include the low-potency topical (applied to the skin) steroids, the topical or oral antibiotics, antifungals, or antibacterial creams.
- The Cortisone cream may be prescribed if the irritation symptoms are severe.
- An antihistamine is sometimes given if the doctor determines that the inflammation has been caused by an allergic reaction.
- If the vaginitis was caused by the low estrogen levels, a topical estrogen cream might be recommended.
- Vaginal flora refers to a balance of the bacteria in the vagina that has a significant implication for a woman's overall health regimen.
- Sometimes, the treatment is needed to restore this vaginal flora balance, which can sometimes be quite altered if a patient is given antibiotics designed to remove certain pathogens.
Homeopathic Treatment for vaginitis
- Whether your vaginal infection is caused by the yeast (monilia or candida), or the bacteria (hemophilus or gardnerella, chlamydia), the protozoa (trichomonas), or by some unknown factor, it is the unique symptoms (not the diagnosis or organism) being manifested that will lead to the same or similar remedy.
- Specifics on the color and the consistency and the odor of the discharge, which week of the menstrual cycle, the intensity of itching and irritation, and of course, emotional state and general symptoms like body type are used to differentiate upon remedy choices.
Commonly Suggested Remedies
- Kreosotum is mentioned first in many of the books as an effective remedy for vaginitis when the redness, rawness and the irritation of the vagina and the external genitalia are severe due to the excoriating vaginal discharge. A very offensive odor always accompanies the Kreosotum leukorrhea, and the odor of the green corn is another notable symptom. Kreosotum is known to be helpful when the Trichomonas is suspected.
Pulsatilla must always be mentioned whenever the female problems are being discussed, and in the leukorrhea of any kind it can be used successfully if the typical constitutional symptoms of this polychrest are present. These include changeable moods, the weepiness, desire for affection, thirstlessness and the aggravation in a warm room.
The thick, creamy discharge is common in Pulsatilla women and it is a main ingredient in the vaginal suppositories meant to combat the yeast infections. The Potentised Candida albicans or monilia has also been used by many as a isopathic remedy for yeast, thrush and diaper rash.
- Sepia is also a female polychrest, and it seems to have an affinity to yellow or green discharge. Itching and the odor are common and the peculiar "bearing-down" sensation in the pelvic organs could confirm the need for Sepia. The pre-menstrual or mid-cycle aggravation is the usual timing for this remedy. The sepia is known to help young girls with vaginal discharge and itching, too.
- Calcarea Carbonica is another "whites" (an old term for vaginal discharge) remedy for the women (and again young girls) with chronic, the milky discharge, with itching, especially useful in the plump, weak-muscled, sweaty, passive but the stubborn types.
- Remedies that may be useful for smarting or stinging are the Mercurius and Bovista. Borax's discharge is thick like the egg white, starch or the paste and can scald the inner thighs. The Nitric Acid has a stringy mucus discharge and is worse after the menstrual flow has ended.
- Hydrastis is known for its bright yellow discharge which stains the underwear and is corrosive to the vaginal tissues.
The conventional allopathic treatments for vaginitis leave much to be desired, with the anti-bacterial and anti-protozoal drugs leading to the overgrowth of Candida, not to mention other more systemic adverse drug reactions. wThese infections do need to resolve in a reasonable time though as there is a possibility of the scarring of the fallopian tubes which could lead to the infertility and other deleterious effects on the female organs from the prolonged exposure.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are dangerous sexually transmitted infections for which the prompt medical care should be sought. Therefore, as a suggestion, you should always go for natural cures, lifestyle changes and homeopathic remedies, this is because these are really sensitive parts of the body and any strong side-effect could hamper your overall health and state of mind for life. So, it is advisable that you live healthy and stay healthy, always.