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3 main causes of vaginitis and how to treat it

Vaginitis, or vulvovaginitis, is an inflammation of the vagina, which can be caused by infections, skin changes in the region that may develop due to menopause or pregnancy, and allergies to products or clothing.

There are everyday situations that can increase the risk of having vaginitis, such as the use of tight pants, very frequent use of tampons, and poor intimate hygiene, so avoiding these habits may help ward off this type of inflammation.

The main causes of vulvovaginitis are:

1. Infections

Infections are the main causes for inflammation and vaginal discharges and can be very common in women who have multiple partners, used antibiotics, have poor intimate hygiene or stay hospitalized for a long time. The most common infections are:

Bacterial vaginosis

It is caused by bacteria that can multiply inside the vagina, especially after intercourse, menstrual period and causes yellowish discharge and bad odor in the region.

  • How to treat: it can be treated with antibiotics in pill form and vaginal ointments, such as Metronidazole or Clindamycin prescribed by your gynecologist.


It is an infection caused by a parasite, which is transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse. The infection leads to intense foul-smelling, yellow-greenish and bubbly vaginal discharge, besides irritation of the vagina with a burning sensation and itching.

  • How to treat: With antibiotic pills, such as Metronidazole or Tinidazole, prescribed by a gynecologist, and your partner should also receive treatment, to avoid new infections;

Vaginal yeast infection

A yeast infection, may develops due to the fungi candida sp., which causes a lumpy white discharge, a lot of itching and redness in the vaginal area, and a frequent urge to urinate. It is most common in women who have low immunity due to stress, use of medications such as corticosteroids or antibiotics, have diabetes or are infected by the HIV virus.

  • How to treat: with antifungal medication that ca be in the form of vaginal ointments or pills, such as Nystatin or Fluconazole, prescribed by a gynecologist.

Cytolytic vaginosis

It is a rarer cause of vaginitis and can cause symptoms very similar to those of candidiasis, so it is important to be examined when you feel persistent itching, burning sensation and white vaginal discharge that comes and goes but does not improve with the treatment normally prescribed for candidiasis. This type of vaginosis is caused by the proliferation of lactobacillus bacteria, which produces excess acid and causes irritation in the vagina.

  • How to treat:  Normally a gynecologist will prescribe sodium bicarbonate suppository vaginally, 3 times a week or you can do seat baths with baking soda. You must dilute one tablespoon of baking soda in 600 ml of water and it should be done twice a day.

If the symptoms mentioned above are present, you should seek a gynecologist so as to perform a physical examination, for correct diagnosis and indicate the ideal treatment for each case.

3 main causes of vaginitis and how to treat it

2. Allergies

An allergic reaction to a certain product that comes into contact with you intimate region can also cause inflammation. Some examples are:

  • Medications;
  • Intimate cosmetics or perfumed soaps;
  • Latex from a condom;
  • The synthetic fabrics of panties;
  • Colored or perfumed toilet paper;
  • Fabric softeners.

This inflammation can cause itching, burning sensation and redness, which can be very uncomfortable and may repeat several times until you identify the cause. The treatment is done by avoiding the materials that are the source of the allergy. In addition to ointments or pills that are based on corticosteroids and antiallergics, prescribed by a gynecologist, to relieve the symptoms.

3. Changes to the skin

Some situations may make vaginal skin thinner and more sensitive, such as during menopause, postpartum, breastfeeding, or when you are being treated with radium or chemotherapy. In these cases, it is called atrophic vaginitis. You may have a yellowish, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, in addition to local irritation, dryness, burning and pain during intercourse. The treatment can be done with the use of intimate lubricants, or by hormonal replacement, that will be indicated by the gynecologist.

In addition, pregnancy also causes changes in the tissue that forms the vagina, due to hormonal oscillations typical of this phase, which can cause yellowish vaginal discharge and predisposition to infections, especially candidiasis. When the pregnant woman has any of these symptoms, she should report them to her obstetrician as soon as possible to see if there is an infection that needs to be treated and follow-up of the situation.

How to avoid vaginitis

To avoid this type of inflammation, the woman should take some precautions, such as:

  • Avoid wearing tight pants on hot days;
  • Sleeping in light clothing or without panties;
  • Do not use tampons for many hours at a time;
  • Do not do vaginal showers;
  • Avoid the use of antibiotics unnecessarily;
  • Do not have unprotected sexual intercourse.

Condom use is also important to prevent various types of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, gonorrhea, HPV and syphilis, which can cause many complications and there is a risk of death. Find out more about these disease and how to avoid them

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