Vaginitis is a medical term that refers to various conditions that cause your vagina to be infected or inflamed. It’s pretty common to experience vaginitis, and researchers suggest that up to one-third of women will experience it at some point in their life.
Because there’s a myriad of things that can cause vaginitis, it’s not always easy to know what the culprit is without help from a medical professional. For this reason, our team — led by Ruchir Thakker, DO, at NewMed Immediate Care with office locations in the Rolling Meadows, Illinois, area, — wants you to know what might be fueling your vaginitis and what to do about it.
Causes of vaginitis
While there’s many different conditions that can lead to vaginitis, these are five of the most common:
- Bacterial vaginosis: This can occur do to an overgrowth of bacteria and typically has a gray discharge with a fishy odor
- Yeast infections: These are brought on by excess fungus and can cause itching and swelling as well as discharge that resembles cottage cheese
- Trichomoniasis: An infection that’s spread by a parasite through sexual contact, this causes itching, a fishy odor, and green or frothy discharge
- Chlamydia or gonorrhea: These are two of the most common STIs and typically result from having multiple sexual partners and can have symptoms similar to other types of vaginitis
- Viral vaginitis (herpes): This is brought on by the herpes virus that is also spread through sex and can lead to genital warts
You may also experience symptoms such as spotting and light bleeding between periods, pain while urinating, and pain during sexual intercourse.
If you notice any of these symptoms of these vaginitis causes, it’s important to come in and see us for proper diagnosis and treatment.
While it’s possible for vaginitis to clear up on its own, it’s probably best to have it checked out anyway so we can determine what’s causing it in the first place. While it’s not always clear what’s causing your vaginitis, we can still recommend some things to clear up your symptoms.
Depending on the root cause of your vaginitis, we can prescribe different medications to clear it up. It’s important to take the full round of medication and to avoid sexual contact until you’ve finished taking them.
In order to prevent vaginitis in the future, it’s important to practice safe sex by using condoms whenever possible, especially if you have multiple sexual partners.
Some other things you can do to promote a healthy vagina? Avoid douching or the use of scented period products. Always wear cotton underwear and other bottoms with breathable fabrics and always change out of damp clothing right away.
If you suspect you have vaginitis, don’t hesitate to come in and see us for proper testing and treatment. To schedule an appointment with us, you can give us a call or use our online booking tool today.