Vaginal Inflammation

What is Vaginal Inflammation?

Vaginal inflammation, also known as vaginitis, is a common condition that affects the vagina and the surrounding area. It is characterized by irritation, itching, and discharge. It is often caused by infections, such as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), or hormonal changes. However, it can also be caused by allergies, sensitivities, or irritants.

Types of Vaginal Inflammation

There are several different types of vaginal inflammation, each with its own symptoms and treatment options:

  • Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an infection caused by an imbalance of naturally occurring bacteria in the vagina.
  • Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of fungi, most often Candida albicans.
  • Trichomoniasis is caused by an STD, and can be spread through sexual contact.
  • Atrophic vaginitis is caused by a decline in estrogen due to menopause or other factors, often leading to thinning of the vaginal walls and dryness.
  • Vulvodynia is a chronic condition characterized by burning, itching, and soreness in the vulva.

Symptoms of Vaginal Inflammation

  • Pain or itching in the vagina or vulva.
  • Burning sensation during urination or sexual intercourse.
  • Increased discharge.
  • Unpleasant odor or color of the discharge.
  • Irritation or rash in the vulva.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Vaginal Inflammation

If you think you have vaginal inflammation, it's important to make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history and will perform a physical exam and possibly a swab sample to detect any potential infections. Depending on the cause of the vaginitis, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, antifungal medication, or a topical hormone cream to treat it.

In addition to medical treatment, you can also take steps to reduce your risk of developing vaginal inflammation or reduce the symptoms if you already have it:

  • Avoid tight-fitting clothing. Wear breathable fabrics like cotton.
  • Avoid scented hygiene products, pads, and tampons as they can cause irritation.
  • Change out of wet swimsuits and workout clothes as soon as possible.
  • Urinate and wash the genital area after sexual intercourse.
  • Consult your doctor about taking probiotics to restore balance in your vagina.