Vaginitis is soreness or infection of the vagina. This common problem can cause itching and burning. And it can cause a change in vaginal discharge. Sometimes it can cause pain during sex. Vaginitis may be caused by bacteria, yeast, or other germs. Some infections that cause it are caught from a sexual partner. Bath products, spermicides, and douches can irritate the vagina too.
Some women have this problem during and after menopause. A drop in estrogen levels during this time can cause dryness, soreness, and pain during sex.
Your doctor can give you medicine to treat an infection. And home care may help you feel better. For certain types of infections, your sex partner must be treated too.
What are the symptoms of vaginitis?
Symptoms of vaginitis may include a change in your normal vaginal discharge (including gray, green, or yellow discharge), vaginal odor, and vaginal redness, swelling, itching, or pain. Vaginitis may also cause burning when you urinate and pain or bleeding when you have sex.
How is vaginitis diagnosed?
Your doctor will check your vagina for redness and swelling and will take a sample of vaginal discharge. The sample can be tested in a lab to see what is causing the problem.
How is vaginitis treated?
If you're pregnant, talk with your doctor. Some problems can affect your pregnancy, so it's important to get the right treatment.
Treatment depends on the type of infection you have. Types include:
- Yeast infection.
Yeast infections can be treated with an over-the-counter antifungal medicine that you put into your vagina. Or your doctor may prescribe a pill. If you think you have a yeast infection, talk to your doctor before you try an over-the-counter medicine.
- Bacterial vaginosis.
This is usually a mild problem. But it can lead to more serious problems, so it's a good idea to see your doctor. It's usually treated with antibiotics.
This is treated with antibiotics. Both you and your sex partner(s) need treatment.
- Atrophic vaginitis.
This usually is treated with estrogen creams or tablets.