Friday, February 03, 2006

Causes of Vaginitis

There are six most common types of vaginitis. These are:

1. Candida or yeast infections

2. Bacterial vaginitis

3. Trichomoniasis vaginitis

4. Chlamydia vaginitis

5. Viral vaginitis

6. Noninfectious vaginitis

Although each of these types of vaginal infection can have different symptoms, it is not always easy for an individual to figure out what type of vaginitis she has - in fact, diagnosis can even be tricky for an experienced clinician. Part of the problem is that sometimes more than one type of vaginitis can be present at the same time. Often vaginitis is present with no symptoms at all.

Yeast infections are a common cause of vaginitis. Yeast infections produce a thick, white vaginal discharge with the consistency of cottage cheese. Although the discharge can be somewhat watery, it is odorless. Yeast infections usually cause the vagina and vulva to be very itchy and red. An antibiotic taken for a urinary tract infection can kill "friendly" bacteria that normally keep the yeast in balance; as a result, the yeast overgrows and causes the infection.

Bacterial vaginitis results in a vaginal discharge. The discharge is usually thin and milky and is sometimes described as having a "fishy" odor. This odor may become more noticeable after intercourse. Since bacterial vaginitis is caused by bacteria, treatment is usually with antibiotics.

Trichomonas, commonly called "trick," is caused by a single-celled organism tht is a member of the protozoa family of microorganisms. When this organism infects the vagina it can cause a frothy, greenish-yellow discharge. Often this discharge will have a foul smell. Women with trichomonal vaginitis may complain of itching and soreness of the vagina and vulva, as well as burning during urination. These symptoms may be worse after a menstrual period. This type of vaginitis can be transmitted through sexual intercourse.

Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease, can cause vaginitis. Unfortunately, most women do not have symptoms. A vaginal discharge is sometimes present with this infection but not always. More often a woman might experience light bleeding especially after intercourse. chlamydial vaginitis is most common in young women under the age of 30 who have multiple sex partners.

Viral vaginitis can be caused by herpes simplex virus that is spread by sexual intercourse. The primary symptom of herpes vaginitis is pain associated with lesions or sores. These sores are usually visible on the vulva or the vagina and can only be seen during a gynecologic exam.

Noninfectious vaginitis is most often caused by an allergic reaction or irritation from vaginal sprays, douches, or spermicidal products. The skin around the vagina can also be sensitive to perfumed soaps, detergents, and fabric softeners. No infection is present.

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