Vaginitis is an inflammation or infection of the vaginal area. Most women will experience vaginitis at least once in their lifetime. Vaginitis can be caused by a yeast, parasitic, or bacterial infection in the vagina.
The leading cause of vaginitis is an imbalance in the naturally occurring bacteria that lives in the vagina. Vaginitis may also be influenced by other skin disorders that you are experiencing or hormone imbalances, particularly those that occur after the menopause.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the different types of vaginitis, as well as symptoms, causes, risk factors and how to get tested.
Types of vaginitis
There are three different types of vaginitis:
- Bacterial vaginosis (also known as BV) describes the overgrowth of different type of bacteria in the vagina. Having unprotected sex or regular douching of the vagina may increase the chances of developing bacterial vaginosis. It is common to experience a fishy smelling bacteria. Read: Bacterial vaginosis vs. yeast infection: Similarities and differences
- Yeast infections (also known as thrush) are caused by the overgrowth of fungi Candida albicans. Causes of yeast infections include the use of anti-biotics, pregnancy, uncontrolled diabetes, low immunity and medications that impact estrogen levels. It is common to experience a thick cottage cheese textured vaginal discharge.
- Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted diseases. Risk factors for trichomoniasis include having multiple sexual partners and having unprotected sex. It is common to experience a frothy yellow/green discharge. Read: How does a trichomoniasis test work?
- Non-infectious vaginitis is a condition that may develop as a result of vaginal douching or contact between the vagina and foreign objects such as tampons, or toilet paper.
- Vaginal atrophy (also known as genitourinary syndrome of menopause) is a common condition that occurs after the menopause in which estrogen levels begin to decline and as a result the vaginal lining may become dry, itchy or thin as a result.
Read: Vaginal discharge: Colours, causes and what it actually means
What are the symptoms of vaginitis?
Some of the most common symptoms of vaginitis include:
- Change in color, odor or amount of discharge from your vagina
- Vaginal itching or irritation
- Pain during intercourse
- Painful urination
- Light vaginal bleeding or spotting
If you are experiencing any symptoms that are having a negative
Causes of vaginitis
The causes of vaginitis are not always easy to narrow down, but generally they tend to vary depending on the type of vaginitis that you have. As mentioned there are three type of vaginitis:
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Yeast infections
- Non-infectious vaginitis
- Vaginal atrophy
Lets run through the causes of each type of vaginitis:
Bacterial vaginosis is the most common type of vaginitis. It occurs when the healthy bacteria that naturally occurs in the vagina (lactobacilli) become overwhelmed by other types of bacteria known as anaerobes. Bacterial vaginosis is most common in women who have multiple sexual partners and engage in unprotected sex.
Yeast infections are extremely common and are generally caused by an overgrowth of a fungi called Candida albicans. This type of fungi can cause issues in other parts of the body, mostly those that are warm and moist, particularly skin folds, the mouth and nail beds. Some of the common risk factors for yeast infections include taking anti-biotics, pregnancy, uncontrolled diabetes, low immunity and hormonal imbalance.
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. Trichomoniasis is most commonly caused via having unprotected sex. Trichomoniasis increases the risk of contracting other sexually transmitted diseases.
Non infectious vaginitis is caused by practices that involve your vagina coming into contact with foreign objects such as sprays, detergents, tampons and tissue paper.
Vaginal atrophy is caused by the process of ageing! Estrogen levels generally begin to decline from the perimenopause (around menopause).As estrogen levels decline, you are more likely to experience symptoms such as vaginal dryness and pain.
According to LetsGetChecked:
- 82% of women who experience vaginitis suffer from recurrences. This means frequent trips to the doctor resulting in time off work, reorganizing child care, and disruption to life for millions of women, and all for a frustratingly common problem
- 74% of women have used at-home remedies, which can upset the vagina’s delicate PH balance and lead to more frequent infections.
- Even over-the-counter medication may not be effective without knowing the underlying cause. 63% of the time BV is misdiagnosed. Doctors often provide a diagnosis on symptoms alone or without advanced laboratory testing.
So what should you do if you think you are living with vaginitis? If you are experiencing the symptoms of vaginitis. It is time to get tested. With LetsGetChecked, you can safely and quickly get tested for vaginitis from the comfort of home.
LetsGetCheckeduses state-of-the-art laboratory testing to identify common causes of vaginitis. The Vaginitis Test includes an at-home sample collection kit, a nurse consultation, and treatment delivered to your door at no additional cost if you test positive.
The LetsGetChecked Vaginitis Test tests for:
- Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
- Candida Vaginitis (CV)
- Trichomonas Vaginitis (TV)
The test is quick, easy and discreet and comes in at just $239.
No more extra trips to the doctor and peace of mind that your diagnosis is backed by a reliable laboratory test and a reliable laboratory result.
You should consider taking a LetsGetChecked vaginitis test if:
- You have a new sex partner or multiple sex partners.
- You use hormonal contraceptives (for example, birth control pills).
- You have diabetes.
- You are taking or have recently taken antibiotics.
- Home Vaginitis Test - letsgetchecked.com
- Yeast infection (vaginal) - mayoclinic.org