An itch you just can't scratch
You're standing in line at the grocery store, but your mind is on anything but buying groceries. You have a severe case of vaginitis, and all you want to do is itch until your fingers are raw. Unfortunately, having an itch down there is not something you can satisfy in polite company, so you shift from foot to foot while you wait for your clerk to ring up your vaginal ointments and inserts. Many different things can cause the itching, pain, and irritation of vaginitis, but vaginal yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis are the most common types of infections. Each has their own symptoms and treatments, so it is best to check with a doctor if you suspect you have vaginitis.
Vaginal Yeast Infections: no, it isn't bread you're baking down there
Vaginal yeast infections are also called Candida infections because that is the medical name for yeast. This type of vaginal infection will produce a thick, white discharge that looks something like cottage cheese. It is the classic sign of a yeast infection. You will also experience intense itching and redness of the vulva, or the outer tissue of the vagina. Certain things can make you more susceptible to these infections, such as a course of antibiotics or out of control diabetes. You can buy over the counter vaginal suppositories to treat vaginal yeast infections, but you should check with your doctor if you get them frequently. You may have untreated diabetes or some other bacteria that is causing the infections.
Bacterial Vaginosis: it isn't yeast, but it's common
Although most women think of yeast infections when they think of vaginitis and itchiness, bacterial vaginosis is actually much more common. So, if you are treating yourself and are treating bacterial vaginosis as yeast, it isn't going to work. This is why it is important to see a doctor for vaginitis to get a firm diagnosis. Up to 50 percent of women do not have any symptoms with this type of infection and only find out they have it at their yearly gynecologist's appointment. However, some symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include gray to white colored vaginal discharge that is foul-smelling, often described as a fishy odor. It is usually more pronounced after intercourse. This type of vaginitis can only be treated by antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. He may prescribe a course of flagyl or clindamycin to help clear up the overgrowth of bacteria in the vaginal tract.
Trichomoniasis Vaginitis: it takes a trick to get rid of it
Trichomoniasis vaginitis is a type of vaginal infection that can be spread via sex. Again, this type of vaginitis may present with no symptoms, but some of the most common symptoms are discharge that is greenish yellow and frothy; itching and irritation; and burning after urination. You can also have lower abdominal pain and pain after your period if you have a trichomoniasis infection. This is not the type of vaginitis that can be treated with over the counter preparations. You would need to be on a course of antibiotics to kill off this bacteria, usually flagyl or tinidazole. To prevent this type of infection, use a male condom when having sexual contact, and you should be protected from contracting trichomoniasis.
We know finding the right gynecologist is not easy. It's worth a bit of fact-finding to choose someone you feel comfortable with. Our doctor eCV's are a great way to get to know a doctor, ask a question and make an appointment. Start your search for a Gynecologist here.
Suggest a topic
Do you have a topic you would like to read more about in this section? Send us your ideas using the feedback form below.