Vulvovaginitis: Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Vulvovaginal infections can come in a range of types, from yeast infections to the more serious Trichomoniasis. In this article, we will address the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of vaginitis.

Diagnosing Vulvovaginitis Infections

If you have noticed a change in your discharge, or vaginal secretions, or any other symptoms, your doctor can check everything out for you during your visit. Your doctor, whether your primary care physician or gynecologist, will begin with your medical history, including your sexual history. They will want to know if you have been using or exposed to anything that could contribute to the cause of the infection. These things of exposure could range from detergents to spermicides.

They will also take a sample of the discharge to be examined under a microscope to see what type of vulvovaginitis infection you may have. If you have had previous infections like a yeast infection in the past, you could try treating it with an over-the-counter remedy kit. Do not do this, however, if the symptoms are different or continue on.

Treating Vulvovaginal Infections

Once the cause for your vaginitis infection is determined, it will then be easier to treat your infection. If your vaginitis was caused by an irritant or allergic reaction, you must determine the cause and remove it from your life. Your doctor may give you a topical cream to apply to help soothe and reduce itching and discomfort.

If your vaginitis is caused by a bacterial infection, you will need a prescription medication to treat it. Yeast infections can typically be cured with antifungal medications like pills or suppositories that are inserted directly into the vagina. Common brands of antifungal creams available over the counter are:

· Gyne-Lotrimin

· Monistat

· Vagistat

There are many varieties of these creams designed to be used for one day, to one week. If you have never had a yeast infection, it is best to check in with your doctor before using anything, even over the counter, to treat. If you have used an over the counter treatment, be sure to let your doctor know if you do not see signs of improvement or you have continuing symptoms for more than three days.

Bacterial vaginosis and Trichomoniasis can be treated with a medication called Flagyl, which contains metronidazole. When treating Trich, you will take a pill by mouth. There are also prescriptions called Cleocin T and MetroGel Vaginal that can go into the vagina.


Preventing Vulvovaginal Infections

Reducing your chances of contracting a vulvovaginal infection can be done. These things include:

· Do not use douche

· Use condoms during intercourse

· Do not use perfumed soaps, sprays, or things on or in your vagina

· Avoid tight fitting clothes that hold in heat and moisture.

If you are experiencing these issues during menopause, talk to your doctor about pills or creams that can be used to reduce vaginal dryness.

If you suspect you may be dealing with a vulvovaginal infection, do not hesitate to make an appointment with your doctor to begin diagnosis and treatment.


Resources Used: Reclaiming Intimacy



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