As many as one third of women will have symptoms of vaginal irritation sometime during their lives. It affects women of all ages but is most common during the reproductive years.
A change in the balance of the yeast and bacteria that normally live in the vagina can result in vaginal irritation. This causes the lining of the vagina to become inflamed. Factors that can change the normal balance of the vagina include the following:
Use of antibiotics, changes in hormone levels due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, douching, spermicides, sexual intercourse and infection.
Vaginal swab which is a sample of the discharge from the vagina will be taken and looked at under a microscope and subjected to culture and sensitivity.
Treatment will depend on the cause and may be either with a pill, cream or gel that is applied to the vagina.
This is candidiasis. It is one of the most common types of vaginal infection.
A yeast infection is caused by a fungus called Candida. It is found in small numbers in the normal vagina. However, when the balance of bacteria and yeast in the vagina is altered, the yeast may overgrow and cause symptoms.
Some types of antibiotics increase the risk of a yeast infection. The antibiotics kill normal vaginal bacteria, which keep yeast in check. The yeast can then overgrow. It is more common to get yeast infections during pregnancy or with diabetes. Overgrowth of yeast also can occur if the body’s immune system, which protects the body from disease, is not working well.
Common symptoms of a yeast infection are itching and burning of the area outside the vagina. The vulva may be red and swollen. The discharge is usually white, lumpy, and has no odour.
This can be treated either by placing medication into the vagina or by taking a pill in addition to control of certain dietary products such as less sugar.
This is caused by overgrowth of the bacteria that occur naturally in the vagina.
The main symptom is increased discharge with a strong fishy odor. This is thin and dark or dull gray, but may have a greenish color. Itching is not common, but may be present if there is a lot of discharge.
Several antibiotics can be used to treat B.V. but the two that are most commonly used are metronidazole and Doxycycline. They can be taken by mouth or inserted into the vagina as a cream or gel.
This is a condition caused by a parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. It is spread through sex. Women who have trichomoniasis are at an increased risk of infection with other STDs.
These may include a yellow-gray or green vaginal discharge and may have a fishy odor. There may be burning, irritation, redness, and swelling of the vulva. Sometimes there is pain during urination.
T.V. is treated with metronidazole by mouth or vaginal gel. Sexual partners must be treated to prevent the infection from recurring.
This is due to dryness of vaginal skin and can cause vaginal discharge and irritation, such as dryness, itching, and burning. Atrophic vaginitis is treated with oestrogen cream or tablet. A water- soluble lubricant also may be helpful during intercourse.
Speak to our consultant