Inflammation of the vagina, vaginitis or colpitis is one of the most common genital diseases in women, along with vaginal fungus . The causes are mostly bacteria and pathogens that can be transmitted through often changing sexual partners. Poor hygiene can also be the cause of vaginal inflammation. A typical sign is an increased formation of vaginal discharge.
What is vaginitis?
Vaginal inflammation, also known as vaginitis or vaginitis in medical jargon, is a widespread disease in women. Vaginal infections are among the most common diseases in women; almost every woman is affected by one at least once in her life. See deluxesurveillance for Hyde Syndrome Guide.
The term vaginal inflammation includes all inflammatory diseases of this female genital organ. The causes can be very diverse; Incidentally, women after the menopause are particularly susceptible. The term vaginitis is derived from Latin; Vagina is the Latin term for the female vagina.
Normally, a vaginal infection lasts no longer than two weeks. However, if this is not treated properly, it can become chronic in the worst case.
The main pathogens of vaginal inflammation (vaginitis) are bacteria and fungi. Vaginal inflammation is one of the sexually transmitted diseases that can often be transmitted during sexual intercourse.
However, a lack of personal hygiene can also cause vaginitis quickly. Basically, the protective mechanism of the female vagina is disturbed in this disease. The normal environment in the vagina has a pH of four; in the case of a vaginal inflammation, this value is changed. Unwelcome pathogens can enter the vagina unhindered, especially if you have frequently changing sexual partners.
But taking antibiotics can also have a negative impact on the natural environment in the vagina. Furthermore, mechanical influences for the development of this disease come into question. Tampons can be the cause here as well as the use of a diaphragm. Hypothermia of the vagina can lead to changes in the blood and oxygen levels in this area; this can also cause vaginitis.
Women who have diabetes are also more prone to vaginal inflammation.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
Women affected by vaginitis usually feel burning pain that occurs independently of mechanical friction. If the vaginitis is based on a fungal infection, there is also painful itching in the intimate area. If genital herpes is the cause, blisters and other skin changes form in the area of the vagina.
What the various forms have in common is that the symptoms mainly occur during urination and during sexual intercourse. Bleeding can also occur outside of the period and is usually more intense than usual. Typically, the discharge is also changed, which depending on the cause can be watery, viscous, bloody or slimy and takes on an unusual smell.
When infected with the fungus Candida albicans, the discharge is whitish-yellow and odorless. Bacterial vaginosis causes a thin discharge with an unpleasant, slightly acidic smell. The discharge is yellowish-green if the vaginitis is caused by a mixed infection with different bacteria.
The symptoms of a vaginal infection appear over the course of a few days after infection. If the disease is treated quickly, the signs of the disease will subside quickly. Untreated vaginitis severely limits quality of life and well-being, and chronic symptoms can also occur.
Course of the disease
One of the most common symptoms of vaginal inflammation is increased discharge. This varies from woman to woman and can be watery, purulent, crumbly or even bloody – but it is usually foul smelling. The typical fishy smell indicates a bacterial imbalance in the vagina.
Some women have other symptoms along with the discharge. For example, burning pain or itching in the vagina is not uncommon. The external sex organs such as the labia can also be affected; in this case, these organs also burn and itch.
Basically, a vaginal inflammation heals quickly with the appropriate therapy on its own. However, complications can arise if the inflammation spreads to the lining of the uterus – in this case, there can be an unpleasant inflammation of the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes.
When should you go to the doctor?
In many cases, the first symptoms of vaginal inflammation, such as slight itching in the intimate area and unpleasant-smelling discharge, can be alleviated with simple home remedies: Sitz baths with diluted apple cider vinegar and wearing a tampon dipped in yoghurt for an hour or so have proven to be particularly effective. Care should be taken to wear loose, air-permeable clothing in the intimate area; clear water is better for intimate hygiene than cleaning products containing soap. If the symptoms do not improve within a few days with these measures or if they even get worse, a visit to the gynecologist is recommended to find out whether the vaginitis is caused by bacteria, fungi or other pathogens such as trichomonads.
Burning in the vagina and pain during sexual intercourse should also be checked out by a doctor if there is no increased discharge. On the other hand, white-crumbly, yellowish or thin vaginal discharge can also occur without itching or other disturbances of well-being. Since untreated vaginitis can spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes, a medical examination is still advisable. In addition, there is a risk that unprotected sexual intercourse can transmit the pathogens to the partner and, without treatment, there will be an ongoing “ping-pong effect”.
At the first sign of vaginal inflammation, such as burning, itching, redness in the genital area or unusual discharge, pregnant women should consult their gynecologist immediately to rule out any risk to the unborn child.
Treatment & Therapy
The treatment of a vaginal infection depends on the underlying cause. Since the disease can be transmitted sexually, it is advisable to treat your partner at the same time.
A vaginal inflammation can usually be diagnosed quite clearly by the gynecologist. The mucous membrane is often affected by blisters and is also swollen or reddened. Swabs from this mucous membrane now indicate the cause or the causative agent of the disease. In the laboratory, this smear is examined under the microscope.
Antifungals and antibiotics are the most commonly prescribed medications for vaginal infections. But also special vaginal suppositories or creams usually help quite quickly against the symptoms of vaginal inflammation. By the way, an insider tip that every woman can use at home is a tampon soaked in yoghurt. This is inserted into the vagina and helps to restore the natural environment in this area.
In principle, however, the use of a tampon should be avoided during a vaginal infection. Vaginal douches should also not be used during this time; you should also refrain from sexual intercourse.
In general, vaginal inflammation is easy to treat yourself in everyday life. However, this should be preceded by a confirmed diagnosis by a gynaecologist. Women who suffer from vaginitis are more likely to have certain hygiene measures.
A vaginal infection is caused by bacteria, the further spread of which must be prevented. Avoid using harsh cleaning products, which can further irritate the sensitive area and make the problem worse. Gentle and consistent cleaning is important. Underwear should be changed frequently.
The recommended material is cotton, which can be washed at high temperatures after wearing. In vaginitis, there is a bacterial imbalance in the vagina. The balance can be restored naturally with lactic acid bacteria. Special suppositories that are inserted into the vagina help with this.
Alternatively, tampons soaked in natural yoghurt can also be used, which also make the itching that occurs with vaginitis more bearable thanks to the cooling effect. During the illness, the patient should avoid vaginal douching and, if possible, sexual intercourse. A cramped and damp environment also promotes the spread of bacteria. Therefore, tight-fitting clothing made of synthetic fibers that increase natural sweating should be avoided during the acute phase.
You can do that yourself
Vaginal inflammation is usually easily accessible to self-help in everyday life. Nevertheless, the gynecologist should secure the diagnosis in advance as part of a thorough examination. This does not apply to cases in which the patient’s vaginal inflammation is a known phenomenon.
Vaginitis is caused by bacteria that must be prevented from spreading further. This requires special hygiene. This does not mean using harsh cleaning products, which can further irritate the tissue and make the problem worse. Mild but consistent cleaning is important. This also includes underwear, which should be changed frequently. This should be made of cotton and washed at high temperatures after use.
Vaginitis is caused by a bacterial imbalance in the vagina. Lactic acid bacteria are able to restore this balance naturally. These can be inserted into the vagina with special suppositories. A tampon soaked with pure natural yoghurt is a natural alternative and can also relieve the itching that often occurs with vaginitis thanks to its cooling effect.
Confinement and humidity are factors that favor the proliferation of bacteria. Pants should not be too tight during the illness. Synthetic fiber promotes sweating and is not a good material for the underwear worn in the case of vaginal inflammation.