Diagnosis and Treatment of Vaginitis/Vaginosis
Vaginitis refers to itching or burning in the vagina, and is often combined with an unusual smell or discharge. Two common types of vaginitis are Candida (yeast) infections and Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), neither of which are sexually transmitted.
If you have any of the above symptoms, please call Women's Health to find the best time to see a provider. You may be seen for a "same day" appointment. The provider will typically perform a pelvic exam and take a small sample of vaginal secretions to look at under the microscope. Results are given at the visit. Treatment, which can include oral or vaginal medication, will be prescribed by Women's Health.
Changes in the normal vaginal environment, especially with sexual activity, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, douching, wet clothing, tight pants, changes in diet, illness, some medications, and exposure to perfumes and other chemicals, such as bubble bath, can result in vaginitis. The two common types of vaginitis include Candida (yeast) and Bacterial Vaginosis (BV).
It is likely that a speculum exam will be performed. A small amount of vaginal discharge will be evaluated. First the healthcare provider will assess the pH and consistency of the discharge. Use of a microscope will allow for the provider to look for yeast buds and hypae, which are characteristic of Candida infections. Bacterial infections can also be diagnosed by looking under the microscope. Specifically, the provider will look for normal vaginal epithelial cells that are obscured by bacteria.
Important: Latex condoms and diaphragms can be weakened when exposed to some creams used to treat candida infections.
If this is the first time you have ever experienced symptoms of a yeast infection, please see a healthcare provider at Women's Health before you diagnosis and treat yourself. Additionally, an oral medication (Diflucan/Fluconazole) may also be used to cure certain strains of Candida. Click here for more information...
Bacterial vaginosis is also treated relatively easily through either intravaginal creams or oral medications. Vaginal creams and gels (Cleocin Vaginal and MetroGel) are used for 5 nights. Oral medication (Flagyl/Metronidazole) can be used in place of the cream and are taken twice a day for 7 days. Treatment for bacterial vaginosis is only available from your healthcare provider. Click here for more information...
Important: Alcohol and products containing alcohol MUST be avoided when using medications to treat bacterial vaginosis
2. Avoiding perfumed and scented tampons/maxi-pads
3. Avoiding use of mini-pads on non-menstrual days
4. Not douching
5. Limiting bubble baths and use of perfumed shower gels
6. Limiting time spent in wet work-out clothing or swim suits
7. Wiping from front to back after using the bathroom
8. Wearing cotton crotch underwear