Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina and vulva. It is commonly caused by infections or by irritation or allergies. There may be pain, redness, irritation and rash or discharge from the vagina. The main feature of these three conditions is their discharge. Each one has a typical dicharge pattern. The three main infections that cause this problem are gardnerella, trichomoniasis and candida(thrush).
Patients with vulvo-vaginitis are usually well, that is they are usually not suffering any other health problems. Thus, a patient who is unwell and has a vaginal discharge may have vulvo-vaginitis, but they may also be suffering from other more serious health problems.
The following is a brief guide to maintaining vaginal health and for preventing a vaginal infections:
- Use mild soaps or soap alternatives in cleaning the genital area - harsh soaps may cause damage to the skin and increase the risk of infection.
- Do not use douches or antiseptics and/or deodorants.
- Do not use talcum powder in the vulval region.
- Wear loose pants and trousers and try to avoid pantyhose - especially if you are prone to thrush.
- If the infections tend to coincide with your period, try using pads instead of tampons.
- Use a water based lubricant during sex - especially with condoms.
- Always wipe and wash your bottom from the front back - this prevents the introduction of bacteria to the vagina.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle!
Maintaining good hygiene and being sensible, are usually good habits to get into.
If you have concerns about your ability to maintain good vaginal health, consult your doctor or nurse.