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Vaginitis

Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina. It is often caused by infections, some of which are associated with serious diseases. The most common vaginal infections are bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniais, and vaginal yeast infection.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

About Vaginitis

Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina. It is often caused by infections, some of which are associated with serious diseases. The most common vaginal infections are

Some vaginal infections are transmitted through sexual contact, but others, such as yeast infections, probably are not.

Other causes of vaginitis

Although most vaginal infections in women are due to bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, or yeast, there may be other causes as well. These causes include other sexually transmitted diseases, allergic reactions, and irritations.

Allergic symptoms can be caused by spermicides, vaginal hygiene products, detergents, and fabric softeners. Inflammation of the cervix (opening to the womb) from these products often is associated with abnormal vaginal discharge, but healthcare providers can tell them apart from true vaginal infections by doing lab tests. NIH - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Nitroimidazole drugs are effective in the treatment of trichomoniasis in women.

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection that affects about 120 million women worldwide every year. This review examines the effectiveness of various treatments and found that oral nitroimidazole drugs are effective in treating trichomoniasis in women.

Interventions for trichomoniasis in pregnancy

Metronidazole is effective against a trichomoniasis infection during pregnancy, but may increase the risk of preterm and low birthweight babies.

Using creams, pessaries or a vaginal ring to apply oestrogen vaginally relieves the symptoms of vaginal atrophy, although some creams may cause adverse effects.

Vaginal atrophy is a common condition in women after menopause. It causes vaginal dryness and itching and can make intercourse painful. The female hormone oestrogen is a treatment option for vaginal atrophy, but can cause adverse effects such as bleeding and breast tenderness. Women can take oestrogen through tablets or injections. Alternatively, they can apply the hormone locally using creams, pessaries (tablets placed in the vagina) or a hormone‐releasing ring placed in the vagina. The review found that all methods of delivering oestrogen relieved the symptoms. However, some creams may cause adverse effects and women preferred vaginal rings.

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Summaries for consumers

Nitroimidazole drugs are effective in the treatment of trichomoniasis in women.

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection that affects about 120 million women worldwide every year. This review examines the effectiveness of various treatments and found that oral nitroimidazole drugs are effective in treating trichomoniasis in women.

Interventions for trichomoniasis in pregnancy

Metronidazole is effective against a trichomoniasis infection during pregnancy, but may increase the risk of preterm and low birthweight babies.

Using creams, pessaries or a vaginal ring to apply oestrogen vaginally relieves the symptoms of vaginal atrophy, although some creams may cause adverse effects.

Vaginal atrophy is a common condition in women after menopause. It causes vaginal dryness and itching and can make intercourse painful. The female hormone oestrogen is a treatment option for vaginal atrophy, but can cause adverse effects such as bleeding and breast tenderness. Women can take oestrogen through tablets or injections. Alternatively, they can apply the hormone locally using creams, pessaries (tablets placed in the vagina) or a hormone‐releasing ring placed in the vagina. The review found that all methods of delivering oestrogen relieved the symptoms. However, some creams may cause adverse effects and women preferred vaginal rings.

See all (10)

More about Vaginitis

Photo of a young adult woman

Also called: Vulvovaginitis

See Also: Bacterial Vaginosis, Vaginal Yeast Infection, Trichomoniasis

Other terms to know:
Bacterial Infections, Fungal Infections

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