VAGINITIS (INFLAMMATION OF THE VAGINA) PART 3

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In the last few editions we have been talking about Vaginitis, explaining the types, causes, signs and symptoms, complications and prevention. This week, we will conclude with diagnosis and treatment.

DIAGNOSIS OF VAGINITIS

The most appropriate individual to discuss the symptoms and probable causes of Vaginitis is the Clinician. The symptoms noticed will determine if one has vaginitis or not. Tests are to  be perform to determine the type and  cause of vaginitis as it is possible to have one or more types co-occurring.

There are various precipitating factors that can induce vaginitis, each of which must be treated separately. The clinician will first diagnose before   prescribing the most appropriate treatment. This usually involves the following procedures:

  • Physical Examination: A physical examination can assist in determining the site of involvement (vulva, vagina or cervix). It is important to examine the external genitalia for inflammation, lesions, masses, atrophic tissue, redness, or soreness around the vagina and vulva. The lymph nodes are also checked for any enlargement. The pelvic region is checked for the presence of any abnormality. The physician s also examines the patient for uterine or tubo-ovarian abscess and use a speculum to look for erythema (rednedss), edema(swelling), or lesions.
  • pH test: The pH of the vaginal fluid is assessed to see if an infection is present. The pH level can be determined by placing litmus paper in the pooled vaginal secretions or against the lateral vaginal wall. The color is then compared to the colors and corresponding pH values on a standard chart. A normal vaginal pH is between 3.8 and 4.2. A pH greater than 4.5 is found in 80 to 90 percent of patients with bacterial vaginosis and frequently in patients with trichomoniasis.The pH level is also high in those with atrophic vaginitis.
  • Vaginal discharge evaluation: Excess bacteria or yeast, as well as the presence of STI-causing organisms like Trichomonas, can be detected by taking a sample of vaginal discharge and analyzing it.
  • Vaginal culture: Samples of vaginal fluid are obtained for culture, allowing for the discovery of pathogenic organisms. Vaginal culture is also known as a wet mount test or a vaginal smear test.
  • Biopsy: A biopsy of the affected area may be done if the other tests indicate that there is no infection.

TREATMENT OF VAGINITIS

The physician’s treatment strategy will be determined by the origin of the illness, medical history and products you may be consuming. However it may involve the following:

  • The wait-and-see strategy: In which the physician may urge you to wait out the infection, particularly if it is caused by tight clothes, douching, or other vaginal allergic reactions. The physician will recommend lifestyle adjustments as well as home remedies to help relieve these symptoms.
  • Bacterial vaginosis requires the use of antibiotics and cream, all of which require a prescription from the physician, during treatment, make sure to use a condom during sex or not have sex at all.
  • Yeast infections are typically treated with antifungal cream or drug that is injected into the vaginal canal.
  • Trichomoniasis is treatable with a single dosage of antibiotics, however, both partners should be treated to prevent reinfection.
  • For vaginal atrophy, the clinician may prescribe estrogen creams, pills, or rings. The treatment will be based on the risk factors and any potential issues that may arise as a result of estrogen use.
  • You must determine which product is causing your vaginitis if it is caused by an allergy or sensitivity to it. It might be a new product you have just started using. You should quit using the product once you have figured it out.

To limit the chance of recurrence, effective vaginitis treatment may include screening and treating your sexual partner(s).To treat the illness in adolescents, adequate cleanliness, antibacterial medicine, and steroids may be administered. Infections in pre-pubescent girls, on the other hand, resolve on their own throughout puberty as a result of hormonal changes and the regulation of vaginal pH by vaginal discharge.

CONCLUSION

Vaginitis is a common female condition for which therapy is readily available. Vaginitis, like most infections and conditions, has distinct symptoms that can be quite unpleasant. As a result, it is critical to pay attention to your body, recognize the symptoms, and get medical help as soon as possible to begin treatment. The ultimate goal of vaginitis prevention is to avoid it, but this requires careful attention to certain details, such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle and making wise sexual decisions. Also, keep in mind that certain clothing and beauty products may include irritating substances that disrupt the vaginal hormonal balance. As a result, paying attention to these aspects may aid in the prevention of this condition. Childbearing women, on the other hand, should take extra precautions because they are more prone to vaginitis-related issues, which can endanger their pregnancy. It is advisable to visit the physician if the symptoms persist despite receiving the proper care and treatment.