Vaginitis affects up to one-third of all women at some point during their reproductive years. You may have one bout with vaginitis or develop recurring infections and struggle with uncomfortable symptoms. Noreen Kamal-Mostafavi, MD, in Staten Island, New York, has the expertise to quickly diagnose the cause of your vaginitis, alleviate your discomfort, and eliminate the problem. If you need help with a vaginal infection, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
What causes vaginitis?
Vaginitis, or vulvovaginitis, occurs when you develop inflammation in your vagina due to an infection. Allergies or sensitivities to products like vaginal sprays, spermicides, and soap can cause vaginitis. However, it’s most often caused by:
You develop vaginitis when the good bacteria that normally live in your vagina become outnumbered by bad bacteria. Bacterial vaginosis is often caused by douching, taking antibiotics, an intrauterine device, and having multiple sex partners.
Vaginal yeast infections are usually caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. Yeast normally lives in your vagina, where they’re kept under control by good bacteria. When the balance is disrupted by antibiotics, pregnancy, uncontrolled diabetes, or steroid medications, the yeast grows too rapidly, causing an infection.
Trichomoniasis is a parasite that’s transmitted during sexual intercourse. While women develop symptoms when they’re infected with trichomoniasis, men rarely have any symptoms.
What causes atrophic vaginitis?
Atrophic vaginitis, also called vaginal atrophy, develops when estrogen levels decline. Menopause is the primary cause of atrophic vaginitis. However, it can develop due to other conditions such as premature ovarian failure, thyroid disorders, excessive exercise, and being severely underweight.
When you have low estrogen levels, the tissues lining your vagina become dry, thin, and less elastic. These changes lead to problems such as vaginal inflammation, painful intercourse, burning during urination, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and urinary incontinence.
What symptoms develop if I have vaginitis?
The three primary types of vaginitis cause vaginal discharge, vaginal and genital itching, and pain or burning during intercourse or urination. Bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis tend to cause a thin, gray-green discharge with a foul odor, while the discharge during a yeast infection is thick, white, and doesn’t have an odor.
How is vaginitis treated?
If you have a yeast infection, you’ll need treatment with an antifungal cream or tablet. Bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis are treated with antibiotics. Only women need to be treated for bacterial vaginosis, while men should also receive treatment if their female partner is diagnosed with trichomoniasis.
Atrophic vaginitis may be treated with hormone replacement therapy to restore normal estrogen levels. Dr. Kamal-Mostafavi also offers gentle laser therapy with the MonaLisa Touch® by Cynosure®, which research suggests strengthens and heals vaginal tissues by stimulating the production of collagen, elastin, and new blood vessels.
If you develop a vaginal discharge, call Dr. Kamal-Mostafavi or schedule an appointment online.