September 23, 2010 Kim Goldman

Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina and the vulva. It occurs when the normal balance within the vagina is upset, allowing an excess of organisms to produce an excess of waste.

There are three types of vaginitis:
gardnerella, monilia, and trichomoniasis.

How is it spread?

Only garnerella and monilia are found in the vagina of healthy women. Mothers can pass monilia and trichomoniasis to their babies at birth.A male having unprotected sex with a female that has vaginitis can become infected.

What are the symptoms?

Each type of vaginitis has specific symptoms.

Garnerella is a bacteria and is caused when the bacterial balance that normally exists in a vagina is upset.

The symptoms include

  • Burning feeling when urinating
  • Itching and swelling of the vulva
  • Gray, paste-like discharge
  • Foul smelling vaginal odor

Monilia is a fungus which is normally present in small, harmless quantities in the mouth, digestive tract and vagina. When the balance of the vagina is upset or additional monilia organisms are introduced into the vagina, the fungus grows very quickly.

The symptoms of monilia are

  • A cheese-like vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal itching and burning

Trichomoniasis is caused by a protozoal organism that is usually passed from one person to another during sex.

The symptoms are

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Itching
  • Burning feeling when urinating

How is it diagnosed?

Vaginitis is diagnosed by lab tests and physical examination.

What is the treatment?

Once vaginitis has been diagnosed, a prescription for medicine will be given to control the infecting organism.

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