The most common vaginitis symptoms include itching, vaginal discharge, vaginal odor, and irritation. In addition, vaginitis, or inflammation of the vagina and surrounding tissues, can be caused by a form of yeast called candidiasis, atrophic vaginitis, and bacterial infections. A common complaint of menopausal women includes atrophic vaginitis. This occurs when estrogen levels decline and the vaginal tissues become dry and thin, and sometimes bleed.
Vaginitis symptoms can also produce burning upon urination and spotting in between periods. Treatment for vaginal infections depend on their cause. For vaginitis symptoms related to yeast infections, creams and ointments specific to eliminating yeast are recommended. Fungal vaginal infections respond well to oral anti-fungals or vaginally inserted anti-fungal creams or suppositories.
When experiencing vaginitis symptoms, women should avoid tight clothing, take warm baths, and avoid bubble baths and harsh soaps. In addition, eating yogurt with active, live cultures can improve vaginitis symptoms as it can restore good bacteria in the vagina. Oral antibiotics are sometimes prescribed for vaginal infections with good results. Sometimes, however, taking antibiotics can actually cause a yeast infection, so discussing this possibility with the physician is important.
Some women are self-conscious about odor-causing vaginitis symptoms. In addition, they sometimes will use commercial douches in an effort to alleviate the odor and discourage discharge. Although douches can offer temporary resolution of symptoms, in the long run they can actually worsen symptoms. Women are advised to avoid commercial as well as homemade douche preparations unless prescribed by the health care provider.
Staying healthy and keeping the immune system in optimal condition can help avoid a vaginal infection and vaginitis symptoms. Eating healthy, talking a daily walk, and avoiding too much stress are ways to keep the immune system healthy, as is getting the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, vitamin D, and B vitamins. Although vitamins are needed to prevent deficiency, mega doses can be harmful and even promote infection and lowered immunity.
When symptoms of vaginitis or vaginal infection worsen or fail to resolve, the physician should be called. Additional treatment might be needed as might further medical testing. Sometimes frequent vaginal infections can be related to diabetes. When this is suspected, the doctor can order blood tests to determine levels of blood glucose. In addition, urine tests might be ordered to see if there is glucose in the urine. Most cases of vaginitis and vaginal infection are not related to diabetes or other medical conditions.