What’s the difference between Vaginitis and Vaginosis?

What’s the difference between Vaginitis and Vaginosis?

What is Vaginitis and what causes it?

Vaginitis is a common condition that causes vaginal irritation. This can lead to other types of vaginitis, including bacterial vaginosis.

Causes:

  • Using a douche
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Spermicides
  • Hormone levels change from menopause, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

What is Vaginosis and what causes it?

Vaginosis is when the vagina is infected. This is when normal cells are covered with bacteria.

Causes:

  • More than one sexual partner
  • Having a new sexual partner
  • Using a douche

Vaginitis Symptoms

Symptoms caused by vaginitis may include:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal irritation, itching and/or odor

Vaginosis Symptoms

Sometimes there are no symptoms for bacterial vaginosis. When symptoms are present, they may include the following:

  • White or dull grey discharge  
  • Sometimes itching occurs
  • Strong fishy odor
  • Burning while urinating

How is Vaginitis diagnosed?

Your OB/GYN will obtain a sample from the vaginal discharge to test for vaginitis using a microscope. 

How is Vaginosis diagnosed?

A sample of vaginal secretions will be obtained and examined under a microscope. They look for cells that are covered with bacterial. This is a sign that bacterial vaginosis is present.

Vaginitis Treatment

  • Pill taken orally
  • Gel or cream to apply to the vagina

Vaginosis Treatment

  • Prescription gel or cream
  • Oral prescription medication

FAQs

Vaginitis FAQs

How common is vaginitis?
Quite common. Women will typically get one type of vaginitis at least once in their life.

What types of vaginitis are there?
1. Yeast infections caused by the fungus known as candida
2. Bacterial vaginosis
3. Trichomoniasis vaginitis
4. Chlamydia vaginitis
5. Viral vaginitis
6. Non-infectious vaginitis

How do I avoid it?
1. Do not use douches
2. When wiping, wipe from front to back.
3. Washing vagina and surrounding areas every day using mild soap. Be sure to rinse thoroughly.
4. Use cotton-lined of 100% cotton underwear.
5. Wear loose pants and avoid panty hoses in warmer weather.

Can it be cured?
Treatment is typically easy for women and is not considered dangerous in most cases. It is suggested to speak with your OB/GYN for your specific diagnosis and treatment.

Vaginosis FAQs

How common is vaginosis?
Very common during the ages of 15-45. 

How is it spread?
It is still unclear how exactly some women get bacterial vaginosis but it is more common in sexually active women than women who are not. Since it’s caused by an imbalance of good and bad bacteria, having numerous sexual partners can disrupt the balance.

How do I avoid it?
These steps may help avoid getting BV but it is still not certain.
1. Practice celibacy
2. Not using a douche
3. Limiting sexual partners

If I’m pregnant, does it affect the fetus?
Receiving treatment for pregnant women is of utmost importance. BV is more likely to cause premature birth or those with low birth weight.

Can it be cured?
Sometimes, it goes away on it’s own but if symptoms are present then we suggest you be checked and treated for BV.

What if I don’t get it treated?
If left untreated, BV can cause serious risks including:
1. Increased chance of contracting HIV if you are sexually active with someone infected.
2. Increasing your chance of transmitting HIV to your partner if you are infected.
3. Premature birth if you are pregnant.
4. Higher chance of getting other STDs, causing possible infertility issues.

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