GYN Doctor serving patients in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk & Portsmouth
A Gynecology Specialists note: Many women confuse vaginitis with a yeast infection and increase their problems by self-treating the wrong problem. The following information from The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists explains the different between the two, and how each should be handled. If you have any questions, please call our GYN Clinic at (757) 312-8221.
What is vaginitis?
Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina. As many as one third of women in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and throughout the world will have symptoms of vaginitis sometime during their lives. Vaginitis affects women of all ages but is most common during the reproductive years.
What can cause vaginitis?
A change in the balance of the yeast and bacteria that normally live in the vagina can result in vaginitis. This causes the lining of the vagina to become inflamed. Factors that can change the normal balance of the vagina include the following:
• Use of antibiotics
• Changes in hormone levels due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, or menopause
• Sexual intercourse
How is vaginitis diagnosed?
To diagnose vaginitis, your Gyn doctor will take a sample of the discharge from your vagina and look at it under a microscope. Your Gyn doctor also may suggest other tests.
How is vaginitis treated?
Treatment will depend on the cause of the vaginitis. Treatment may be either with a pill or a cream or gel that is applied to the vagina.
What is a yeast infection?
Yeast infection also is known as candidiasis. It is one of the most common types of vaginal infection.
What causes yeast infections?
A yeast infection is caused by a fungus called Candida. It is found in small numbers in the normal vagina. However, when the balance of bacteria and yeast in the vagina is altered, the yeast may overgrow and cause symptoms.
What factors increase the risk of getting a yeast infection?
Use of some types of antibiotics increase your risk of a yeast infection. The antibiotics kill normal vaginal bacteria, which keep yeast in check. The yeast can then overgrow. A woman is more likely to get yeast infections if she is pregnant or has diabetes. Overgrowth of yeast also can occur if the body’s immune system, which protects the body from disease, is not working well.
What are the symptoms of a yeast infection?
The most common symptoms of a yeast infection are itching and burning of the area outside the vagina called the vulva. The vulva may be red and swollen. The vaginal discharge usually is white, lumpy, and has no odor. Some women with yeast infections notice an increase or change in discharge.
What treatments are available for vaginal yeast infection?
Yeast infections can be treated either by placing medication into the vagina or by taking a pill.
Should I use an over-the-counter medication to treat a yeast infection?
Over-the-counter treatments are safe and often effective in treating yeast infections. But many women think that they have a yeast infection when they actually have another problem. In these cases, a medication for a yeast infection will not work and may cause a delay in proper diagnosis and treatment of the actual problem.
Even if you have had a yeast infection before, it may be a good idea to call your Gyn doctor before using an over-the-counter medication to treat your symptoms. If this is the first time you have had vaginal symptoms, or if you have used an over-the-counter medication and your symptoms do not go away, you should see make an appointment with your Gyn clinic.
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Please contact our GYN Clinic at (757) 312-8221 or by clicking here if you have any questions.
About our GYN doctor
Our all-female practice covers a wide spectrum of gyn and health issues. Since 2004 each GYN doctor at Gynecology Specialists has been caring for women and teens with pelvic problems in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Portsmouth.