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Nonspecific Vaginitis

WHAT IS NONSPECIFIC VAGINITIS?

A suffix of 'itis' means inflammation of the part to which 'itis' is added. In this case it means inflammation or infection of the vagina. Non-specific vaginitis implies that any of several agents, including gardnerella, escherichia coli, mycoplasma, streptococci, staphylococci and viruses could have caused the infection. These infections are contagious and are transmitted to sexual partner(s). In addition to vagina, it can also affect urethra, bladder, and skin around the genitals.

SEX OR AGE MOST AFFECTED

Female adolescents and adults.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

Severity of the following symptoms varies between women and from time to time in the same woman:

RISK INCREASES WITH

  • Diabetes mellitus.
  • Menopause.
  • Illness that has lowered resistance.

HOW TO PREVENT

  • Keep the genital area clean. Use plain unscented soap.
  • Wear cotton panties. Avoid panties made from non-ventilating materials, such as nylon.
  • Don't sit around in wet clothing.
  • After urination or passing stools, cleanse by wiping or washing from front to back (vagina to anus).
  • Lose weight if, overweight.
  • Adhere strictly to treatment plan, if diabetic.

DIAGNOSTIC MEASURES

  • Observation of symptoms.
  • History and examination (including pelvic exam) by a doctor.
  • Laboratory studies, such as a Pap smear and culture of the vaginal discharge.

POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS

Secondary bacterial infection of the vagina.

PROBABLE OUTCOME

Usually curable in 2 weeks with treatment. Sexual partner must be treated simultaneously.

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Follow the first 4 instructions under How to Prevent.
  • If urinating causes burning:
    • Urinate through a tubular device, such as a toilet-paper roll or plastic cup with the end cut out.
    • Urinate while bathing.

MEDICATION

Your doctor may prescribe:

  • Antibiotics or antiparasitic drugs for both partners.
  • Soothing vaginal creams or lotions for non-specific forms of vaginitis.

To protect clothing from creams or suppositories, use a thin sanitary pad or panty liner. Store suppositories in the refrigerator. After treatment, you must ask your doctor for a prescription, so you can begin treatment quickly if the infection recurs. Follow the prescription directions carefully.

ACTIVITY

Avoid overexertion, heat and excessive sweating. Delay sexual relations until after treatment is complete.

DIET

No special diet.

CALL YOUR DOCTOR, IF

  • You have symptoms of vaginitis.
  • Symptoms persist longer than 1 week or worsen, despite treatment.
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding or swelling develops.
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