blog post for article about vulvovaginitis

What is Vulvovaginitis?

Normal Vaginal Environment

Like everything else in our body, balance is key! The vaginal environment is kept in balance by bacteria (good ones), glycogen, estrogen, pH and metabolic by-products.

As you can see – there a several contributing factors, and when dysfunction arises, we need to consider all of them.

What is Vulvovaginitis?

This term actually describes a bunch of inflammatory lower genital tract disorders. These issues usually arise secondary to infection, irritation, allergy or systemic disease.

It presents with signs like: abnormal vaginal discharge, odor, irritation, itching or burning.

Types of Vulvovaginitis?

There two broad categories.

  1. Infectious
  2. Non-infectious

Infectious Vulvovaginitis

There are numerous types of infections, the most common causes are [1]:

  1. Bacterial Vaginosis (40-50% of cases)
  2. Vulvovaginal candidiasis (20-25% of cases)
  3. Trichomoniasis (15-20%)

Non-infectious Vulvovaginitis

Non-infectious causative factors are usually less frequent, and therefore often overlooked as a causative factor, especially for chronic vulvovaginitis.

The common non-infectious causes of vulvovaginitis are:

  1. Atrophic
  2. Irritant
  3. Allergic
  4. Inflammatory vaginitis

Collectively these account for 5-10% of vaginitis cases  [1]. Since they’re less common, doctors often investigate the infectious causes first, and oftentimes these four categories are forgotten about.

What Can Cause Vulvovaginitis?

There are a lot of general causative factors, which increase the susceptibility to vulvovaginal infection and vulvovaginal candidiasis.

  • Antibiotics
  • oral contraceptives; use of diaphragms, spermicide, IUDs
  • frequent vaginal intercourse
  • receptive oral sex
  • stress
  • public hot tubs
  • hormones (e.g., imbalanced endogenous hormones, hormone replacement therapy)
  • uncontrolled diabetes mellitus
  • immunosuppression (HIV/AIDS, steroids)
  • pregnancy
  • Microbial factors
    • Decline in lactobacillus numbers
    • Rise in pH
    • Lack of hydrogen peroxide producing lactobacillus strains

Why Seeing a Naturopath Could be Helpful

It takes time to get the full medical history and assess for all of these contributing factors. Conventional treatment usually revolves around antibiotics and anti-fungal creams to treat infection, plus certain anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs to help with pain.

We can treat these conditions with a wide range of effective, natural therapies. Book in for a consult today!

References

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