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.
There are numerous types of infections, the most common causes are :
- Bacterial Vaginosis (40-50% of cases)
- Vulvovaginal candidiasis (20-25% of cases)
- Trichomoniasis (15-20%)
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:
- Inflammatory vaginitis
Collectively these account for 5-10% of vaginitis cases . 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.
- oral contraceptives; use of diaphragms, spermicide, IUDs
- frequent vaginal intercourse
- receptive oral sex
- public hot tubs
- hormones (e.g., imbalanced endogenous hormones, hormone replacement therapy)
- uncontrolled diabetes mellitus
- immunosuppression (HIV/AIDS, steroids)
- 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!