Vaginitis Overview (cont.)

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How is vaginitis diagnosed?

The symptoms and signs of vaginitis strongly suggest the diagnosis. At the time of diagnosis, a pelvic examination is typically performed that may include removal of a sample of vaginal discharge. The sample may be viewed under the microscope to look for Trichomonas organisms, or it may be sent to a laboratory for culture or other specialized tests to identify infectious organisms.

What is the treatment for vaginitis?

The treatment for vaginitis depends upon its cause. Infectious vaginitis is treated with antibiotic medications. Bacterial vaginitis is treated either with oral antibiotics, intra-vaginal antibiotic creams, or injections (shots) of antibiotics. Treatment guidelines are always updated to reflect the patterns of resistance to antibiotics of circulating bacterial strains.

Medications to treat vaginitis

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Antibiotics that may be used in the management of bacterial vaginitis include ceftriaxone (Rocephin), erythromycin, metronidazole (Flagyl), clindamycin (Cleocin), cefixime (Suprax), doxycycline (Doryx), and azithromycin (Zithramax).

Antifungal medications are used to treat yeast infections, and antifungal preparations are also available over-the-counter for yeast vaginitis. Examples of antifungal medications include terconazole (Terazol), clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin), miconazole (Monistat), butoconazole (Gynazole), and Nystatin.

Metronidazole (Flagyl) is the drug of choice for treating Trichomonas infections.

Vaginitis due to infections cannot be cured by home remedies. However, many women find that home care strategies can help control unpleasant symptoms. These include allowing air to circulate around the vagina when possible by wearing loose, cotton undergarments and clothing. Removing undergarments at night may also be helpful.

Vaginitis due to thinning and irritation of the vaginal wall as a result of lowered estrogen levels at menopause can be treated with hormonal therapy, either in topic (applied directly to the vagina) or oral form. Non-hormonal vaginal lubricant products are also available.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/27/2014

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