How to cure Vaginal irritation?

How to cure Vaginal irritation?

Vaginal irritation is characterized by discomfort in the vagina such as itching, burning, pain and unusual discharge. Most common causes of irritation are infections triggered by hormone levels and chemical reaction to products. Vaginitis is the medical term used for irritation in vagina; vulvovaginitis is the term used when infection affects both the vulva(the outer part of the female reproductive system) and vagina. Every female experiences Vaginitis in their lifetime, the treatment ranges from proper choice of food to antibiotics. 

Causes and treatment of Vaginitis 

  1. Bacterial Vaginosis - BV is the most common cause of Vaginitis. BV occurs due to imbalance in good and bad bacteria in vagina. Symptoms are itching, burning sensation during urination, fishy smell and thin discharge.  According to WHO, new sex partner, douching and usage of scented products increases the risk of BV. Antibiotics and probiotics are most commonly prescribed medication by the doctors. 

  1. Yeast Infections - Yeast infection or candidiasis occurs due to overgrowth of yeast in vagina. Candida Albicans is the microorganism responsible for yeast infection. Symptoms are thick odorless discharge, Itchy Vulva, difficulty or pain during urination and sex. These symptoms can be mild or severe depending on the individual. Usually doctors prescribe antifungal drugs, these drugs are available even without prescription. Clotrimazole and Miconazole are the active chemicals, these drugs are available as both pills and cream. The pills can be taken orally or can be inserted in the vagina. Boric acid suppositories can be effective for repetitive yeast infections. Also there are some home remedies which have adverse effects; inserting garlic or yogurt into vagina, applying tea tree oil, and orally consuming fermented food. It is important to consult a gyn ecologist before self administering any medication or home remedies. 

  1. Trichomoniasis - Trichomonas vaginalis is the parasite that causes this condition. Trichomoniasis is a Sexually Transmitted Infection. People usually mistake BV and Yeast infections for STI. In most cases symptoms aren’t visible; if there are, following are the common symptoms. Burning or itchy vulva and vagina, vaginal discharge, foul- smell with grey, green or yellow discharge, discomfort during sex and urination. Antibiotics(metronidazole or tinidazole) are most commonly prescribed for STI. It is also advised to stop having sex during the treatment. There are more than 20 types of STIs, some of the STIs do not cause any symptoms but others can be diagnosed through physical examinations. 

  1. Non infectious causes to Vaginitis - Scented products, Bubble baths, douching, sex toys, tight clothes, latex condoms can also irritate the vulva and vagina. Treatment for irritation is based on the cause, identify and stop using the products that’s causing irritation. Avoid scratching, rubbing and repeatedly touching the area. Prefer loose clothes, apply gel or powder in the area and coolants to keep the area cool. Try cleaning with lukewarm water and mild soap once or twice in a day, and change sanitary pads/tampons frequently. 

  1. Atrophic Vaginitis - Atrophic Vaginitis is a non infectious Vaginitis caused due to fluctuations in estrogen produced by body during Menopause. Tissues in vagina become more fragile. One can experience burning, itching, vaginal dryness, foul smelling discharge, irritation and pain during sex. It is suggested to wear cotton underwear, remove wet clothes/swimsuits as soon as possible, avoid using feminine hygiene products, or lubricants during sex. Doctors usually prescribe low dose estrogen in the form of intravaginal cream. 

Foods that help cure Vaginal irritation

  1. Prebiotics - Onions and Garlic, Oats, Banana, Soybeans, Whole Wheat Products

  2. Probiotics - Yogurt, Pickles, Kimchi, Kefir 

  3. Cranberry juice for UTIs 

  4. Sweet potato for BV

  5. Antioxidants fruits- Berries, Apple, Pomegranate 

  6. Avocado 

  7. Leafy greens for vaginal dryness 

Along with the medication and food few changes in lifestyle and healthy practices for vaginal health. Vulva is a self healing organ because of the good bacteria present to fight bad bacteria and to balance pH levels. Avoid chemical intimate hygiene products, unprotected sex, scented lubricants during sex. Always consult your gynecologists' before self administering any product. Never overlook foul smell and unusual discharge.

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