Vulvovaginitis is a simultaneous inflammation of the vulva and vagina that can be caused by an infection by viruses, fungi or bacteria. However, it can also happen due to hormonal changes or due to allergies to chemicals present in some bath foams and creams, for example.
Although vulvovaginitis can appear in all women and at any age, it is more frequent in women who have already started sexual activity, since intimate contact facilitates contact with bacteria and, in some cases, the imbalance of the vaginal flora, being It is important to consult the gynecologist when signs and symptoms suggestive of vulvovaginitis appear, such as irritation and redness of the intimate region, discharge with a strong smell and burning when urinating.
The symptoms of vulvovaginitis appear as inflammation of the vulva and vagina occurs, which can be quite uncomfortable, the main ones being:
- Irritation and redness of the intimate region;
- Constant itching;
- Swelling of the intimate region;
- Strong-smelling discharge;
- Slight bleeding in the panties;
- Discomfort or burning when urinating.
In the presence of signs and symptoms indicative of vulvovaginitis, it is important that the gynecologist be consulted so that the diagnosis can be made and the most appropriate treatment initiated.
Normally, the diagnosis of vulvovaginitis is made by assessing the signs and symptoms presented by the woman, however the doctor can recommend the performance of the vaginal secretion analysis so that it can be verified if the vulvovaginitis is caused by any infectious agent.
Vulvovaginitis can happen as a consequence of several situations, the main ones being:
- Excess of fungi, as candidiasis;
- Infection by viruses or bacteria;
- Lack of hygiene or wearing very tight underwear;
- Infection by parasites, like the Trichomonas vaginalis;
- Hormonal changes, which can cause the unbalance of the vaginal flora and favor inflammation.
In addition, some women may also develop vulvovaginitis due to hypersensitivity to some chemicals such as parabens or sodium sulfate that are present in soaps, laundry detergents or creams. In these cases, the symptoms appear shortly after using the product and improve when the area is washed with warm water and a suitable intimate soap.
How the treatment is done
The treatment varies according to the cause of the vulvovaginitis and should be done under the guidance of the gynecologist, being indicated that in the case of infection by bacteria, antibiotics should be used, while in the case of excess fungi, anti-fungals should be used, for example.
It is also possible to supplement treatment at home to relieve symptoms and speed up the treatment recommended by the doctor. A good tip is to make sitz baths with 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or coarse salt, as they help to eliminate microorganisms present and soothe irritation.
Preference should also be given to the use of cotton underwear, skirts and dresses that help to ventilate the genital region, reducing the risk of worsening the infection.