Vaginitis refers to irritation in the vagina or abnormal discharge caused due to infection. Sometimes it is caused by allergy or irritation or sexual activity. In most cases, vaginitis is caused by vaginal yeast infection, trichomoniasis vaginitis or bacterial vaginosis. Vaginitis is not a serious disease but can be distressing and uncomfortable. It must be seen if the person is also suffering from a sexually transmitted disease.
Women suffering from vaginitis notice abnormal or increased discharge that may have a foul smell. There is itching and irritation in the vagina. There is pain on urination and sexual intercourse. There might thick vaginal discharge. It is essential to discuss the problem with your health worker so that the right treatment can be adopted. Physical examination and test of vaginal fluid can help detect vaginitis. The vaginal pH is an indication of the presence of any infection. The type and cause of vaginal infection determines the nature of treatment. The medications used are anti-fungal medicines or oral antibiotics. Vaginal gels or creams may also be prescribed. Vaginal yeast infection must be treated with antifungal creams. You can reduce your chances of contracting vaginitis with some simple measures:
Vulvitis or vulvovaginitis is a condition where the vulval opening becomes inflamed. It can occur due to poor hygiene, UTI, allergy or vaginitis and mycotic infections. Symptoms of vulvitis include burning, itching, redness and swelling in the vulva and vaginal opening. Acute vulvitis is characterized by edema of the vulva and pruritis. There is acute pain and burning. On the other hand, chronic vulvitis has lesser symptoms. It can be causes by allergies, fungal or bacterial infection, low estrogen levels or genital warts. Cold compress can give relief from acute vulvitis. Cortisone ointments can reduce the itching. Avoid tight clothes and materials like nylon and polyester. Oral antihistamines can give relief. Corticosteroids are prescribed for inflammation and pruritus.
Vulvar vestibulitis is another similar condition that is characterized by urinary frequency, Dyspareunia and rawness and burning. Women suffer vestibular redness and itching. Severe pain is felt during exercising and intercourse. On the other hand, vaginismus is painful sexual intercourse. This mostly happens due to inadequate sexual arousal. Usually women suffering vaginismus are offered sexual therapy and suggested Kegels exercises.
Balanitis is a common inflammatory condition in men caused due to infections, trauma and poor personal hygiene. The inflammation is caused on the head of the penis also called as the glans penis. The region of glans penis along with the foreskin becomes inflamed. This condition is rare among men who are circumcised. Many underlying infections induce the onset of balanitis. One of the most common causes of balanitis is poor personal hygiene. In this case a layer of creamy substance called smegma is formed under the foreskin causing balanitis. Men who are circumcised rarely suffer this condition.
Phemosis is a condition in which the foreskin cannot be retracted. This condition predominantly happens in boys at the age of four. The urine collecting under the foreskin along with debris may lead to balanitis.
Candidiasis is one of the major causes of balanitis. In most cases candida associated balanitis is caused because of trauma and it also referred as circinate balanitis.
Many other infectious organisms like Streptococcus.Sp, Staphylococcus aureus (Steven Johnson's syndrome) cause balanitis. Most of these organisms cause infections in uncircumcised persons who do not clean the glans penis region on a regular basis. Balanitis is also sexually transmitted. Men are generally advised to clean their genital areas after intercourse, to prevent balanitis. Balanitis is also caused because of certain soaps or disinfectants used in washing the glans region. In some cases, use of spermicides and lubricants present in the condoms can induce balanitis.
Balanitis symptoms begin with the appearance of rash on the glans region. In some cases these rashes progress into more predominant sores leading to discharge with odor. In these cases the region behind the glans penis is also affected. Other associated symptoms of balanitis include joint pains, malaise and soreness of the mouth. The classic clinical presentation of balanitis includes the presence of ulcerated glans tissue, edema, leukoplakia, exudation and also crusting. Untreated balanitis is often associated with the development of meatal stenosis and also malignancy leading to painful discharge and localized lymphadenopathy.
Risk Factors for Balanitis: The risk factors associated with the occurrence of balanitis includes diabetes and trauma. In case of diabetics who are uncircumcised, the urine droplet accumulation leads to serious infections along with balanitis. In some cases balanitis risk factor is also reported among sexual partners affected by vaginitis. The other factors include obesity, chemicals and reaction to certain group of drugs.
Treatment of Balanitis
Balanitis treatment is often associated with personal hygiene. Men who are uncircumcised and are prone to frequent episodes of balanitis are advised to wash and dry the glans penis region every day and especially after intercourse to prevent infections which may lead to balanitis. Diabetics are advised to keep a regular check on their sugar levels especially pertaining to urine sugar levels to prevent the onset of balanitis.
Antibiotics and steroidal creams are generally prescribed for this infection. In some cases ibuprofen and acetaminophen are given to relieve the pain. In case of recurrent balanitis, removal of foreskin (Circumcision) is suggested. Patients undergoing treatment are advised to abstain from sexual activity until the treatment is completed to prevent relapse.
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Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: March 20, 2023