Vaginitis means inflammation of the vagina. Women of any ages can suffer from this condition. They are commonly caused by an overgrowth of candida or trichomoniasis infection. Post-menopausal women are more prone to vaginitis due to reduction in estrogen. 

A number of behaviours may put you more at risk of vaginitis:
  • Poor personal hygiene: Poor menstrual hygiene, wearing unclean underwear, using unclean toilet paper and/or sanitary napkins, even using unhygienic public toilet, and going to public swimming pool could cause vaginitis.
  • Frequent vaginal irrigation/ genital cleansing:  Washing products for vaginal irrigation or genital cleansing may destroy the pH balance there and is therefore not recommended by doctors. Using water to clean the external part of vaginal is enough. 
  • Overuse of antibiotics: This is one of the reasons for vaginitis. It is because antibiotics not only kill the pathogenic bacteria but also resist the growth of probiotics at the same time. This provides an opportunity for the harmful bacteria to flourish. 
  • Unprotected sexual intercourse: Vaginitis can be transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse; therefore, it is important to practise safe sex and do STI tests regularly! 

Tips: If you want to prevent vaginitis, you should use clean sanitary products, pay attention to personal hygiene, refrain from vaginal douching, and use antibiotics according to doctor’s recommendation only.

The symptoms of vaginitis

The symptoms of vaginitis include increased vaginal discharge and itching or burning sensations in vagina or vulva. Some may even experience painful urination and frequent urination. If severe, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, damage of the kidneys and uterus. In serious cases, vaginitis could cause infertility and adverse effects on the fetus.

Tips: If you have these symptoms such as itching, coloured or malodorous discharge, remember to see a doctor as soon as possible!