Vulvovaginitis is inflammation of the female sex organs. This condition can be caused by various things and the treatment must be adjusted according to the cause. Vulvovaganitis is not a serious condition, but it can often be uncomfortable and annoying.
Vulvovaginitis is a condition that is quite often experienced by women of all ages, ranging from adolescents, adult women, to women who have entered menopause. This condition often causes itching and burning in the vagina and vaginal lips (vulva).
In addition, vulvovaganitis can also cause vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor, a burning or stinging sensation in the vagina, as well as swelling and redness of the vagina, vulva, and perineum (the area between the vagina and anus).
Recognize Some of the Factors That Cause Vulvovaginitis
There are many things that can cause inflammation or irritation of the vulva and vagina, including:
1. Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis is one of the most common causes of vulvovaginitis. This condition occurs due to the growth of bad bacteria in the vagina which can cause infection.
Vulvovaginitis due to this bacterial infection can cause vaginal itching and burning, pain when urinating and having sex, and vaginal discharge that is gray and smells fishy.
2. Vaginal yeast infection
Vulvovaginitis can also be caused by a fungal infection, namely yeast Candida albicans. This vaginal yeast infection is generally characterized by vaginal discharge that is lumpy and has a cheese-like texture, as well as vaginal and vaginal lips that feel itchy or sore.
3. Viral infection
Vulvovaginitis due to viral infection is usually transmitted through sexual contact. Some examples of viral infections that can cause vulvovaginitis are genital herpes and HPV.
In women, herpes can cause vulvovaginitis, which is characterized by sores and blisters filled with clear fluid and pain and swelling in the genital area. Meanwhile, infection with the HPV virus that attacks the female area can cause genital warts to grow.
4. Sexually transmitted diseases
One of the sexually transmitted diseases that can cause vulvovaganitis is trichomoniasis. This disease is generally characterized by greenish-yellow vaginal discharge and a fishy smell, as well as itching and burning in the vaginal area.
In addition to trichomoniasis, chlamydia and gonorrhea can also trigger inflammation in the female sex organs and cause symptoms of vaginal discharge with a sharp odor and pain and burning sensation when having sex or urinating.
5. Parasitic infection
Some examples of parasitic infections that cause the vagina and vulva to become inflamed are pinworm infections, scabies, and pubic lice. Symptoms of vulvovaganitis caused by this parasitic infection are generally itching and irritation around the genitals.
6. Allergic reactions
Irritation and inflammation of the vagina and vulva can also occur due to exposure to chemicals such as parabens, sodium sulfate, triclosan, and dioxane. These chemicals are usually found in bath soaps, detergents, feminine soaps, powders, perfumes, and condoms.
Irritation or allergic reactions to these objects can make the vulva and vagina feel itchy, swollen, and red.
In addition to the above medical conditions, vulvovaginitis can also occur in postmenopausal women and women after childbirth. This is due to the decreased levels of the hormone estrogen during this phase.
Vulvovaginitis can also occur due to the influence of other factors, such as:
- Clean intimate organs in an improper way or lack of maintenance of vaginal hygiene during menstruation
- Wearing underwear that is not cotton and too tight
- Using pads or tampons for too long during menstruation
- Leaving the genital area in a damp and wet state, for example not changing clothes immediately after swimming
- Holding your pee too often
Some Steps for Vulvovaginitis Treatment and Prevention
Because it can be caused by many things, it is recommended that you see a doctor so that the cause can be identified and treated appropriately. To determine the cause of vulvovaganitis, the doctor may perform a physical examination and supporting examinations, such as blood and urine tests and analysis of vaginal fluids.
Once the cause is known, the doctor can provide appropriate treatment. For example, to treat vulvovaginitis due to bacterial infection, the doctor can give antibiotics, while vulvovaginitis due to yeast infection can be treated with antifungal drugs.
In addition, in severe cases of vulvovaginitis, the doctor may prescribe corticosteroid medications to reduce inflammation and irritation of the vulva and vagina. Doctors can also prescribe antihistamines to treat vaginal and vulvar itching.
So that vulvovaginitis does not recur, you can take the following preventive steps:
- Stop using products that can cause irritation, such as feminine hygiene soaps that contain perfume
- Clean the female area with warm water and dry it immediately so it doesn't get damp
- Clean intimate organs in the right way, namely from the vagina to the anus
- Using loose and cotton underwear
- Avoid scratching the itchy area because it can aggravate irritation and trigger infection
- Carry out safe and healthy sex behavior, namely by using condoms and not changing sexual partners
Vulvovaginitis usually goes away after being treated by a doctor. However, if it does not go away or if it recurs frequently, you should consult a doctor for further examination.