Types of STIs
Vaginitis is included under our section on sexually transmitted diseases because the infection can often begin after sexual contact with another person. There are also other nonsexual ways of contracting this disease.
Vaginitis is an infection in the vagina. The vagina has a special discharge that keeps it healthy. This discharge varies in amount and consistency during the normal menstrual cycle. Sometimes things like having a period or sexual intercourse, using a diaphragm, being pregnant or in menopause, or taking antibiotics can be associated with one of the three most common types of vaginitis -- bacterial vaginosis (or "BV"), candidiasis (or "yeast infection") and trichomoniasis (or "trich").
The symptoms of vaginitis can include itching, burning, pain, or blood spotting, or there might be a change in the discharge. The discharge might be heavier than usual, have an unusual "smelliness," be a different color (yellow, brown, gray) or have a thick or clumpy consistency.
If you think you might have vaginitis -- and most women will experience at least one type during their life -- go see a clinician. It is important not to douche or use a deodorant spray. The discharge and odor, if there is any, will help the clinician diagnose the vaginitis.
Depending on which type(s) of Vaginitis your clinician says you have, you may be given medication, suppositories, or cream to treat the Vaginitis. It is possible to have more than one type at the same time. If your symptoms do not clear up, go back to your clinician, and make sure your sexual partner (if you have one) is also treated.
Remember to take all the medication you are given, even if the symptoms clear up before you have finished the medication.
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