Vulvitis and colpitis
Vulvitis and colpitis
Vulvitis and colpitis are a very common gynecological inflammation, affecting women of all ages. Vulvitis stands for inflammation of the vulva that is the external female genitals. Colpitis or also vaginitis stands for inflammation of the vagina. Both of these infections occur together, they are very uncomfortable and you need to take them in to notice and treat them properly.
Vulva is the term for the external female genitalia, otherwise known as the womb. Vulva includes the vaginal vestibule (the external urethral and vaginal orifice), labia majora, labia minora and the clitoris. Interestingly, the clitoris develops the same way as the penis, causing their mutual resemblance. Both have rich blood supply, due to congestion they enlarge, have rich nerve supply, they are highly sensitive, and their stimulation leads to sexual arousal and orgasm. And like the penis foreskin also female circumcision is practiced for religious reasons, especially in Africa.
The vagina is an elastic tube composed primarily of smooth muscle that connects the uterus and the vulva, or the external environment. During menstruation the blood from the uterus is removed through the vagina, during birth the newborn passes through it and of course it is used during sexual intercourse. On the vaginal mucosa live many microorganisms. One of them is lactobacillus, which releases substances in the vagina to keep the pH in acidic values and hinders the development of inflammation. Inflammation of the vagina or colpitis or vaginitis is one of the most common reasons for visiting a gynecologist.
Vulvitis or inflammation of the external female genitalia is almost always part of the vaginal inflammation, rarely occurs separately. If so, then it mostly affects children and older women. This is due to a lower resistance of the skin during these periods. Risk factors of vulvitis include obesity, liver diseases and diabetes. Causes of skin damage may be mechanical, as well as irritation of the skin by chemicals such as soap or other cosmetics or sweat or urine during urinary incontinence, i.e. inability to hold urine, or a urinary infection. Vulvitis is manifested by fierce itching of the genitals, its redness, swelling and a sensation of heat or burning. The basis of vulvitis treatment is to remove the source of irritation and increase intimate hygiene. Also cool compresses or ointments can help.
Colpitis or inflammation of the vagina is a very common disease. Besides lactobacillus there is a large amount of other microorganisms in the vagina whose reproduction is controlled by the local immune system and acidic pH. If this microecosystem is disturbed by i.e. hormonal influences (menstruation, pregnancy, and hormonal contraception), antibiotics, tampons, sexual activity, overall health or excessive intake of sweets, this leads to an overgrowth of unfavorable bacteria and this leads to colpitis.
Colpitis symptoms are burning and itching, smelly discharge, burning and cutting during urination, vaginal dryness and pain during sexual intercourse. Individual symptoms slightly vary according to the agent, which causes the inflammation. If the causative of colpitis is a protozoan Trichomoniasis vaginalis there is a frothy discharge, itching is rare. It is a sexually transmitted disease, it is therefore necessary to treat the sexual partners. The treatment uses drugs Metronidazole and Ornidazole. Other colpitis causative bacteria may be aerobic (requiring oxygen to live). Inflammation occurs when there is a bacterial imbalance that is when there is an overgrowth of aerobic micro flora. Then discharge is smelly and yellow. The sexual partner does not have to be treated. If the causative is lactobacillus it is indistinguishable from mycosis, which is most common.
Mycosis is usually caused by Candida albicans. This organism normally lives in this area as well as in the mouth or gut. The inflammation develops when natural defenses weaken. This condition occurs in the case of stress, illness, antibiotic use, and pregnancy. The symptoms are itching, burning, dryness of the mucous membrane, and pain during sexual intercourse. Discharge is lumpy, whitish and smells like yeast. It is similar to curd. Both sexual partners need to be treated. Antifungal drugs are chosen, they are used either locally in the form of suppositories or ointments, or generally in the form of tablets. If the mycosis returns, long-term treatment is required and mainly overall treatment is recommended. Supporting effects have preparations containing lactobacillus that help restore the balance of microorganisms inhabiting the vagina. Lactobacillus also reduces the pH, a condition hindering the development of inflammation. As a precaution to mycosis it is recommended to wear comfortable breathable underwear, consistent drying after washing intimate parts, using suitable intimate cosmetics and vice versa the use of vaginal deodorants is not recommended. It is also important to adjust the treatment of diabetes in these patients.
Diagnosis of colpitis
To confirm colpitis gynecological examination with mirrors is carried out, microscopic examination and determination of pH. During gynecological examination the doctor will do a swab of the vaginal wall and send it to a laboratory for analysis. There is the inflammatory agent determined microscopically. When determining the pH the doctor assesses if there is a disturbed balance in the vagina.
Treatment of vulvitis and colpitis
The treatment of vulvitis and colpitis is carried out by administration of anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics and antifungal agents. In vulvitis also compresses, ointments or powders, usually with corticosteroids are used. In colpitis mainly antifungal agents and antibiotics are administrated. They can be in a form of swallowing pills or suppositories, which are inserted into the vagina.
Vulvitis and colpitis are unpleasant matters that affect the comfort and overall well-being of women. It is necessary in the case of mentioned symptoms or any doubts, to see a doctor, only he will determine the correct diagnosis and initiate appropriate treatment.