Gynecology - Vaginal/Vulvar Problems - Causes


Causes of Vaginitis


Irritants that can cause vaginitis include:


·          birth control products such as condoms, diaphragms, and spermicides

·          feminine hygiene products such as mini pads, perfumed sprays, powders, or douches (Women should NEVER douche)

·          perfumed soaps, detergents, or fabric softeners

·          nonabsorbent, heat-retaining clothing such as nylon pantyhose and tights

·          antibiotics

·          tampons

·          sexual devices


Vaginitis can also be caused by a decrease in estrogen hormone.   This is called atrophic vaginitis. It usually occurs after menopause, during breastfeeding, or in response to certain medications.


Sometimes the cause of vaginitis is not known.  


Vaginitis and vulvitis can be caused by organisms that infect the vagina, such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, or fungus (called yeast).  Vulvitis can also be caused by irritants such as soap, powders, or lubricants. It can also be caused by a decrease in estrogen.


Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that cause vaginal infections and/or vulvar lesions are:


·          trichomoniasis

·          chlamydial infections

·          gonorrhea

·          syphilis

·          genital herpes

·          human papillomavirus

·          molluscum cantagiousm (external genital warts)

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