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Infectious Diseases

Vaginitis

05/06/2005

Question:

i have a personal question, i was diagnosed with vaginitis, i was wonderin does that mean that my partner has been with another partner sexually with some type of yeast,please respond because its quite important that i understand this bacteria and what its about,thanks alot, a friend

Answer:

Vaginal infection is usually characterized by a vaginal discharge or vulvar itching and irritation; a vaginal odor may be present. The three diseases most frequently associated with vaginal discharge are trichomoniasis (caused by Trichomonas vaginalis), bacterial vaginosis (caused by a replacement of the normal vaginal flora by an overgrowth of anaerobic microorganisms, mycoplasmas, and Gardnerella vaginalis), and candidiasis (usually caused by Candida albicans). Trichomoniasis is sexually transmitted. Bacterial vaginosis is associated with having multiple sex partners, douching, and lack of vaginal lactobacilli; it is unclear whether bacterial vaginosis results from acquisition of a sexually transmitted infection. Women who have never been sexually active are rarely affected. Treatment of the male sex partner has not been helpful in preventing the recurrence of bacterial vaginosis. Vulvovaginal candidiasis is not usually acquired through sexual intercourse; treatment of sex partners is not recommended but may be considered in women who have recurrent infection. A minority of male sex partners may have balanitis, which is characterized by erythematous areas on the glans of the penis in conjunction with pruritus or irritation. These men benefit from treatment with topical antifungal agents to relieve symptoms. Other sexually transmitted diseases such as infections of the cervix by C. trachomatis (Chlamydia) or N. gonorrhoeae (Gonorrhea) can sometimes cause vaginal discharge, so it is important to see a doctor and to undergo appropriate testing to find out what is the cause of any abnormal vaginal discharge.

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Response by:

Lisa A Haglund, MD Lisa A Haglund, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati