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What Causes Vaginal Inflammation?

Marjorie McAtee
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Vaginal inflammation, also known as vaginitis, is considered relatively common among women, and can occur for a number of reasons. Bacterial, parasitic, and yeast infections may be among the most prevalent causes of this condition. Hormonal changes, changes in sexual activity levels, and even allergic reactions to the chemicals in perfumes and soaps can lead to inflammation of the genital area. While sexually transmitted diseases may be responsible for vaginal inflammation in a number of cases, other medical conditions, including diabetes, can contribute to vaginitis.

Infection with candidiasis yeast may be one of the most common causes of vaginal inflammation. Vaginal yeast infections usually occur when the candidiasis yeast that form part of the vagina's normal flora grow out of control, causing symptoms of itching and inflammation. Causes of vaginal yeast infection can include antibiotic use, increased sexual activity levels, or hormonal changes such as those which occur during pregnancy.

Bacterial vaginosis is another common cause of vaginal inflammation. Bacterial vaginosis often occurs when levels of normal bacteria inside the vagina become unbalanced. Treatment can include antibiotics, though sometimes this bacterial infection resolves itself.

Personal habits and behaviors can contribute to bacterial vaginosis and vaginal yeast infections. Wearing tight fitting clothing, or fabrics that aren't breathable, can increase the temperature and humidity of the vaginal environment, making imbalances in the normal flora more likely. Stress can also contribute to imbalances in normal vaginal flora, as can the hormonal changes that come with pregnancy or the use of hormonal birth control methods.

Allergic reactions and contact dermatitis caused by the chemicals in perfumes, soaps, and vaginal douches are another common cause of inflammation. Some women experience allergic reactions to the latex in condoms or diaphragms, or to the spermicides used with them. These women are often advised to avoid latex birth control products, as well as scented vaginal douches, sanitary products, and soaps.

Many sexually transmitted diseases can cause vaginal inflammation, although other causes may be more common. Diabetes can contribute to vaginitis, especially when blood sugar levels are poorly controlled. Disorders that suppress the immune system can also make women more susceptible to conditions that cause vaginal inflammation.

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Marjorie McAtee
By Marjorie McAtee
Marjorie McAtee, a talented writer and editor with over 15 years of experience, brings her diverse background and education to everything she writes. With degrees in relevant fields, she crafts compelling content that informs, engages, and inspires readers across various platforms. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a skilled member of any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
By bear78 — On Feb 13, 2014

I went to two different doctors until I finally realized that my vaginal swelling is an allergic reaction. I thought that I had something seriously wrong with me. Thankfully, the second doctor asked me to switch to hypoallergenic laundry detergent and 100% cotton underwear. She also told me not to use panty liners for a while. I'm not sure which factor was causing my inflammation but making these changes resolved the issue. I suspect that I was allergic to the panty liners or perhaps the perfume on them. Anyway, I'm so glad that I found the cause.

By serenesurface — On Feb 13, 2014

@donasmrs-- It's true, vaginal inflammation can be caused by a yeast infection. Do you have itching and vaginal discharge in addition to the inflammation? If you do, it's most likely yeast overgrowth. These are the main causes. I've had yeast infections without discharge before, but I've never had a yeast infection where I didn't experience itching and inflammation. See a doctor as soon as possible.

Most of the time, a vaginal cream will get rid of the infection quickly and effectively. You can also try home remedies, such as probiotic supplements and yogurt to re-balance your vaginal flora and kill the yeast. Unfortunately, yeast infections are very common in women. Every woman will probably experience it at least once in her lifetime.

By donasmrs — On Feb 12, 2014

I always thought that vaginitis and a vaginal yeast infection are two different things. I didn't realize that vaginitis can be a yeast infection symptom. How can I tell whether this is the case or not?

Marjorie McAtee
Marjorie McAtee
Marjorie McAtee, a talented writer and editor with over 15 years of experience, brings her diverse background and education to everything she writes. With degrees in relevant fields, she crafts compelling content that informs, engages, and inspires readers across various platforms. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a skilled member of any content creation team.
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