Vaginal Infections Specialist

Vaginal infections can cause painful symptoms, and left untreated, they can become serious. As a board-certified gynecologic practice, NY Pelvic Pain and Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery P.C. helps patients from New York, NY, get the treatment they need, so they can relieve symptoms, avoid complications and feel better.

Vaginal Infections Q & A

NY Pelvic Pain and Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery P.C.


What is vaginitis?

Vaginitis is referred to as an infection or inflammation of the vagina causing vaginal discharge, odor and skin irritation. Associated symptoms may include pain with intercourse and irregular vaginal spotting.

What causes vaginitis?

There is a complex balance maintained at the vagina of the skin and normal flora (noninfectious bacteria normally found at the vagina). The pH maintained at the vagina inhibits infection but can be disrupted by many factors causing negative symptoms.

The most common causes of vaginitis are:

  • Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is caused by an unclear decrease in the vaginal bacteria Lactobacilli and increased concentrations of other bacteria normally present in the vagina. While BV is not considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI), sexual activity and douching may be risk factors for this imbalance.
  • Candida vulvovaginitis (yeast) is not an STI but rather symptoms of vaginal and vulvar inflammation in the presence of an overgrowth of the Candida species.
  • Trichomonas infection is a sexually transmitted infection caused by a parasite.
  • STI such as Neisseria gonorrhea or Chlamydia trachomatis

Additional causes are not due to infection but may cause the same symptoms, including the following:

  • Atrophic vaginitis is caused by decreased moisture and thinning at the vaginal skin due to decreased levels of estrogen with menopause or certain forms of birth control
  • Retained foreign body i.e. retained tampon
  • Dermatitis in reaction to hygienic products i.e. body wash, soap, detergent, feminine products, antibiotics
  • Vaginal scars,. lesions / growths or fistulas
  • Skin disorders of the vagina: lichen sclerosis, eczema, psoriasis, malignancy
  • Vestibulodynia (pain on penetration of the vagina 3-6 months in the absence of infection)
  • Desquamative inflammatory disorder: rare skin disorder of skin sloughing without infection in perimenopausal women

How is vaginitis diagnosed?

Diagnosis of most conditions is based on history and physical exam. Vaginal discharge is tested for pH levels and examined in a slide under the microscope. Vaginal cultures may be done to rule out other STIs. Vaginal skin biopsy may aid in the diagnosis if infection has been ruled out and symptoms are persistent.

How is vaginitis treated?

The most common causes of vaginitis are treated with antifungal or antibiotic oral or vaginal medications. Candida is treated equally well with oral or vaginal treatments. Oral fluconazole is a convenient single dose method while vaginal treatments may offer fewer side effects.

Bacterial vaginosis is treated with metronidazole or clindamycin. They are administered in the form of oral tablets or a cream or gel vaginal suppository. Asymptomatic women do not require treatment of either Candida or BV. Diagnosed Trichomoniasis always requires treatment most commonly with a single dose of metronidazole or tinidazole. Partners must be treated for all diagnosed STIs and should refrain from sexual activity 1-2 weeks after treatment.

Recurrent vaginitis is not uncommon and may require special cultures to test for resistant strains of infection. In cases of ongoing recurrence, long-term suppressive therapy may be useful in vaginitis prevention. Behavioral and hygienic practices are also very important including the use of gentle soaps, detergents and lotions. Vaginal douching is discouraged. Women with female partners tend to have higher incidence of vaginitis and both partners should take precautions.

Noninfectious causes of vaginitis are often treated by a specialist. A variety of topical medications such as anti-inflammatory, hormonal or analgesic agents are used depending on the diagnosed condition.

Testimonials

Words from our patients

  • RateMDs

    "They were able to provide me everything they promised me. I've never doubted their abilities."

    Verified Patient
  • Yelp

    "The office staff was incredibly helpful with clarifying/resolving any insurance issues."

    Meg T.
  • "They take their time with you and really listen and sit down with you."

    Alyssa G.
  • Google+

    "Dr. Levey is an excellent surgeon and NY Pelvic Pain has a caring and kind staff. It is the only place to go if you need this kind of help."

    Sheila G.
  • Google+

    "The experience and knowledge in this office is beyond anything that I have had in the past. Dr. Levey took time to answer my questions even though he was busy."

    Jessi L.
  • Yelp

    "Dr. Ostrov has a great bedside manner. She is friendly, knowledgeable and easy to talk to. I feel very comfortable with her."

    Stacey F.
  • Yelp

    "I saw Dr. Nikole Ostrov, and I was incredibly impressed with how kind and non-judgmental she was."

    Ann T.
  • Yelp

    "I've been working with Dr. Davison...She is the nicest, most caring doctor I've ever had and I feel completely lucky to be under her care. "

    Danielle C.
  • Yelp

    "Dr. Davison was absolutely wonderful!! Not only was she extraordinarily pleasant and caring, but she clearly knows what she's talking about."

    Missy J.
  • Vitals

    "She is knowledgable in a no judgment way. She truly cares about the patient. If every doctor was this way medicine would be worth the price!"

    Verified Patient
  • Vitals

    "Dr. Hobbs is probably the warmest, kindest, gentlest doctor I have ever been to in my life. Wonderful experience and I know she will go extremely far!"

    Verified Patient
  • Vitals

    "Dr. Friedman performed a DNC on me last year, he and the staff at the Lenox Hill Hospital were AMAZING. They definitely make an awkward situation VERY comfortable."

    Verified Patient
Location
NY Pelvic Pain and Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery P.C.
90 Maiden Lane, Suite 300
Financial District

New York, NY 10038
Phone: 646-290-9560
Fax: 212-532-4362
Office Hours

Get in touch

646-290-9560