A variety of organisms and conditions can cause vaginitis, so treatment targets the specific cause:
March 06, 2014
- Bacterial vaginosis. For this type of vaginitis, your doctor may prescribe metronidazole tablets (Flagyl) that you take by mouth, metronidazole gel (MetroGel) that you apply to your vagina or clindamycin cream (Cleocin) that you apply to your vagina. Medications are usually used once or twice a day for five to seven days.
- Yeast infections. Yeast infections usually are treated with an antifungal cream or suppository, such as miconazole (Monistat), clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin) or tioconazole (Vagistat). Yeast infections may also be treated with a prescription oral antifungal medication, such as fluconazole (Diflucan). The advantages of over-the-counter treatment are convenience, cost and not waiting to see your doctor. The catch is you may be treating something other than a yeast infection. It's possible to mistake a yeast infection for other types of vaginitis or conditions that need different treatment. Using the wrong medicine may delay an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
- Trichomoniasis. Your doctor may prescribe metronidazole (Flagyl) or tinidazole (Tindamax) tablets.
- Thinning of vaginal lining (vaginal atrophy). Estrogen — in the form of vaginal creams, tablets or rings — can effectively treat atrophic vaginitis. This treatment is available by prescription from your doctor.
- Noninfectious vaginitis. To treat this type of vaginitis, you need to pinpoint the source of the irritation and avoid it. Possible sources include new soap, laundry detergent, sanitary napkins or tampons. Your doctor may prescribe topical estrogen, such as a cream, to relieve your symptoms.
- Sobel J. Approach to women with symptoms of vaginitis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 3, 2013.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, et al. Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2010. MMWR Recommendations and Reports. 2010;59:1. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5912a1.htm. Accessed Oct. 3, 2013.
- Lentz GM, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 3, 2013.
- Hainer BL, et al. Vaginitis: Diagnosis and treatment. American Family Physician. 2011;83:807.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Vaginitis. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2006;107:1195.
- Vaginal yeast infections fact sheet. Office on Women's Health. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/vaginal-yeast-infections.cfm. Accessed Oct. 8, 2013.
- Condom fact sheet in brief. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/brief.html. Accessed Oct. 8, 2013.
- Sobel J. Trichomoniasis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 9, 2013.
- Marnach ML (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 1, 2013.