Vaginitis, inflammation of the vagina

Vaginitis is a vaginal inflammation caused by microorganisms. Vaginitis is actually a collective name for all kinds of inflammations in and around the vagina. The inner walls and lining are most often inflamed, sometimes also the labia. The cause can be different, such as pregnancy, use of the pill or an IUD, diabetes, fungal infection, etc. One of the most important symptoms is increased discharge.

Venereal disease or fungal infection

The most common cause of vaginitis or colpitis (colpitis) is an infection with a microorganism. Well-known ones are Candida, Trichomonas, Chlamydia and Gardnerella. Candida is a yeast that normally lives in our intestinal tract. Under certain conditions, this yeast grows faster than usual and causes an infection in the mouth (thrush in babies) or a vaginal infection. Chlamydia is one of the STDs. This bacteria is spread through sexual contact. A woman can be a carrier for years without any obvious complaints. Of all fungal infections or venereal diseases, increased discharge is the most obvious characteristic. The discharge is sometimes also called white discharge, but is actually a misnomer. White discharge is a normal discharge, in the case of an infection this discharge is not only more, but also often yellow or green in color. In addition, the discharge may be foamy or contain flakes.
Some infections are treated with antibiotics, others with a fungicide. This can be an ointment but also medicines in the form of tablets. The instructions of the doctor or pharmacist must always be followed. Some infections are harmful during pregnancy or can even cause infertility. Blindness can sometimes occur in the baby.


Tampons worn for too long often cause an infection. Women often want to keep highly absorbent tampons in for too long. Vaginal fluid/blood accumulates in the tampon, making it a breeding ground for bacteria. Fever, nausea, dizziness, vomiting and low blood pressure occur. Some women, on average 5 percent, die as a result of this infection. The infection is also called tampon disease. Treatment consists of administering antibiotics. It is recommended that you never wear tampons again afterwards. The chance of a recurring infection is high.

Increased secretion

Having increased discharge does not always mean inflammation. The discharge is also increased around ovulation, and we often see this during pregnancy. This is an increased discharge that does not change color or smell. After menopause, the discharge is normally less: if it suddenly increases, there may also be an infection. An infection is not only accompanied by an increased discharge, but also with a discharge that is clearly different in color, flaky or frothy and has a nasty smell. Some people call it a fishy smell, but remember that women who don’t wash themselves every day can bring that same nasty smell with them. It mainly gives a different smell than usual, which can be very penetrating. Increased discharge associated with these symptoms should be reported to a doctor. There is no need to be ashamed of this: doctors experience this every day. In addition, it is not advisable to continue walking around with these types of complaints. Not only can this pose a risk of infertility, but the bed partner can also become infected with a micro-organism and possibly pass it on to the next person.

Discharge with blood

Bloody discharge is more common, especially in older women. The inflamed mucous membrane is thinner than in younger women and is damaged more easily. In these cases, the discharge is accompanied by blood loss. This is often caused by a lack of estrogen. In addition to a bloody discharge, itching is mainly experienced.


The doctor will first find out what the cause of the infection is. Every infection must be treated differently. Administering antibiotics does not help with a fungal infection. In fact, a fungal infection can often result from the use of antibiotics. This is because antibiotics kill not only bad bacteria but also some good bacteria. Any fungi present then have the opportunity to grow faster than normal.
A course of tablets will often be prescribed, but vaginal tablets can also be prescribed. Sometimes special tampons are given so that the inflammation disappears quickly. It is important to follow the doctor’s instructions. For example, a course of treatment will have to be completed completely otherwise there is a good chance that the infection will return. If the infection returns after healing, the doctor will often prescribe another medication. Sometimes a smear will be taken to check for other inflammations or abnormalities.

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