Vaginitis can be caused due to several different factors. Some of the common causes of vaginitis include candida or "yeast" vaginitis, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis vaginitis (a sexually transmitted infection), chlamydia vaginitis, viral vaginitis, non-infectious vaginitis and atrophic vaginitis. The duration of your symptoms depend on the cause of vaginitis and efficacy of treatment.
Bacterial vaginosis: Treatment of bacterial vaginosis includes antibiotics (such as metronidazole or clindamycin) and/or vaginal gel or cream. Most women need treatment for five to seven days to cure the infection. Symptoms improve rapidly in 2 or 3 days with antibiotics, but treatment goes on for 5-7 days. Medicine should not be stopped just because your symptoms are better. Completing the course of antibiotics is essential for cure, however, even after cure, many women experience the recurrence of bacterial vaginosis usually within six months.
Vaginal candidiasis: Most women with vaginal candidiasis respond well to treatment with medications and the infection usually clears in 1-2 weeks of treatment. Infection can take time to clear or may recur after treatment in women, who have some other underlying problem such as cancer, AIDS, diabetes and chemotherapy that weakens the immune system.
Chlamydia vaginitis: Antibiotics are the mainstay of treatment of chlamydia infection. With appropriate treatment, chlamydial infections can be cured 95% of the time. Depending on the antibiotics used for treating the infection, the course of medication may either be a single dose or a longer course of up to two weeks. Following the doctor’s recommendations regarding dose and duration of treatment is important for cure. If you do not take medications at the recommended dose and duration, the treatment may not be effective in curing the infection and the symptoms can therefore, recur.
Non-infectious vaginitis: Vaginitis caused because of allergic reaction or irritation to various products (such as vaginal sprays, scented soap, douches or spermicidal products) responds well to avoidance of the causative factor and treatment to relieve symptoms in a few days.
Trichomoniasis: Treatment of trichomoniasis usually includes a single dose of prescription antibiotics, which can cure the infection. Treatment of sexual partners at the same time is needed to prevent them from reinfecting each other.
Viral vaginitis: The two common types of virus that commonly cause vaginitis are herpes simplex virus (HSV) and Human papilloma virus (HPV). Treatment does not cure genital herpes or HPV, but the symptoms can be controlled with medications. Following the initial infection, these viruses stay in the person’s body for life. The herpes simplex virus remains dormant in the body after the first infection and can reactivate later. The reactivation of the virus causes recurrence of symptoms (this is called "herpes outbreak"). Some people can have recurrence of symptoms many times in a year whereas other may experience recurrence even years apart. Proper treatment for HPV can control genital wart outbreaks, but it does not cure the infection. Recurrence of genital warts is very common (more than 50% after one year).
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