It is not a rare case when colpitis is diagnosed in women. To understand what is female colpitis, we should first find out the causes and the symptoms of the disease. Colpitis is an inflammation in the vaginal mucous membrane. Many various factors have an impact on the body and contribute to the penetration of bacteria, fungi and protozoa into the mucosa. Today a doctor has no difficulties in revealing the symptoms and treating colpitis in women. The most important thing is to visit a doctor in a timely manner and follow his or her recommendations.
Causes of colpitis
Normal flora in the vaginal walls serves as a barrier between pathogenic microorganisms and a healthy mucous. Many bacteria are killed in the acidic vaginal environment. However when the vaginal flora balance is disrupted, bacteria enter the mucous and propagate there. The predisposing factors are:
- Promiscuous sexual behavior which can lead to the development of sexually transmitted infectious diseases (chlamidiosis, gonorrhea and others);
- Improper personal hygiene;
- Too frequent use of soap and shower gel for your intimate hygiene. All these products have a negative impact on the normal flora. Use special intimate care products;
- Vaginal traumas increase the risk of colpitis. Pathogenic microorganisms can easily penetrate the mucous through vaginal cuts or fissures;
- Dysfunction of the glands producing natural vaginal lubricant (most often it occurs due to the female hormones imbalance);
- Congenital anomalies of the vagina;
- Diseases which are accompanied by the metabolic disorders (diabetes, hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease);
- A long-term antibacterial treatment;
- Condom, lubricant or vaginal suppositories allergy;
- Immunodeficiencies of various genesis.
The symptoms of the disease
Most often the disease occurs after or during the menstruation. The symptoms of colpitis in women are not specific and they are typical for other inflammatory female genitals diseases:
- Sensation of a stabbing pain in the lower abdomen. Sometimes the pain is accompanied by nausea or vomiting and fever;
- Copious vaginal discharge. Depending on the causative agent, the discharge has a distinctive color and smell;
- Local signs of inflammation: hyperemia and edema of the vaginal walls, local fever, pain on palpation;
- Pain during sex and low libido;
- Burning and itching while urinating, frequent urination.
We distinguish acute and chronic colpitis. Chronic colpitis may last for several months and aggravation and remission alternate cyclically in this condition.
Atrophic (hydrocyanic) colpitis: symptoms, diagnostics and treatment
This type of colpitis most often affects women during menopause. The disease is caused by the lack of female sex hormones. The level of hormones decreases in elderly women, in endocrine disorders accompanied by sex hormones secretory dysfunction. Very often a woman does not even suspect that she has atrophic colpitis and the disease is diagnosed during the gynecological examination. The following signs are characteristic for this type of colpitis:
- Watery vaginal discharge sometimes with blood admixtures;
- Vaginal dryness which leads to the sense of discomfort during sex;
- A very severe pain syndrome. Due to the lack of lubrication, friction leads to vaginal walls injuries;
- Hyperemia of the vaginal mucous.
Atrophic colpitis is diagnosed by gynecological examination of the genitals, the results of the vaginal discharge laboratory test, identifying the level of estrogens in blood and biopsy of the mucous. To treat the symptoms of atrophic colpitis in women estrogen replacement drugs and topical anti-inflammatory and antibacterial medications are used. Vaginal suppositories and special ointments and vaginal tablets are also effective. Vaginal suppositories in female colpitis are indicated to enhance tissue regeneration, relieve inflammation, burning and itching.
Trichomonas colpitis: symptoms, methods of diagnostic and treatment
Inflammation of the vaginal walls is caused by the penetration of the microorganisms (trichomonads) into the mucous. Laboratory tests often reveal Trichomonas Vaginalis. A woman may be infected by trichomonas colpitis during sex or sharing hygiene items with the infection carrier. The main cause of trichomonas colpitis is penetration of trichomonads into the mucous cells. The severity of the disease depends on the immune system of a woman, hormonal imbalance and the lack of vitamins. The main symptoms are:
- Local symptoms: vaginal redness and edema, local temperature increase;
- Vaginal itching and burning;
- Copious white or greenish discharge with a specific fishy smell;
- Painful sex and urination.
To diagnose the disease a woman should undergo a complete gynecological examination and take a vaginal smear to identify the causative agent. Treatment of the colpitis caused by the etiologic agent of trichomoniasis includes the use of antitrichomonal medications, topical furacilin and phytoncide treatment. It is very important to restore healthy vaginal flora after the treatment. Your doctor will recommend you the names of effective colpitis suppositories. “Terzhinal”, “Vaginorm S”, “Hexycone” and others are successfully used.
Candidal colpitis: diagnosis and treatment
The disease occurs when the mucous is affected by a yeast Candida. The most common causative agent is Candida albicans. A pathologic process is triggered by several predisposing factors: low immunity, a sexually transmitted infection, metabolism disorders, and hormonal imbalance. A healthy woman with healthy immune system won’t be infected after having sex with a person living with the yeast infection. However, in the presence of other predisposing factors the disease may occur. The signs of candidal colpitis:
- Cottage cheese-like white discharge with sour smell;
- Burning and itching;
- Painful sex;
- Urination disorders.
To diagnose the disease a woman should under go a gynecological examination and take a vaginal smear. Colpitis treatment includes the use of antifungal drugs and medication to restore healthy flora. Topical treatment for colpitis (suppositories, ointments) helps to relieve burning and itching and reduce inflammation.
It is not always possible to identify the causative agent in the bacteriological test or the test result is negative. In this case, bacterial colpitis is diagnosed. The inflammation is caused by the imbalance of the healthy flora but not by the penetration of the bacteria into the mucous. The disease may also be caused by improper hygiene and a long-term use of antibiotics and hormonal drugs. Consult a doctor and get recommendations about female bacterial colpitis treatment. The therapy is oriented towards the restoration of the vaginal microflora.
Colpitis in pregnant women
Particular attention should be paid to the symptoms of colpitis in pregnant women. The disease may be caused bu the bacteria, yeast and parasites. Predisposing factors also play a key role in the disease development, the body of a pregnant woman is more susceptible to infections. Except candidal, trichomonas and other types of colpitis, pregnant women may be affected by a specific form of the disease — emphysematous colpitis. A woman may notice fluid filled blisters on the mucous. Usually it occurs two weeks after delivery.
A pregnant woman feels discomfort but colpitis in pregnancy has consequences for a baby as well. If left untreated, colpitis may affect the health and development of a baby:
- Infection leads to hydramnios;
- There is a risk of premature delivery;
- Severe or chronic disease makes the infection penetrate into delivery waters infecting a baby;
- A baby may be infected when passing through the maternal passages.
Only your doctor may give you recommendations how to treat colpitis after careful examination and having the test results.
Etiotropic therapy is indicated, namely antifungal and antibacterial medications (a special care must be taken with the use of antibiotics in pregnancy). Topical medications are also indicated to change the flora. If necessary, medications to boost immunity are also used. Colpitis self-treatment without gynecologist consultation is strictly prohibited.