Midwife Matters

Pregnancy preparations, women's health, and care options

Vaginitis (vaginal irritation/infection)

Symptoms of vaginitis are extremely common, accounting for over 10 million office visits per year.  We often self treat with over the counter medications.  Moreoften however, we can are treating the wrong thing and need to be seen for the proper care. 

Normal Vaginal Discharge : 

                                                          White, clear, thick or thin. 

                                                          Does not smell bad. 

                                                          Amount of discharge varies especially if pregnant, using birth control or prior to menses.


Abnormal Discharge/Symptoms :

                                                         Causes itching of the vagina or around the vaginal area

                                                         Redness, pain or swelling around the vagina

                                                         Discharge that is foamy, greenish/yellow, or bloody

                                                         Bad/Foul smelling discharge

                                                        Pain when urinating or having sex

                                                        Pain in lower abdomen


Causes of Vaginal infection: 

                                                          Good bacteria from vagina have been destroyed by other bacteria

                                                          Reaction to something in the vagina such as a tampon or condom

                                                          Sexually transmitted infections

                                                          Sensitivites to soaps/detergents/lubricants etc.

                                                          Hormonal changes

                                                          Recent use of antibiotics

Treatments:  Each vaginal infection requires a different treatment, you should see your midwife if you have concerning symptoms.  If you are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection your partner should be seen as well for treatment.



                            Wear cotton underwear, avoid thong underwear.

                            Wash the genitalia only with warm water, no soap.  The vagina is self cleansing.

                            Bath only in warm water, do not add any perfumes,salts, oils or bubbles to the water.

                            Use white, unscented toilet paper, avoid using baby wipes.  Wipe from front to back.

                            NEVER douche. 

                            Use only non-scented tampons and pads.  Use only if absolutely needed.  AVOID always brand.

                            Use clear body soaps, nothing milky/creamy.  Especially avoid Dove, Ivory and Caress.

                           No fabric softener sheets.  No Tide detergent.

« Women’s Health

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