Vaginitis - self-care
Vaginitis is a swelling or infection of the vulva and vagina. It may also be called vulvovaginitis.
Vulvovaginitis - self-care; Yeast infections - vaginitis
Self-care for Vaginitis
Keep your genital area clean and dry when you have vaginitis.
Avoid douching. Douching may worsen vaginitis symptoms because it removes healthy bacteria that line the vagina. These bacteria help protect against infection.
Allow more air to reach your genital area.
Girls and women should also:
Always practice safe sex. And use condoms to avoid catching or spreading infections.
Treating Yeast Infections
Creams or suppositories are used to treat yeast infections in the vagina. You can buy most of them without a prescription at drug stores, some grocery stores, and other stores.
Treating yourself at home is probably safe if:
Follow the directions that came with the medicine you are using.
Some medicine to treat yeast infections is used for only 1 day. If you DO NOT get yeast infections often, a 1-day medicine might work for you.
Your health care provider can also prescribe a medicine called fluconazole. This medicine is a pill that you take once by mouth.
For more severe symptoms, you may need to use the yeast medicine for up to 14 days. If you have yeast infections often, your provider may suggest using medicine for yeast infections every week to prevent infections.
If you are taking antibiotics for another infection, eating yogurt with live cultures or taking Lactobacillus acidophilus supplements may help prevent a yeast infection.
When to Call the Doctor
Call your provider if:
Gardella C, Eckert LO, Lentz GM. Genital tract infections: vulva, vagina, cervix, toxic shock syndrome, endometritis, and salpingitis. In: Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Lentz GM, Valea FA, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 23.
Hoefgen HR, Merritt DF. Vulvovaginitis. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 549.
Review Date: 4/19/2018
Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda Center for Fertility, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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