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Vaginitis and Vaginosis

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Prevention and Treatment

It is not always possible to prevent vaginosis or vaginitis, but women can take steps to reduce the likelihood and reduce recurrence. These may include:

  • Avoid douching and/or frequent baths.
  • Avoid feminine hygiene products, perfumed soaps, and other potential chemical irritants.
  • Avoid tight clothing and synthetic underclothes that may trap moisture.
  • Practice safe sex.
  • Practice (and teach children) good hygiene.

There are several standard topical intravaginal treatments (creams or suppositories placed inside the vagina) available for bacterial vaginosis and candidiasis, as well as oral treatments for bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis, and trichomoniasis. There are several different timing and dosing options available. Women should always follow the instructions provided.

For trichomoniasis and other sexually transmitted infections, treatment of a person's sex partner is often recommended to increase the cure rate and help prevent re-infection in the woman. Trichomoniasis is usually self-limited in men, resolving within a couple of weeks.

If an uncomplicated yeast infection occurs again and the woman recognizes the symptoms, then over-the-counter treatment may be sufficient. However, if a woman's symptoms recur or persist, she should consult with her health care provider.

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