Treating vaginitis.Nurse Pract. 1999 Oct; 24(10):46, 49-50, 53-8 passim; quiz 64-5.NP
Vaginitis resulting from bacterial, fungal, or protozoal infections can be associated with altered vaginal discharge, odor, pruritus, vulvovaginal irritation, dysuria, or dyspareunia, depending on the type of infection. Bacterial vaginosis, which is primarily characterized by a malodorous discharge, is common in women with multiple sex partners and is caused by the overgrowth of several facultative and anaerobic bacterial species. Vulvovaginal candidiasis is characterized by pruritus and a cottage cheese-like discharge. Vaginal trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted disease caused by an anaerobic protozoan parasite, is associated with a copious yellow or green, sometimes frothy, discharge. Differential diagnosis of these infections requires a thorough history, vulvovaginal examination, and simple laboratory tests, including microscopy of the vaginal discharge. The information obtained from this workup should enable an accurate diagnosis. Topical or oral metronidazole is the treatment of choice for bacterial vaginosis; terconazole, or other antifungals, for vulvovaginal candidiasis; and oral metronidazole for trichomoniasis.