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Vaginitis (pronounced: vah-jen-eye-tiss) is one of the most common reasons for women to seek medical advice in an Urgent Care. Vaginitis is an irritation of the vaginal walls.  On occasion a woman might experience a clear or colored foul smelling discharge.  This can also be accompanied by itching or burning in the vaginal and genital area.

Vaginitis is not a bad problem but it often has to be treated with medicine.

There are three common causes of vaginitis are: yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis (pronounced: vah-jen-oh-sis) and trichomoniasis (pronounced: trik-oh-mown-eye-ah-sis).

What is a yeast infection?

A yeast infection is caused by a fungus called Candida.  Candida is present in healthy women and if it overgrows a yeast infection can result.  It is estimated that 75 percent of women will have at least one episode of vaginal yeast infection, and 40-45 percent will have two or more.

These are signs that you could have a yeast infection:

  • Itching and redness in your vagina and genital area
  • A thick, white discharge from your vagina
  • A burning feeling when you urinate

Risk Factors that contribute to getting a yeast infection are:

  • Recent use of oral antibiotics
  • A diet high in sugar
  • Poorly controlled diabetes

What you should do if you have a yeast infection.

Don’t treat yourself with over-the-counter yeast creams or suppositories.  Based on symptoms alone, it is hard to tell if you have a yeast infection. Go to your local FastMed Urgent Care and get an exam.

A yeast infection responds well to vaginal antifungal creams or suppositories. Yeast infections also get better one tablet of a medicine that your provider can prescribe at FastMed.

Your partner does not need to be treated.

What is bacterial vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis occurs in up to 30 percent of women with a vaginal discharge. It is not sexually transmitted.

These are signs that you may have bacterial vaginosis:

  • Bad odor of discharge
  • White or gray discharge
  • Fishy odor

How is bacterial vaginosis treated?

Your provider will test you to see if you have bacterial vaginosis. The infection is usually treated with a 7 day course of oral antibiotics. If you are pregnant, it is important to get treated for bacterial vaginosis as you could go into premature labor.

What is trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted parasite that is easily treated with a single dose of an oral antibiotic. Your sex partner needs to be treated as well.

These are some of the signs that you could have trichomoniasis:

  • A foul smelling, frothy discharge
  • Vaginal itching
  • Frequent urination


Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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