How do you find out if you have vaginitis or cystitis?

What is cystitis, what is vaginitis

Vaginitis is the general term for disorders of the vagina caused by infection, inflammation or changes in normal vaginal flora. Symptoms include heavy vaginal discharge, changes in odor, itching and discomfort.

Cystitis is an infection of the lower urinary tract that can occur alone or in combination with pyelonephritis (upper urinary tract infection). Most episodes of cystitis and pyelonephritis are considered uncomplicated and occur in the young female population, or sexually active postmenopausal women.

What causes cystitis and vaginitis

The most common causes of bacterial vaginitis are the bacterial vaginoses, vulvovaginal candidiasis and Trichomonas infections. Other causes may be vaginal atrophy, cervicitis or systemic diseases. The triggers are certain phases of the menstrual cycle, sexual activity, birth control pills, pregnancy, estrogen levels, STDs or personal hygiene products, antibiotics. All these factors alter the vaginal pH leading to the occurrence of vaginitis.

Cystitis appears due to vaginal colonization by pathogenic germs from the intestinal flora, followed by the ascension to the urethra and then the bladder. Escherichia coli is the primary germ involved in the development of uncomplicated cystitis (75-95 %).

What are the symptoms of cystitis and vaginitis

Symptoms of vaginitis include: changes in the amount, color, odor of vaginal discharge, itching, burning, irritation, erythema, pain during intercourse, spotting, pain on urination.

Also, symptoms of cystitis are pain on urination, urgent and frequent urination, suprapubic pain, hematuria.

The symptoms are so similar that patients often confuse them and sometimes resort to treatment administered without medical advice that can worsen these conditions.

How do you find out if you have cystitis or vaginitis

None of these symptoms allow a reliable diagnosis and therefore is indicated a gynecological examination and laboratory sampling.

In case of vaginitis, it is indicated a complete exam of the sampling of vaginal discharge and for cystitis is recommended to perform urine samples.

Sometimes it is difficult to make the differential diagnosis or limit them very precisely. Germs know no barriers or preferential propagation paths. So, in many cases it requires a complex treatment that can prevent or treat the two conditions simultaneously.

How to prevent and how to treat cystitis and vaginitis

Of the prevention methods we can mention: respecting the rules of hygiene, maintaining a proper vaginal pH, regular gynecological checkups.

One of the two disorders, once installed, it is useful to consult a gynecologist in order to perform proper treatment.

Vaginitis should be treated according to the causative agent, requiring antifungal antibiotics and / or anti-inflammatory, individualized in each case. For cystitis, the appropriate treatment choice depends on efficacy, risk of adverse effects, germ resistance to therapeutic agents.

Article appeared on the Unica.ro website.