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What is vaginitis?
Also referred to as "vaginal infection" or "vulvovaginitis", vaginitis is a general
medical term for any infection or inflammation of the vagina. Vaginitis affects
millions of women each year and is one of the most common reasons a woman gives for
seeing the doctor.
What are the symptoms of vaginitis?
Vaginitis symptoms vary depending on what is causing the infection or inflammation.
The most common symptoms of vaginitis include:
- change in color or odor of discharge from the vagina
- itching around the outside of the vagina
- discomfort during intercourse
- burning during urination
- elevated pH, above 5
Is vaginal discharge normal?
A healthy vagina produces a discharge often described as clear or slightly cloudy,
non-irritating and odor-free. It's perfectly normal for vaginal discharge to vary
somewhat in consistency or amount over the course of a woman's menstrual cycle. For
example, at one time of the month there may be a small amount of a very thin or
watery discharge; and at another time, a more extensive thicker discharge may appear.
Why do women get vaginal infections?
Vaginal infections are experienced by women of all ages and are often the result of imbalances that arise among microorganisms occurring naturally in the vagina. The two most common vaginal infections, for example, are caused by overgrowth of certain anaerobic bacteria, as is the case with Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), and the overgrowth of yeast, as is the case with Vaginal Yeast Infection.
When is vaginal discharge considered abnormal?
A vaginal discharge that has an odor, is irritating, has changed color or
significantly changed consistency is usually considered abnormal.
In certain abnormal situations, vaginal odor may be experienced as unpleasant or
described as "fishy". In the case of an irritating discharge, it might cause itching
or burning, or both. When symptoms of odor and irritation occur, they are often made
worse by sexual intercourse. Vaginal discharge that changes in color and consistency
to white and "cottage cheese like", yellow-green and frothy, or runny and gray with
strong odor, could also be indicative of an unhealthy situation. Discharge with a pH
greater than 5, as measured by a physician or using a home test, is yet another
indication of a possible underlying vaginal infection.
If you've never experienced these symptoms before, it's important to consult a
healthcare provider about a change in the consistency, color, pH or smell of vaginal
What is abnormal vaginal discharge?
Healthy vaginal discharge is odor-free and typically clear or slightly cloudy. Its amount and consistency can vary throughout the menstrual cycle. Abnormal discharge may smell unpleasant or "fishy" and cause itching or burning. It may be white and cottage-cheese-like; yellow-green and frothy; or runny and gray - depending on the type of vaginitis.
What are the most common types of vaginitis?
The most common types of vaginitis in women of reproductive age are:
- Bacterial vaginosis (BV)
- Yeast infection, and
What is BV and what are the most obvious symptoms?
Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection in women of childbearing
age. It is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria that are usually present in the
vagina. If you have BV, you may develop a grayish-white, foul-smelling discharge that
has an elevated pH above 5. The odor, often described as fish-like, may be more
obvious after sexual intercourse or your period.
Why are some BV symptoms more noticeable during/after your period or sex?
Any factors that disrupt normal, acidic vaginal pH or after the bacterial balance of a healthy vagina can trigger or worsen BV symptoms. Normal vaginal pH is around 3.8 - 4.5, whereas the pH of blood and semen are both above 7.0. Hence menstruation and sexual intercourse will subject the vagina to elevated pH that has the potential for triggering or worsening bacterial imbalance and prompting or exacerbating BV symptoms.
What other factors can increase risk of BV?
In addition to sex and menstruation, other factors that increase risk of BV due to potential disruption of pH and bacterial imbalance include:
- Frequent douching or washing with soap
- Use of perfumed intimate products
- Pregnancy or birth control pills
- Medications like antibiotics, steroids and allergy drugs
- Use of IUDs that create "foreign bodies" that create environments favorable to "bad" bacteria
- Being overweight
- Impaired immune function
I'm more familiar with vaginal yeast infections - how do they differ from BV?
Yeast infections of the vagina are probably the most familiar form of vaginitis to women, although they are much less common than BV. They occur when too much of the fungus Candida grows in the vagina. The main symptom is itching, but you may also have a white, thick discharge that resembles cottage cheese. Unlike BV, the discharge associated with a yeast infection generally does not smell and maintains a pH within the normal range, below 4.5.
What is trichomoniasis and what are the symptoms?
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by a single-cell
parasite. It can cause itching, burning, and soreness of the vagina and vulva (the
area outside of the vagina), as well as burning during urination. This infection can
cause a greenish yellow, sometimes frothy discharge and elevated pH above 5.
What are the treatments for vaginitis?
The key to treating vaginitis is understanding which kind you have. The chosen
treatment must be specific to the type of vaginitis present. For example, an
antifungal treatment will not be effective against the bacterial overgrowth
associated with BV.
If you are experiencing a certain set of vaginitis symptoms for the first time, it is
important to get a definitive diagnosis and treatment recommendation from your
The reference chart
summarizes vaginitis causes,
symptoms and treatment options and is intended to supplement, rather than replace,
the guidance offered by your physician.
Why is there cholesterol in vH essentials Long Lasting Moisturizer product?
Cholesterol is added to vH essentials Long Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer to form liposomes which support long lasting delivery of moisture to the vaginal mucosa. The cholesterol content in each pre-filled individual applicators is very small because only a small quantity of cholesterol is required to offer sustained moisturization at the level needed. If any of this cholesterol were systemically absorbed into the blood stream, the amount would be negligible in comparison to what the average person consumes in a day.
What is the difference between the vH essentials® Homeopathic BV Treatment Vaginal Inserts
and the vH essentials® Homeopathic BV Capsules?
vH essentials® Homeopathic BV Treatment Vaginal Inserts
For fastest relief of BV symptoms you are currently experiencing (unpleasant odor, abnormal discharge, vaginal discomfort), use vH essentials® Homeopathic BV Treatment Vaginal Inserts.
The time-release vaginal inserts offer a convenient over-the-counter alternative for BV treatment with many women reporting real and rapid relief from unpleasant vaginal odor.
vH essentials® Homeopathic BV Capsules
After treatment* with the vaginal inserts to help reduce frequency of BV recurrence, naturally promote vaginal balance and ease occasional BV symptoms, use vH essentials® Homeopathic BV Capsules on a daily basis.
Most women suffer recurrent BV symptoms brought on by frequent imbalances of the vaginal flora. BV Capsules are formulated to provide daily support of the body’s natural resistance to vaginal imbalance and associated BV symptoms.
*It is safe to use the vaginal inserts and capsules at the same time.
Is it safe to use the vH essentials® products while trying to conceive, pregnant or breastfeeding?
vH essentials® products are safe to use as directed, and often provide gentler, natural alternatives to more traditional OTC or prescription treatments. However, when a woman is trying to conceive, pregnant or nursing, it is always recommended she discuss any OTC products, including vH essentials®, she is taking, or thinking about taking, with her doctor before use.
Is it okay to have sex while using the vH essentials® Homeopathic BV Treatment Vaginal Inserts?
For best results and to help avoid a rapid recurrence of BV, it is recommended to refrain from sexual activity until the full 6-day treatment is complete and BV symptoms have resolved.
Although not recommended for best results, if engaging in sexual activity during the course of the 6-day treatment with vH essentials® Homeopathic BV Treatment Vaginal Inserts, it is best to insert the vaginal tablet after sexual intercourse, rather than right before.
Can I use the vH essentials® Homeopathic BV Treatment Vaginal Inserts when I have my period?
For best results, it is recommended to refrain from using the vaginal inserts while having your period. It is best to wait until the end of the menstrual cycle, or when menstrual flow is very light and tapering off, to begin or resume treatment.
How do I know if I have a UTI?
Your doctor can perform tests to determine if you have a urinary tract infection. Your doctor may simply perform a urine dipstick in the office, in which case only a few minutes are needed to obtain results. Your doctor may also send your urine to the lab for testing. These results take a few days to come back. This tells your doctor the exact bacteria causing your infection and therefore which antibiotics should be prescribed. Blood tests usually are not required unless a complicated condition, such as pyelonephritis or kidney failure, is suspected.
You may decide to use a home test to help determine if you have a urinary tract infection before you visit your doctor. The vH essentials UTI Home Test is available over-the-counter (a prescription is not necessary) at all major drugstores.
How are UTIs treated?
UTIs are treated with antibiotics. The specific antibiotic and length of treatment depend on a patient's medical history and results of urine testing that identify the pathogenic bacteria. Often, a UTI can be cured with 1 or 2 days of treatment if the infection is not complicated. Still, your doctor may ask you to take antibiotics for a week or two to ensure that the infection has been cured. Always remember that it is important to take the full course of treatment because your symptoms may disappear before your infection is fully cleared.
To alleviate burning pain during urination, vH essentials UTI Relief Tablets can be used for one to two days.
For infections involving the kidney (pyelonephritis), patients may receive IV fluids and antibiotics or an injection of antibiotics, followed by 10-14 days of oral antibiotics. Some patients will require hospitalization. A complicated infection may require treatment for several weeks.
How can I help prevent a UTI?
- Women and girls should wipe from front to back (not back to front) after going to the bathroom. This helps prevent bacteria from the anus entering the urethra.
- Empty your bladder regularly and completely, especially after sexual intercourse.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Many healthcare professionals believe that cranberry juice can help prevent urinary tract infections.
- According to the most recent positive randomized controlled clinical trial, the recommended dosing for UTI prophylaxis (prevention) is one tablet of concentrated cranberry extract (300 to 400 mg) twice daily, or 8 oz of pure unsweetened cranberry juice three times daily. (Stothers L. A randomized trial to evaluate effectiveness and cost effectiveness of naturopathic cranberry products as prophylaxis against urinary tract infection in women. Can J Urol 2002;9:1558-62).
How does the vH essentials UTI Home Test compare to other tests?
- Like other UTI home tests, vH essentials UTI Home Test effectively detects urinary tract infections (UTI's)
There are two ways to test your urine-
- Urinating in a cup, then testing, or
- Holding the test directly in your urine stream.
- Either of these methods can be somewhat "messy", especially if the test strip is too short
- Only the vH essentials UTI Home Test provides a convenient, easy-to-hold test handle to help eliminate messy testing of urine.
How do I use the vH essentials UTI Home Test?
We recommend that you test your first urine in the morning or that you test your urine after holding it in the
bladder for at least 4 hours. This will result in more accurate and reliable testing.
- Wash your gential area thoroughly with soap and water. Make sure you rinse off all of the soap.
- Remove a Test from the sealed pouch.
- Hold the stick in your stream of urine for at least ten seconds.
- Lay the stick on a flat surface with the Result Windows facing up.
- Read your results in two minutes.
- Match the color of each test area to the color chart for that test.
- Ignore all color changes after two minutes.
How do I read the vH essentials UTI Home Test?
There are two test result windows on the vH essentials UTI Home Test. The top window tests for nitrites and the bottom window tests for proteins.
||What Should you Do?
||Both tests are normal. However, you should test again the next day. If you continue to have symptoms, contact your doctor.
||A positive protein test shows you may have a urinary tract infection. Test again the next day, and if it tests positive again, contact your doctor.
||A positive nitrite result indicates you may have a urinary tract infection. Contact your doctor.
||Contact your doctor. Two positive tests are signs that you have a urinary tract infection.
What is homeopathic medicine?
Homeopathic medicines use small amounts of specific ingredients known to activate the body's natural defenses against a disease state or condition. Homeopathic treatments are made from minerals, herbs, and other natural extracts listed in the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States (HPUS) and prepared according to HPUS guidelines. Yeast-Gard Advanced's homeopathic products are manufactured in compliance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations governing homeopathic medicines.
How do homeopathic medicines work?
Homeopathic medicines harness the power of the body's own immune system. According to homeopathic theory, small amounts of specific ingredients trigger the body's natural defenses to protect and fight back. So instead of just surpressing symptoms, homeopathic remedies act as catalysts that promote the body's inherent healing mechanisims.
Are homeopathic medicines safe?
Yes. Having been used around the world for centuries, homeopathic medicines work naturally with the body's immune system. Consequently, they do not result in the negative side effects often associated with conventional drugs including acquired antimicrobial resistance, disruption of protective bacterial flora, and potential toxicity.