Etiology, Diagnosis, and Management of Vaginitis

Jane Mashburn, CNM, MN, FACNM


J Midwifery Womens Health. 2006;51(6):423-430. 

In This Article


Vaginal complaints, including discharge, irritation, dyspareunia, urinary complaints, and malodor are frequent concerns for women. These symptoms are often self-diagnosed and self-treated without confirmatory diagnosis.[2] Misdiagnosis by the woman or by the provider may lead to inadequate treatment, and consequences such as coinfections with microbes may lead to infertility or to the increased risk of acquiring HIV. The practitioner must be aware of the most likely causes of the reported symptoms, the risk factors and consequences associated with the incorrect diagnosis, the most appropriate way to diagnose the condition, and the correct methods of treatment. Women should be discouraged from indiscriminate use of over-the-counter medications for vaginal complaints.[2]


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