Non Infectious Vaginitis or Vulvovaginitis is a common problem which can affect anyone from teens to menopausal women and it is often overlooked by healthcare professionals.
What Causes of Vaginitis?
There are four major risk factors for developing non-infectious vaginitis:
- Sexual contact, by determining micro abrasions which are entry points for harmful microorganisms;
- Poor or excessive local hygiene, due to the chemicals found in soaps there’s an increased risk for local irritation;
- Synthetic and thigh clothing;
- Female hygiene products, especially sanitary pads or tampons that contain harmful chemicals;
As for the last category of risk factors, several studies have outlined numerous toxic compounds responsible for vaginal irritation. Dioxines are the most disputed substances contained in different female menstrual hygiene pads, and while their toxicity is demonstrated, their absorption and interaction with vaginal flora remain a constant debate.
In a recent study by Park et al., the authors investigated the concentration of phthalate in sanitary pads and diapers, and concluded that due to the high potential of absorption and long-term exposure it may have a cumulative harmful effect on the organism and that further studies will be needed to investigate the potential impact of the exposure to volatile organic compounds VOCs and phthalates contained in these products.
In a case-report study, Methyl dibromo glutaronitrile (MDBGN), an important sensitizer contained in sanitary pads, was responsible for contact dermatitis. Moreover, in the same study, the authors identified 20 more cases of allergy to MDBGN in 2837 patients tested during this 1993-2004 (0.7%). These findings suggest that, although rare, the contact dermatitis determined by MDBGN is possible and should be avoided.
These are only some examples of harmful substances that can be contained in menstrual hygiene products. It is important to be aware of them and to avoid such Irritants.
What are the Symptoms of Vaginitis?
Itchy vagina, local burning sensation, pain and tension are typical symptoms for vulvovaginitis. The vulvar area can change its color to red or a brownish pigmentation can appear due to chronic irritation. Local edema can be accompanied by vesicles, bullae or excoriations and ulcerations that sometimes extend to the inferior portion of the vagina. Also, an odorless vaginal discharge can be intermittently manifested.
Most often, these symptoms occur in association with the use of a local irritant, such as those contained in female hygiene products or soaps, and are ameliorated when the irritant agent is removed. Sometimes women with these complaints have also an allergic personal or familial background.
So, a thorough patient history must be taken in order to assess the hygiene habits, sexual behavior and the use of products with harmful chemicals. The genital examination, along with vaginal swabs collection and analysis can exclude other causes of vulvovaginitis.
Treatment for Vaginitis:
The first step of the treatment is to remove the cause of irritation, allergy or trauma. The woman must be aware of the sensitive local environment and must pay special attention to the sensitizing agents, intimate hygiene and sexual behavior.
A water-based lubricant can be recommended before and during intercourse, as well as avoiding rough sexual practices.
The women must specifically avoid:
- Any irritant stimulus: vaginal deodorants, perfumes, alkaline and colored soaps, internal douching, etc;
- Prolonged use of internal tampons; they should be replaced by external pads that don’t contain harmful chemicals.
- Thigh clothing and synthetic materials;
- Wet underwear after exercising, swimming or sauna;
- Aggressive intimate and postcoital hygiene;
- Unhealthy diets;
There are many options for the medical treatment of non- infectious vulvovaginitis:
- Triamcinolone ointment (0,1%) applied twice daily for irritant contact dermatitis;
- Wet compresses of aluminum acetate solution for 30 min, multiple times a day, for sever vulvar lesions;
- Hydrocortisone (0,5-1%) and fluorinated corticosteroids in lotions or creams may help to reduce symptoms, especially allergic reactions;
- Sodium bicarbonate sitz baths.
PECTIV as a Solution:
Did you know that Bacterial Growth on conventional sanitary pad surface is due to humidity in your intimate area that can adversely affect your vaginal health causing infections Vaginitis and bad odor.
As a Solution, we introduce to you a next generation of Refined Sanitary Pads and Liners!
Pectiv® has an anion strip to prevent bacterial growth and a breathable layer that prevents humidity in the intimate areas.
Pectiv® offers long-lasting comfort and protection, whilst being gentle on your intimate area, giving you peace of mind – so whatever your day brings, you can feel confident.