Vaginitis | Symptoms and Types of Allergic Vaginitis
Women suffering from chronic vaginitis who don’t seem to find relief from over the counter treatments can often attribute their condition to allergy, known as allergic vaginitis. Because the vaginal area has all of the potential allergic tendencies that the nasal and sinus areas do, allergic symptoms can manifest in the vagina. The vaginal lining (mucosa) is capable of an allergic response just like the nose and the throat.
Vaginitis causes symptoms like:
- Itching and irritation
- Pain during urination and intercourse
- Change in color or odor of discharge
These symptoms can relate to two types of allergic vaginitis:
- The first, as unusual as it sounds, is caused by airborne and food allergens. When exposed to the airborne allergy or food that a woman is allergic to, symptoms can appear in the vagina.
- The second form of allergic vaginitis comes from being allergic to natural yeast in the vagina, sometimes called candida. Some women develop too much yeast over time and, in turn, they actually become allergic to that, which can cause chronic symptoms.
The relationship between vaginitis and allergy isn’t always recognized so it is not always diagnosed. Allergists are often focused on the sinuses and respiratory tract, whereas gynecologists focus more on infections. Somewhere in between, there is a disconnect that results in those with chronic allergic vaginitis suffering without treatment.
The good news is that treatment is available. While antihistamines help control symptoms, conducting allergy testing and determining the root cause of the reaction can help provide relief. Custom sublingual immunotherapy can be used to help create long-term tolerance to allergens and avoid chronic vaginitis.
Dr. Demetrios Theodoropoulos, an Allergy Associates partner, studied the allergy/chronic vaginitis connection and found that treating underlying allergy using allergy drops can help improve patients’ related conditions: Inhalant allergy compounding the chronic vaginitis syndrome: characterization of sensitization patterns, comorbidities and responses to sublingual immunotherapy. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2016 Sep;294(3):541-8. doi: 10.1007/s00404-016-4081-2. Epub 2016 Apr 4.