Chronic vaginal infections are exceedingly common. Up to three out of four women have a vaginal yeast infection at some point in their life — often more than once. If you’re experiencing itching, pain, or other symptoms, it could be a vaginal infection or another condition. Specializing in gynecological vulvovaginal diseases, Joseph Brooks, MD, with Arizona Specialized Gynecology provides expert diagnosis and treatment for chronic vaginal infections and beyond. Call the practice, conveniently located in Phoenix, today, or book a consultation online.
Vaginal problems are among the most common reasons women see Dr. Brooks. One common problem is vaginitis, an inflammation of the vagina or vulva typically brought on by yeast or bacteria.
There are different types of vaginitis, and they have different causes, symptoms, and treatments. For example, irritant vaginitis may mimic the symptoms of vaginal yeast infections, such as vaginal burning and discharge. Similarities like this often confuse doctors who aren’t experts in vulvovaginal infections.
Other problems that affect the vagina include sexually transmitted diseases and a painful condition called vulvodynia.
With a vaginal condition, you may experience symptoms such as:
Symptoms vary depending on your condition and the source of your infection. Dr. Brooks determines whether your chronic vaginal infection is caused by a yeast or something else.
Chronic yeast infections occur four or more times per year. Most recurrent yeast infections are caused by a yeast strain called Candida glabrata, which doctors often fail to catch on wet preps, when the doctor analyzes a sample of your vaginal discharge, as it can be difficult to culture.
This form of yeast is typically resistant to fluconazole and over-the-counter yeast medications. As an expert in vulvovaginal conditions, Dr. Brooks identifies the exact form of yeast to prescribe the correct medicines to treat your infection.
Another condition that causes chronic vulvar pain and other symptoms is vulvodynia.
Chronic pain or discomfort around the opening of your vagina may be vulvodynia, which may be caused by an infection, skin disorder, or an unknown condition. Vulvodynia typically lasts at least three months, and sometimes for years.
Left untreated, vulvodynia can make activities like sitting or having sex almost impossible. It causes symptoms, such as:
If you have vulvodynia, Dr. Brooks identifies which form you have.
You experience pain when something touches the area of your vulva. You may be unable to wear a tampon, have sex, ride a bicycle, and experience other symptoms.
You feel pain in the vulvar area most of the time, even when nothing is touching it. You may have increased discharge, and feel burning, stinging, rawness or aching in the vulva.
Dr. Brooks tailors a treatment plan for your diagnosis and needs. He recommends a topical anesthetic ointment to help relieve the pain and to heal nerve endings.
He often prescribes medications to treat chronic pain and recommends physical therapy. Physical therapy may help alleviate spasms and pain in the pelvic muscles.
You don’t need to suffer from chronic vaginal infections, vulvar pain, or vulvodynia when treatment is available at Arizona Specialized Gynecology. Call today or book a consultation online.