Author: Dr Carolina González, Dermatology Registrar, Santiago, Chile. DermNet NZ Editor in chief: Dr Amanda Oakley; Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand. January 2018.
Vaginitis means an inflamed vagina. The term is loosely used to refer to any vaginal condition that results in a vaginal discharge. it can be due to infectious and non-infectious causes.
Aerobic vaginitis is characterised by:
Aerobic vaginitis was first characterised by Donders et al in 2002 .
Desquamative inflammatory vaginitis is a severe form of aerobic vaginitis .
Aerobic vaginitis may affect adult women of any age, pre- and post-menopause. The prevalence has been estimated in different populations as 5–13% of asymptomatic women and affects a greater proportion of women with vaginal symptoms. It may be less prevalent among pregnant women.
Risk factors for infection are under evaluation.
The cause of aerobic vaginitis is unknown. It is a dysbiosis (disturbed microbiome) in which aerobic micro-organisms reside in the vaginal microflora. These include:
It is unclear whether the primary cause of aerobic vaginitis is pathogenic organisms, lack of lactobacilli, immune dysregulation and pro-inflammatory cytokines, or insufficient oestrogen in the vaginal mucosa (atrophic vulvovaginitis) .
Symptoms can fluctuate over a long period of time. They include :
Examination findings may include:
Aerobic vaginitis has been associated with :
Diagnosis is confirmed by wet mount microscopy of fresh vaginal fluid, ideally using phase contrast. The aerobic vaginitis (AV) score is graded as 0–3 (absent), 3–4 (mild), 5–6 (moderate). 6–10 (severe). AV score is calculated from :
Various advanced diagnostic methods are being established for aerobic vaginitis.
*By PedroVieiraBaptista (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Treatment of aerobic vaginitis depends on the microscopic findings and patient needs .
Expert advice should be sought from a medical microbiologist in pregnant women with aerobic vaginitis.
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