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Vaginal discharge 

Vaginal discharge
Chapter:
Vaginal discharge
Author(s):

Paul Nyirjesy

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0191
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date: 25 February 2021

Vaginal symptoms are a frequent source of discomfort and distress for many women. Bacterial vaginosis, vulvovaginal candidiasis, and trichomoniasis are considered the most common causes in premenopausal women, but atrophic vaginitis and non-infectious disorders seem to occur more often in menopausal women. Self-diagnosis and syndromic management, although increasingly encouraged in many parts of the world, are fraught with inaccuracy. A proper diagnosis depends on a thorough history, examination, and readily available tests in the clinic. Ancillary tests to be considered in selective circumstances include culture for yeast, culture or nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) for Trichomonas vaginalis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, or Chlamydia trachomatis, and Gram stain or (rarely) maturation index. Once a proper diagnosis is obtained, appropriate treatment can be selected.

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