Improving the Diagnosis of Vulvovaginitis: Perspectives to Align Practice, Guidelines, and Awareness.
Vulvovaginitis is a frequent reason for women to see a health care provider and has been linked to adverse reproductive and psychosocial consequences. Accurate diagnosis is a cornerstone of effective treatment, yet misdiagnosis of this condition approaches 50%, raising the risk of recurrence. The past 3 decades have seen few improvements over the traditional means of diagnosing the 3 main causes of vaginitis: bacterial vaginosis, Candida infections, and trichomoniasis. Newer molecular tests, which are both more sensitive and specific, have introduced the potential to transform the diagnosis of vaginitis-ensuring more accurate diagnoses and timely interventions, while reducing health care costs and enhancing patients' quality of life. Clinical approaches and professional guidelines should be updated to reflect advances in molecular testing and improve the diagnosis and management of acute and recurrent vulvovaginitis.
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