Cytolytic vaginosis (CV) is a less common, non-infectious cause of abnormal vaginal discharge. It is thought that CV is caused by an overgrowth of Lactobacilli (LB), which in turn leads to a lowering of the pH and thus excess acidity of the vagina. This then damages the lining cells of the vagina and can lead to symptoms.
Symptoms include discharge, itch, discomfort and painful sex. It can be seen that the symptoms are very similar to those which occur with thrush and patients have often undergone many anti thrush treatments to no avail.
Diagnosis involves examining a vaginal sample microscopically to identify the features and damaged cells. Culture is performed to rule out thrush.
Treatment is directed towards increasing the pH and stopping all antifungals.