Vaginitis is a medical term used to describe various disorders that cause infection or inflammation of the vagina.
These conditions can result from an infection caused by organisms such as bacteria, yeast, or viruses. Irritations from chemicals in creams, sprays, or even clothing that are in contact with this area can also result in vaginitis.
In some cases, vaginitis results from organisms that are passed between sexual partners, vaginal dryness and lack of estrogen.
Types of Vaginitis
Doctors refer to the various conditions that cause an infection or inflammation of the vagina as “vaginitis.” The most common kinds are:
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Candida or “yeast” infections
- Reactions or allergies (non-infectious vaginitis)
- Viral vaginitis
Although they may have different symptoms, a diagnosis can be tricky even for an experienced doctor. Part of the problem is that you could have more than one at the same time.
Symptoms of Vaginitis
What are the symptoms of vaginitis?
The symptoms of vaginitis can vary depending on what is causing the infection or inflammation. Some women have no symptoms at all. Some of the more common symptoms of vaginitis include:
- Abnormal vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor
- Burning feeling outside of the vagina during urination
- Itching around the outside of the vagina
- Discomfort during intercourse
How is vulvovaginitis treated?
The correct treatment for vulvovaginitis depends on the type of infection and the organism causing the problem.
It’s possible to treat some types of vulvovaginitis on your own. But be sure to speak with your doctor before initiating any treatment.
After your doctor identifies the type of organism causing your vaginitis, they’ll likely prescribe medication.