Topic Tuesday: What is Vaginitis?

Great question!
Vaginitis is an irritation of your vagina or vulva. It’s super common and usually easy to treat. Almost everyone with a vagina gets vaginitis at some point.
Vaginitis is often the result of an infection with yeast, bacteria, or Trichomonas, but it may also arise due to physical or chemical irritation of the area. Not all infections that cause vaginitis are considered sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but some STIs cause vaginitis.
Types and Causes 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, inflammation of the vagina due to an overgrowth of bacteria. It sometimes causes a strong fishy odor.
Candida or "yeast" infection, an overgrowth of the fungus candida, which can be found in small amounts in the vagina.
Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in women
Gonorrhea is another common infection spread through sex. It can be associated with Chlamydia.
Trichomoniasis is an infection spread by sex that’s caused by a parasite. It raises your risk for other STIs.
Viral vaginitis is inflammation caused by a virus, like the herpes simplex virus (HSV) or human papillomavirus (HPV), which spread through sex. Sores on the genitals can be painful, but warts usually are not painful.
Symptoms of vaginitis include:
  • Your vagina and/or vulva is discolored, irritated, swollen, or uncomfortable.
  • Itching, burning, and pain in your vulva or vagina.
  • Pain or discomfort during sex.
  • Peeing may sting if your vulva is really irritated.
Vaginal discharge that isn’t normal for you:
  • With yeast infections, discharge is usually thick, white, and odorless. You may also have a white coating in and around your vagina.
  • With bacterial vaginosis, you may have vaginal discharge that’s grayish, foamy, and smells fishy. (But it’s also common for BV to have no symptoms.)
  • With trichomonas, discharge is often frothy, yellow-green, smells bad, and may have spots of blood in it.
What is the treatment for vaginitis?
  • The treatment for vaginitis depends upon its cause. Infectious vaginitis is treated with antibiotic medications. Bacterial vaginitis is treated with either oral antibiotics, intra-vaginal antibiotic creams, or injections (shots) of antibiotics. More aggressive treatments are required for recurrent forms of vaginitis.
At FPA Women’s Health we offer testing for all kinds of vaginitis. Have questions or need to make an appointment?. Call (877) 883.7264 or visit our website at to book an appointment online.