DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina that can result in discharge, itching and pain. The cause is usually a change in the normal balance of vaginal bacteria or an infection. Vaginitis can also result from reduced estrogen levels after menopause.
The most common types of vaginitis are:
- Bacterial vaginosis, which results from overgrowth of one of several organisms normally present in your vagina
- Yeast infections, which are usually caused by a naturally occurring fungus called Candida albicans
- Trichomoniasis, which is caused by a parasite and is commonly transmitted by sexual intercourse
- Vaginal atrophy (atrophic vaginitis), which results from reduced estrogen levels after menopause
Treatment depends on the type of vaginitis you have.
- Eschenbach DA. Pelvic and sexually transmitted infections. In: Gibb RS, et al. Danforth's Obstetrics and Gynecology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008:608.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, et al. Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2010. MMWR Recommendations and Reports. 2010;59:1. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5912a1.htm. Accessed Jan. 4, 2011.
- Eckert LO, et al. Infections of the lower genital tract: Vulva, vagina, cervix, toxic shock syndrome, HIV infections. In: Katz VL, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1524/0.html. Accessed Jan. 4, 2011.
- Nyirjesy P. Vulvovaginal candidiasis and bacterial vaginosis. Infectious Disease Clinics of North America. 2008;22:637.
- Castelo-Branco C, et al. Management of post-menopausal vaginal atrophy and atrophic vaginitis. Maturitas. 2005;52(suppl):S46.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Vaginitis. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2006;107:1195.