SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Vaginitis symptoms may include:
- Change in color, odor or amount of discharge from your vagina
- Vaginal itching or irritation
- Pain during intercourse
- Painful urination
- Light vaginal bleeding or spotting
The characteristics of your vaginal discharge may indicate the type of vaginitis you have. Examples include:
- Bacterial vaginosis. You may develop a grayish-white, foul-smelling discharge. The odor, often described as fish-like, may be more obvious after sexual intercourse.
- Yeast infections. The main symptom is itching, but you may have a white, thick discharge that resembles cottage cheese.
- Trichomoniasis. This infection can cause a greenish yellow, sometimes frothy discharge.
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if you develop any unusual vaginal discomfort, particularly if:
- You've never had a vaginal infection. Seeing your doctor will establish the cause and help you learn to identify the signs and symptoms.
- You've had vaginal infections before, but in this case, it seems different.
- You've had multiple sex partners or a recent new partner. You could have a sexually transmitted infection. The signs and symptoms of some sexually transmitted infections are similar to those of a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis.
- You've completed a course of over-the-counter anti-yeast medication and your symptoms persist, you have a fever, or you have a particularly unpleasant vaginal odor. These are signs the infection may be from something other than yeast or from a resistant strain of yeast.
You probably don't need to see your doctor every time you have vaginal irritation and discharge, particularly if:
- You've previously had a diagnosis of vaginal yeast infections and your signs and symptoms are the same as before
- You know the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection, and you're confident that you have a yeast infection
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