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Overview – Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina that can result in discharge, itching and pain. There are different types like bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, trichomoniasis and atrophic vaginitis.

Causes/Risk Factors

It is caused by a change in the balance of your vaginal bacteria or a fungal infection. It can also result from reduced oestrogen levels after menopause. Chemicals from stuff you put in your vagina can also cause it.

Factors that can increase your risk of developing vaginitis include:

  •  Hormonal changes, such as those associated with pregnancy, use of birth control pills or menopause
  •  Sexual activity
  •  Having a sexually transmitted infection
  •  Medications, such as antibiotics and steroids
  •  Uncontrolled diabetes
  •  Use of hygiene products such as bubble bath, vaginal spray or vaginal deodorant
  •  Douching
  •  Wearing damp or tight-fitting clothing
  •  Using an intra-uterine device for birth controlSymptomsSymptoms may include:
  •  Change in the colour, odour or amount of discharge from your vagina
  •  Vaginal itching or irritation
  •  Pain during intercourse
  •  Painful urination
  •  Light vaginal bleeding or spottingThe characteristics of the vaginal discharge may indicate the type of vaginitis you have.Diagnosis

Your doctor will listen to your medical history and do a pelvic examination. Blood tests and vagina swabs will also be helpful.


The treatment of vaginitis depends on the cause. Drugs and ointments may be useful.

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