Gynecologic Health — Vaginitis

Vaginitis (vulvovaginitis) is the inflammation or infection of the vulva and vagina. Common symptoms include irritation and itching of the genital area, inflammation (irritation, redness, and swelling), vaginal discharge, vaginal odor, or discomfort while urinating.

Causes of vulvovaginitis

  • Infections from bacteria, yeasts, viruses, and other parasites
  • Allergens such as the chemicals found in bubble baths, soaps, vaginal contraceptives, and feminine sprays
  • Environmental factors such as poor hygiene or tight-fitting or nonabsorbent clothing
  • A lack of estrogen in postmenopausal women
  • Inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and lichen planus


Treatment depends on what is causing the infection. Treatment may include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antifungal cream
  • Antibacterial cream
  • Steroid cream
  • Antihistamine, if the irritation is due to an allergic reaction
  • Estrogen cream, if the irritation and inflammation are due to low levels of estrogen