Synonyms: Vaginal infection, Vulvovaginitis (inflammation of the vagina and vulva)

Medical Specialties: Obstetrics/gynecology

Clinical Definition

Vaginitis is a condition affecting the vagina brought on by bacteria, yeast or viruses that cause infection or inflammation. Symptoms vary depending on the cause of the infection. 

In Our Own Words

Vaginitis is an infection or inflammation of the vagina. Often there is a change in the balance of the microscopic flora in the vagina, causing the vaginal lining to become inflamed. This is sometimes referred to as bacterial vaginosis. Vaginitis may be caused by infection with bacteria, yeast or virus. Infections like trichomoniasis may also be passed between sexual partners. 

Relevant Conditions
Common Types
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Candida or “yeast” vaginitis
  • Trichomoniasis vaginitis (a sexually transmitted infection)
  • Viral vaginitis
  • Non-infectious vaginitis
Side Effects
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge with an odor
  • Burning during urination
  • Itching around the outside of the vagina
  • Discomfort during intercourse
Share this article
  • The Cleveland Clinic. Health Information. Diseases & Conditions 2012. Accessed July 2013.
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “Frequently Asked Questions: Vaginitis.” Copyright 2011. Accessed July 2013.
Keep Reading

Investigate your bodys signs and signals.
Try Symptom Checker