Vaginitis

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

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Vaginitis Causes

Yeast Infections (a Type of Vaginitis) and Douching

Viewer question: Does douching cause yeast infections (a form of vaginitis)? Also, is it necessary to douche after a yeast infection?

Doctor's response:

All healthy women have bacteria and other organisms in the vagina. The balance of organisms and the normal acidity of the vagina both act to prevent overgrowth of specific organisms, leading to symptoms of a vaginal infection. Douching disturbs the normal environment of the vagina, which can lead to inflammation and further imbalance of the organisms normally present in the vaginal canal. This can result in symptoms such as chronic vaginal dischargeand discomfort.

Vaginitis facts

  • Vaginitis is inflammation of the vagina.
  • Symptoms of vaginitis include vaginal pain or discomfort, itching, discharge, and odor. Pain with urination or during sexual intercourse is also common.
  • Vaginitis may be due to infections or non-infectious causes.
  • Infectious vaginitis may be due to bacteria, fungus, or the parasitic organism known as Trichomonas.
  • Infectious vaginitis should be treated with antibiotics.
  • Vaginitis can also be related to physical or chemical irritation of the vagina.
  • Some infectious causes of vaginitis are sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs), but not all vaginal infections are sexually-transmitted.

What is vaginitis?

Vaginitis refers to inflammation of the vagina that often occurs in combination with inflammation of the vulva, a condition known as vulvovaginitis. Vaginitis is often the result of an infection with yeast, bacteria, or Trichomonas, but it may also arise due to physical or chemical irritation of the area. Not all infections that cause vaginitis are considered sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), but some STDs cause vaginitis.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/20/2015

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