Vaginitis: Symptoms & Signs

  • 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.

Medically Reviewed on 4/25/2019

Vaginitis refers to inflammation of the vagina.

Signs and symptoms of vaginitis can include vaginal pain or discomfort, pain or burning during urination, painful sexual intercourse, abnormal vaginal discharge, irritation, itching, and abnormal vaginal odor. Other associated symptoms can include redness of the vagina or vulva, swelling of the vulva, and itching of the vulva or skin around the vagina.

Causes of vaginitis

Causes of vaginitis can vary and include trauma, poor hygiene, and infections. Infectious causes of vaginitis include yeast infections (vaginal candidiasis), as well as sexually transmitted infections (sexually transmitted diseases), including gonorrhea, Trichomonas, and chlamydia. In women who have reached menopause, decreases in estrogen levels can cause thinning of the vaginal walls and a form of vaginitis known as atrophic vaginitis.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/25/2019

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