Vaginitis is any type of vaginal infection or inflammation. The six most common types of vaginitis are Candida (yeast infections), bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis vaginitis, chlamydia vaginitis, viral vaginitis, and noninfectious vaginitis. Symptoms include itching, burning, and abnormal vaginal discharge. Treatment is different for each type of vaginitis.
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.
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
Vaginitis is inflammation of the vagina that arises from any
cause. Infections with bacteria, yeast, or Trichomonas organisms are common
causes of vaginitis, but physical or chemical irritation can also lead to
inflammation and vaginitis. Some of the infections that cause vaginitis are
sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), but not all forms of vaginitis are due to
STDs. Often, the vulvar area is also inflamed along with vaginitis, a condition
that is referred to as vulvovaginitis.
Reviewed by Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP on 6/15/2012
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?
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.