Vaginitis Definition, Reason, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

Vaginitis Definition, Reason, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention


Vaginitis is a term used to describe a condition in which there is inflammation of the vagina. This condition is one of the most common gynecological complaints.

This condition is also known as vaginal infection or vaginal inflammation. Most of the time, vaginitis is caused by an infection.

Vaginitis Symptom

People who experience vaginitis will usually complain of abnormal vaginal discharge or discharge. The form of vaginal discharge varies, depending on the cause of vaginitis.

Other accompanying symptoms can also differ, depending on the cause of vaginitis, such as:

  • Bacterial vaginosis. White gray or white yellow liquid coming out, smells fishy. This condition can be accompanied by itching and an unpleasant odor when having sex.
  • Candidiasis. White and thick discharge resembling spoiled milk, but odorless. There may be itching and redness of the vulva, a burning or burning sensation in the vulva (especially when exposed to urine), and dyspareunia (pain during intercourse).
  • Trichomoniasis. Foamy discharge – which can be of different colors such as white, gray, yellow or green. Apart from that, there are also complaints of itching, burning, and pain in the vaginal area and vulva, as well as a burning feeling when urinating. Postcoital bleeding can also be found due to inflammation of the cervix. Another sign is the appearance of an unpleasant odor during sexual intercourse.
  • Light bleeding or spots may appear.

Vaginitis Reason

Many things can cause vaginitis, some of which are:

  • Bacterial vaginosis (40–45%). Complaints resulting from overgrowth of the normal vaginal flora causing an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina (too many ‘bad’ bacteria and not enough ‘good’ bacteria).
  • Candidiasis (20–25%). Generally caused by infection by Candida albicans, which is a type of fungal infection. This fungus is usually found in the vagina in normal amounts. However, if the amount is excessive, it can cause disturbing complaints.
  • Trichomoniasis (15–20%). This condition is caused by infection with the protozoa Trichomonas vaginalis. This condition is a sexually transmitted infection.
  • Other sexually transmitted infections –for example chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, and so on.
  • Atrophic vaginitis. This condition is caused by thinning of the endothelium or lining in the vagina due to a decrease in the amount of the hormone estrogen (usually during menopause) which makes the vagina more susceptible to irritation and inflammation.
  • Allergic reactions and irritation – for example to vaginal cleansers, soaps, laundry detergent, pads, condoms, and so on.
  • Lack of hygiene in the female area.


To determine the diagnosis of vaginitis, a detailed history or medical interview will generally be carried out. The doctor will usually ask questions about the signs and symptoms that are felt.

Apart from that, it is also necessary to do a physical examination to assess the vaginal area and its surroundings, as well as the discharge that comes out of the vagina. The liquid that comes out of the vagina, or what is known as vaginal discharge, will be observed. Usually, the doctor will judge based on color, nature, and aroma.

Often, a small amount of this fluid will be taken to do some investigations. Examinations that may be carried out include whiff tests, vaginal pH assessment, culture, staining, and others.

Vaginitis Treatment

The treatment given really depends on the cause of vaginitis, whether it’s an infection or not. Vaginitis caused by bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis is generally treated with antibiotics.

Vaginitis due to candidiasis is treated with anti-fungal administration. Vaginitis due to irritation or allergic reactions is treated by avoiding exposure to triggers of complaints. Atrophic vaginitis can be treated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT), for example, giving a cream that contains estrogen.

Some things that need to be considered during the treatment of vaginitis include:

  • Keep the feminine area clean and dry. Always use unscented soap to clean the female area.
  • Avoid doing vaginal douche (spraying the vagina with water or cleaning fluids).
  • Avoid using feminine area cleaning products.
  • Wear cotton underwear and avoid too-tight underwear.
  • If the treatment is done using a cream, you should use pads and avoid using tampons during menstruation.
  • Clean the vagina from front to back.
  • Avoid using materials that might irritate or cause allergies to the vagina. For example deodorizers, panty-liners, soaps, and so on.

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