Encyclopedia Home / V / Vulvovaginitis


  • Alternative Names

    Vaginitis; Vaginal inflammation; Inflammation of the vagina

    • Irritation and itching of the genital area
    • Inflammation (irritation, redness, and swelling) of the labia majora, labia minora, or perineal area
    • Vaginal discharge
    • Foul vaginal odor
    • Discomfort or burning when urinating

    Signs and tests

    If you have been diagnosed with a yeast infection in the past, you can try treatment with over-the-counter products. However, if your symptoms do not completely disappear in about a week, contact your health care provider. Many other infections have similar symptoms.

    The health care provider will perform a pelvic examination. This may show red, tender areas on the vulva or vagina.

    A wet prep (microscopic evaluation of vaginal discharge) is usually done to identify a vaginal infection or overgrowth of yeast or bacteria. In some cases, a culture of the vaginal discharge may identify the organism causing the infection.

    A biopsy of the irritated area on the vulva may be recommended if there are no signs of infection.