Encyclopedia Home / V / Vulvovaginitis


  • Alternative Names

    Vaginitis; Vaginal inflammation; Inflammation of the vagina


    Treatment depends on what is causing the infection. Treatment may include:

    • Antibiotics taken by mouth or applied to the skin
    • Antifungal cream
    • Antibacterial cream
    • Cortisone cream
    • Antihistamine, if the irritation is due to an allergic reaction
    • Estrogen cream, if the irritation and inflammation is due to low levels of estrogen

    Proper cleansing is important and may help prevent irritation, particularly in those with infections caused by bacteria normally found in stool. Sitz baths may be recommended.

    It is often helpful to allow more air to reach the genital area. You can do this by:

    • Wearing cotton underwear (rather than nylon) or underwear that has a cotton lining in the crotch area. This increases air flow and decreases moisture.
    • Removing underwear at bedtime.

    Note: If a sexually transmitted infection is diagnosed, it is very important that any other sexual partners receive treatment, even if they do not have symptoms. If your sexual partner is infected but not treated, you risk becoming infected over and over again.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Proper treatment of an infection is usually very effective.

    • Discomfort that does not go away
    • Skin infection (from scratching)
    • Complications due to the cause of the condition (such as gonorrhea and candida infection)

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if vulvovaginitis symptoms are present or if known vulvovaginitis does not respond to treatment.