<p><strong>What Is Vaginitis?</strong></p>
<p>Vaginitis is a disorder of the vagina caused by infection or inflammation. It is often a result of infection by one of various microorganisms, but vaginitis may also be caused by irritation from soaps or medications, an allergic reaction, or hormonal changes. The three most common types of vaginitis are candidiasis (yeast infection), trichomoniasis (infection by a tiny, one-celled organism called a protozoan), and bacterial vaginosis. These three types account for more than 90% of all vaginitis seen in non-menopausal women. Menopausal women may get atrophic vaginitis associated with thinning of the walls of the vagina. This is due to estrogen deprivation.</p>
<p>Although irritating, vaginitis is not a serious health risk, and it typically subsides quickly with treatment. Recurrent or persistent cases may be associated with an underlying medical condition.</p>
Our vaginas smell -- all the time. We rarely notice, of course, because when the vagina has a balanced pH level the odor remains largely consistent and indiscernible. But it doesn’t take much to upset that pH: sex with a partner wearing a condom, as well as semen, tampons, menstruation, the use of vibrators and even eating certain foods with strong flavors and odors can all change the pH and bring about new and different smells.
Some of the most common odors are:
What it might mean: A fishy smell can be a sign of either bacterial vaginosis, a bacterial infection, or trichomoniasis, a common and easily treated STI . With both, you might also notice a white or gray discharge .
Should you see a doctor ? Yes. Both of these infections are treated with antibiotics.
What it might mean: You have recently had your period or you have recently had sex where semen entered your vagina. Both of these c...
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