What are vaginal infections?

Dr. Kevin W. Windom, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

Vaginal infections are the overgrowth of bacteria, fungus or viruses in the vaginal area. The most common symptoms are excess vaginal discharge but at times can cause severe itching or ulcerations. If you think you have a vaginal infection, it is important to seek medical attention because some vaginal infections can cause severe problems in which you could have an overwhelming illness or problems with infections in the pelvic anatomy causing future infertility. Some infections are sexully transmitted.

Infections of the vagina are very common and affect millions of women. There are many types of vaginal infections, most of which are fungal or bacterial in nature and cause inflammation and irritation of the vagina. Vaginal infections can cause a variety of symptoms and are not life-threatening.

The exact number of women with vaginal infections is not known, but vaginal infections are very common. It is estimated that vaginal infections account for 10 million doctor's visits each year. Many more women have vaginal infections but do not seek treatment because they do not have symptoms.

Continue Learning about Vulvovaginitis



Vulvovaginitis refers to numerous types of infections that can affect the vulva and vaginal area. Causes of vulvovaginitis include yeast, bacteria, parasites STDs and other viruses. If you have symptoms of vulvovaginitis like odor...

, discharge, itching, rash or pain in the vagina, you should call your doctor. You will want to make sure that you are treated for this condition, as it does not always go away on its own.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.