What is vulvovaginitis?

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Patricia Geraghty, NP
Women's Health
Vulvovaginitis is a general term that encompasses any inflammation and/or infection of the vagina and surrounding areas, including the opening to the bladder and around the anus. There are a number of causes for vulvovaginitis, including fungal, bacterial, hormonal and environmental factors. Treatment is determined by the specific cause. 
Howard S. Smith
Pain Medicine
Vulvovaginitis may be due to an allergic reaction (contact vaginitis), infection (bacterial, parasitic, fungal), or hypoestrogenism (atrophic). Symptoms include burning, discomfort, dyspareunia, and abdominal vaginal discharge. It is important to localize the pain in order to arrive at a diagnosis and proper treatment.
Vaginitis is a very common disease, which is characterized by an inflammation or infection of the vagina. Vaginitis can be further classified as inflammation of solely the vulva, which is called vulvitis, or inflammation of the vulva as well as inflammation of the rest of the vagina, which is called vulvovaginitis. The vulva can be defined as the external portions of the vagina, including the inner and outer lips (labia majora and labia minora), the vaginal opening and the area surrounding it (vestibule), the urinary opening, and the skin between the vagina and the anus (perineum). Vulvovaginitis is common in women of all ages, and is the leading gynecological disease diagnosed in girls who have not yet reached puberty. Vulvovaginitis can cause irritation, itching, and a vaginal discharge. There are many possible causes of the condition, including bacterial infection, estrogen deficiency, dermatitis, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and candidiasis. Treatment depends on the causes; typically vulvovaginitis can be treated with medication or a topical cream.

Vaginitis is a very common disease, which is characterized by an inflammation or infection of the vagina. Vaginitis can be further classified as inflammation of solely the vulva, which is called vulvitis, or inflammation of the vulva as well as inflammation of the rest of the vagina, which is called vulvovaginitis. The vulva can be defined as the external portions of the vagina, including the inner and outer lips (labia majora and labia minora), the vaginal opening and the area surrounding it (vestibule), the urinary opening, and the skin between the vagina and the anus (perineum). Vulvovaginitis is common in women of all ages, and is the leading gynecological disease diagnosed in girls who have not yet reached puberty. Although vulvovaginitis can cause irritation, itching, and a vaginal discharge, it can typically be treated with medication or a topical cream.

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Continue Learning about Vulvovaginitis

Vulvovaginitis

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.
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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.