Vaginal Discharge/vaginitis



  • Vaginitis is vulvovaginal inflammation with or without abnormal vaginal discharge:
    • Common symptoms: Itching, burning, irritation, pain
    • Abnormal discharge is defined as an increased amount or change in color
  • Some amount of vaginal discharge is normal:
    • Glands in the cervix produce clear mucus that may turn white or yellow when exposed to air


  • Bacterial vaginosis (BV):
    • The most common cause
    • Loss of normal Lactobacillus sp. (e.g., antibiotics)
    • Inability to maintain normal vaginal pH
    • Overgrowth of normally present bacteria such as Gardnerella vaginalis, Mycoplasma hominis, Mobiluncus sp., Prevotella sp., and Peptostreptococcus sp
  • Bacterial infections:
    • Trichomonas vaginalis (Trichomoniasis)
    • Group A strep
    • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Fungal infections:
    • Candida sp. most common
    • Often underlying immune dysfunction:
      • Diabetes
      • HIV
  • Chemical irritants
  • Foreign body
  • Atrophic vaginitis:
    • Caused by estrogen deficiency
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Collagen vascular disease
  • Herpes simplex virus (HSV):
    • Vulvovaginitis
    • Cervicitis
  • Lichen sclerosis (atrophic)
  • Fistula

There's more to see -- the rest of this topic is available only to subscribers.