Symptoms and Signs of Vaginal Infections (Vaginitis)

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Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Vaginal Infections (Vaginitis)

Vaginal infections are infections of the tissues of the vagina with viruses, bacteria, yeast, or parasites such as Trichomonas. Not all vaginal infections are considered to be sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs), but many STDs can cause vaginal infections, including herpesviruses, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Candidiasis, or yeast infection, is another common type of vaginal infection.

Many signs and symptoms can accompany vaginal infections. In some cases, the infection may be silent and not produce symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they are related to the type of infection. Associated symptoms and signs include vaginal discharge, odor, redness, pain with urination, pain with sexual intercourse, and itching of the vaginal area. Herpesvirus infections can lead to the characteristic painful blister formation, and infections with human papillomavirus (HPV) cause genital warts.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.