Your browser is not supported. Please upgrade to a modern browser in order to use all the features of the UKHC web application: Firefox | Chrome | Microsoft Edge
Skip to main content
close menu
close menu

Search UK HealthCare


Vaginitis is soreness or infection of the vagina. This common problem can cause itching and burning. And it can cause a change in vaginal discharge. Sometimes it can cause pain during sex. Vaginitis may be caused by bacteria, yeast, or other germs. Some infections that cause it are caught from a sexual partner. Bath products, spermicides, and douches can irritate the vagina too.

Some women have this problem during and after menopause. A drop in estrogen levels during this time can cause dryness, soreness, and pain during sex.

Your doctor can give you medicine to treat an infection. And home care may help you feel better. For certain types of infections, your sex partner must be treated too.

  • Symptoms

    What are the symptoms of vaginitis?

    Symptoms of vaginitis may include:

    • A change in your normal vaginal discharge, including gray, green, or yellow discharge.
    • Vaginal redness, swelling, itching, or pain.
    • Vaginal odor.
    • Burning when you urinate.
    • Pain or bleeding when you have sex.
  • Diagnosis

    How is vaginitis diagnosed?

    Your doctor will check your vagina for redness and swelling and will take a sample of vaginal discharge. The sample can be tested in a lab to see what is causing the problem.

  • Treatment

    How is vaginitis treated?

    If you are pregnant, talk with your doctor if you have any symptoms. Some problems can affect your pregnancy, so it is important to talk with your doctor and get the right treatment.

    Yeast infection.

    If you have had a yeast infection before and can recognize the symptoms, and you aren't pregnant, you can treat yourself at home with medicines you can buy without a prescription. You can use an antifungal cream or suppository that you put into your vagina. Or your doctor may prescribe a medicine to treat the infection.

    Bacterial vaginosis.

    Doctors usually use antibiotics to treat this problem. It is usually a mild problem. But it can lead to more serious problems, so it's a good idea to see your doctor and get treatment.


    This infection is also treated with antibiotics. Both you and your sex partner need treatment.

    Atrophic vaginitis.

    This usually is treated with estrogen creams or tablets.