AllRefer Health - Caring for your Well Being

Home | About | FAQs | Contact Us

AllRefer Channels :: Yellow Pages | Reference | Health  

Diseases & Conditions
Select & Go
 Diet & Nutrition
 Diseases & Conditions 
 Injuries & Wounds
 Poisons & Overdoses
 Surgery & Procedures 
 Symptoms Guide
 Special Topics
 Tests & Exams
 Pictures & Images
 Medical Encyclopedia

You are here : AllRefer.com > Health > Diseases & Conditions > Vulvovaginitis

Vulvovaginitis

Alternate Names : Vaginitis, Vaginal inflammation, Inflammation of the vagina


Definition

Vulvovaginitis is inflammation or infection of the vulva and vagina.

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Vulvovaginitis can affect women of all ages and is extremely common. It can be caused by bacteria, yeasts, viruses, and other parasites. Some sexually transmitted diseases can also cause vulvovaginitis, as can various chemicals found in bubble baths, soaps, and perfumes. Environmental factors such as poor hygiene and allergens may also cause this condition.

Candida albicans, which causes yeast infections, is one of the most common causes of vulvovaginitis in women of all ages. Antibiotic use can lead to yeast infections by killing the normal antifungal bacteria that live in the vagina. Yeast infections typically cause genital itching and a thick, white vaginal discharg, and other symptoms. For more information see: Vaginal yeast infection

Another cause of vulvovaginitis is bacterial vaginosis, an overgrowth of certain types of bacteria in the vagina. Bacterial vaginosis may cause a thin, grey vaginal discharge and a fishy odor.

A sexually transmitted disease calledtrichomonas vaginitis infection is another common cause. This infection leads to genital itching, a vaginal odor, and a heavy vaginal discharge, which may be yellow-grey or green in color.

Bubble baths, soaps, vaginal contraceptives, feminine sprays, and perfumes can cause irritating itchy rashes in the genital area, while tight fitting or nonabsorbent clothing sometimes cause heat rashes.

Irritated tissue is more susceptible to infection than normal tissue, and many infection-causing organisms thrive in environments that are warm, damp, and dark. Not only can these factors contribute to the cause of vulvovaginitis, they frequently prolong the recovery period.

A lack of estrogen in postmenopausal women can result in vaginal dryness and thinning of vaginal and vulvar skin, which may also lead to or worsen genital itching and burning.

Nonspecific vulvovaginitis (where cause can be identified) can be seen in all age groups, but it occurs most commonly in young girls before puberty. Once puberty begins, the vagina becomes more acidic, which tends to help prevent infections.

Nonspecific vulvovaginitis can occur in girls with poor genital hygiene and is characterized by a foul-smelling, brownish-green discharge and irritation of the labia and vaginal opening. This condition is often associated with an overgrowth of a type of bacteria that is typically found in the stool. These bacteria are sometimes spread from the rectum to the vaginal area by wiping from back to front after using the bathroom.

Sexual abuse should be considered in children with unusual infections and recurrent episodes of unexplained vulvovaginitis. Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the organism that causes gonorrhea, produces gonococcal vulvovaginitis in young girls. Gonocorrhea-related vaginitis is considered a sexually transmitted disease. If lab tests confirm this diagnosis, young girls should be evaluated for sexual abuse.

Pictures & Images

Female perineal anatomy
Female perineal anatomy

       
      See all Pictures & Images



Quick Jump
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Next
Symptoms, Diagnosis & Tests

Jump To Another Page

Review Date : 8/1/2008
Reviewed By : Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.



Featured Topics

Alzheimer's Disease

High Blood Pressure

Crohn's Disease

Impotence

Overactive Bladder

ADAM

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is the first of its kind, requiring compliance with 53 standards of quality and accountability, verified by independent audit. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial reviewers. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics (www.hiethics.com) and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 2003 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.
This site complies to the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.
Copyright © 2013 AllRefer.com All Rights reserved.
Health Topics: 0-9 A-AID Air-Aor Aor-Azo B-Blo Blo-Bys C-Cha Cha-Col Col-CSF CSF-Cyt D-Dis Dis-Dys E-Ess Est-Eye F-FSP FTA-Fus G H-Her Her-Hys I-Iod Ion-Ivy J K L-Luc Lud-Lym M-Min Min-Myx N O P-Pes Pes-Pre Pre-Pyr Q R-Rig Rig-RVA s-SID SID-Spu Spu-Sys T-Too Too-Typ U V W X Y Z
About Us | Help | Privacy Policy | Editorial Policy | Advertising Policy | Accessibility | Terms of Use
Contact Us | Link to Us
Page Last Updated: 22 Aug, 2014