Vaginitis is the term used to refer to any infection or inflammation of the vagina and is a very common gynecological problem. Studies show that most women will have one or the other form of vaginitis at some point in life.

Causes of Vaginitis

Many things can cause vaginitis. Some of the common things causing vaginitis are:

  • Yeast
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Chemicals in sprays or creams
  • Clothing
  • Organisms passed by sexual partner

Apart from that, many other factors like the health, personal hygiene, hormones, and medications, clothing like underwear made from synthetic fiber, and health of sexual partner can also influence the vaginal environment of women.

Diagnosis of vaginitis can be really complicated, as each of the types may show different symptoms. In fact, more than one type of vaginitis can be present at the same time, with or without showing any symptoms. However, free womens clinic and other low income medical clinic can help diagnose vaginitis. The different types of vaginitis are explained below.

Candida (Yeast Infection)

This type of infection is caused by the species of fungus called candida that lives in the vagina in very small numbers. This type of infection can also be present in the digestive tract and mouth.

Bacterial Vaginosis

This is the most common type of vaginitis found in women. In this infection, some species of vaginal bacteria grow out of control leading to inflammation. The cause of this vaginitis is still unknown to medical science.


Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the passage of a single celled parasite, Trichomonas vaginalis, between partners during intercourse.


Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs in the US, even though it goes undiagnosed often times. The infection is usually found in females between the age group of 18 to 35 years old with more than one sexual partner.

Viral Vaginitis

Viruses are one of the most common causes of vaginitis and are spread via sexual contact. Two of the most common viruses causing vaginitis are human papillomavirus (HPV) and the herpes simplex virus (HSV).

Non-Infectious Vaginitis

This refers to a vaginal irritation without an infection. Most common causes of non-infectious vaginitis are allergic reactions or irritation from spermicidal products and vaginal sprays. This can also be caused by sensitivity to perfumed detergents and soaps.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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