Vaginitis is a term that describes a number of disorders that cause infection or inflammation of the vagina. There are any number of things that can cause these conditions, including viruses, yeast or bacteria, as wll as soaps, sprays or leftover laundry soap. It is even possible in certain cases to give it to your sexual partner.
Since there are so many different types of vaginitis, there are a bunch of different symptoms that go along with the disorders. There are even some types that have no symptoms at all. Some of the most common symptoms are: abnormal discharge and an unpleasant odor, vaginal itching, a burning sensation while urinating and painful sexual intercourse.
Basically there are six types of common vaginitis, each with distinct and/or similar symptoms. The first is bacterial vaginosis. This occurs mostly in women during childbearing years, with a milky discharge and a fishy odor. There is no redness or itching. The next form is called Candida, or a yeast infection. This comes with a cottage cheese discharge with no odor, but can cause redness and itching. The next type is viral vaginitis, which is also called herpes simplex. This often causes sores around the vaginal area that are very painful. Trichomiasis vaginitis is next and has a greenish-yellow discharge and burning and itching. There is also a bad smell associated with this. There is often pain during intercourse as well. Non-infectious vaginitis is cause by an irritation such as soap or a douche. Itching, burning and rash are symptoms associated with this, but these usually clear up quickly. Chlamydia is the last type of vaginitis, and usually has no symptoms. It can cause a woman to be infertile, so it is quite dangerous. Practicing safe sex can help to not acquire this type of vaginitis.
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, see your doctor as soon as possible.