What are the Signs and Symptoms of Vaginitis?

Monika Singh   by Monika Singh, MS    Last updated on September 27, 2019,

signs and symptoms of vaginitis


Vaginitis is the inflammation of the vagina. It is estimated that nearly 75 percent of women get affected by this infection once in their lifetime.

It is a common condition and affects girls and women of all ages. The vagina of a woman cleans itself by discharging a clear or slightly cloudy watery substance. This discharge (fluid that flows out the vaginal opening) is odorless. But sometimes the discharge is accompanied by a bad odor, different color, irritation, and pain.

Symptoms of vaginitis

The symptoms of vaginitis include:


Irritation is the most commonly found symptom of vaginitis. People suffering from vaginitis report severe discomfort and irritation in the genital region.


Irritation of the mucous membrane inside and around the vagina leads to itching which again causes discomfort to the affected woman. Severe itching can cause redness in the area and can make the conditions worse.

Swelling and Soreness

Continuous and severe itching can lead to soreness and swelling in the affected area. Tenderness is mainly reported along with swelling and soreness.

Abnormal vaginal discharge

Women with vaginitis often complain about the abnormal vaginal discharge which is completely different from the normal discharge.

Some of the characteristics of abnormal vaginal discharge may be:

  • An increased amount of vaginal discharge
  • The discharge is thicker than the usual
  • The discharge color is white, grey or yellow-green depending upon the type of vaginitis
  • The discharge is frothy or cloudy
  • The discharge smells very bad

Abnormal vaginal odor

When a woman is suffering from vaginitis, the key sign she generally notices is the abnormal odor from her vagina. This odor distinguishes a healthy vagina from an unhealthy one.

Light vaginal bleeding

If you have vaginitis, a small amount of vaginal bleeding and spotting that is not related to menstruation is often reported by women. The bleeding can be between menstrual cycles and should not be taken lightly.


Dysuria is one of the common symptoms of vaginitis. It is the burning sensation caused on urination. When urine comes in contact with the affected area, it causes the discomfort and pain.


Dyspareunia is the term used to describe the pain before, during or after the sexual intercourse. The pain can be on the external surface of genitals or deeper inside. It can be felt on a small portion of the vagina or all over the surface.

Other symptoms of vaginitis

  • inflammation around the labia
  • inflammation around the and perineal areas
  • discomfort while urinating

When should you meet a doctor?

Meet your doctor if you:

  • notice an unpleasant vaginal odor, discharge, or itching
  • had multiple sex partners. You might have developed a sexually transmitted infection.
  • You have used over the counter medicines and complicated the condition
  • Experience painful sexual intercourse
  • Notice vaginal bleeding between menstrual cycles

If you previously had been diagnosed with vaginal yeast infection and your signs and symptoms appear to be the same as before, you might perhaps not need to visit a doctor every time in such a case.

You may wait and see whether it improves or not. If the situation persists, you should then contact your healthcare provider.

Monika Singh

Monika Singh is an expert in computer sciences and has pursued her Master’s degree (M.Tech-CS) from Banasthali University, Rajasthan. Her areas of interest include data structure, software engineering, software testing, and computer graphics. Monika Singh has published a paper on “Modified AODV in MANET,” International Journal of Computer Science and Management Studies (IJCSMS), ISSN: 2231-5268, Vol-14, Issue-05 May 2014, PP:12-18.

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