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Vaginitis: Condition Information

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What is vaginitis?

Vaginitis (pronounced vaj-uh-NAHY-tis) is an inflammation or infection of the vagina that can cause itching, burning, pain, discharge, or bad odor. The vagina is the tubelike passage that connects the opening of the womb to the outside of a woman's body. It is sometimes called the "birth canal." There are a several types of vaginitis, each with its own causes, symptoms, and treatments.

Vaginitis is different from vulvodynia (pronounced vuhl-voh-DIN-ee-uh), which describes chronic pain or discomfort of the vulva, the area outside the vagina. Whereas vulvodynia affects only the vulva, vaginitis affects the vagina and can also cause itching, burning, and pain on the vulva.

Last Reviewed: 05/21/2013
Vision National Institutes of Health Home BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Storz Lab: Section on Environmental Gene Regulation Home Machner Lab: Unit on Microbial Pathogenesis Home Division of Intramural Population Health Research Home Bonifacino Lab: Section on Intracellular Protein Trafficking Home Lilly Lab: Section on Gamete Development Home Lippincott-Schwartz Lab: Section on Organelle Biology