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Vaginitis

Vaginitis is soreness and swelling in and around the vagina. It's common and usually treatable.

Symptoms of vaginitis include:

You might not have all these symptoms.

Vaginitis has lots of possible causes.

Your symptoms might give you an idea what's causing it. But do not self diagnose, get medical help if you're worried.

Vaginitis can also be caused by irritation (for example, from soap), an injury to your vagina or something in your vagina (like a tampon).

Information:

Sexual health clinics can help with vaginitis

Sexual health clinics treat problems with the genitals and urine system.

Many sexual health clinics offer a walk-in service, where you do not need an appointment. They'll often get test results quicker than GP surgeries.

Find a sexual health clinic.

To find out what's causing your vaginitis, a doctor or nurse may:

Having a pelvic examination

  1. You'll be asked to remove your underwear and lie on your back.
  2. The doctor or nurse will gently put a smooth, tube-shaped tool (speculum) into your vagina to hold it open so they can see inside.
  3. A small cotton bud (swab) may be wiped inside your vagina to check for infections.

You can ask the doctor or nurse to stop at any point if you find it too uncomfortable.

Treatment for vaginitis depends on the cause.

For example, you may need:

There are things you can do to ease symptoms of vaginitis and reduce your chances of getting it again.

Do

  • wash around your vagina with water and dry thoroughly

  • wear loose, cotton underwear

  • use pads instead of tampons when you're on your period

  • use condoms and lubrication when having sex

Don't

  • do not clean inside your vagina (douching)

  • do not have hot baths

  • do not use scented hygiene products in or around your vagina, such as soaps and deodorants