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Vaginitis: Overview

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Vaginitis is an inflammation or infection of the vagina that can cause itching, burning, pain, discharge, and bad odor. Vaginal symptoms are a common reason women seek medical care. There are many types of vaginitis, each with its own cause, symptoms, and treatment. Pregnant women with some types of vaginitis may be at higher risk of preterm birth. NICHD scientists are seeking to understand better the types of vaginitis, the link between vaginal infections and pregnancy complications, and ways to promote vaginal health. 

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Common Names

  • Vaginal infection
  • Vaginal inflammation

Medical or Scientific Name

  • Vaginitis (pronounced vaj-uh-NAHY-tis)
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