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Definition Inflammation of the vagina and vulva most often caused by a bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infection. Description Vulvovaginitis, vulvitis, and vaginitis are general terms that refer to the inflammation of the vagina and/or vulva (the external genital organs of a woman). These conditions can be caused by bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infections. Also, vulvovaginitis can be caused by low estrogen levels (called "atrophic vaginitis") or any type of allergic or irritation response from things such as spermicidal products, condoms, soaps, and bubble bath. In general, vulvovaginitis causes vaginal discharge, irritation, and itching. One of the most common reasons why women visit their doctor is because of a change in vaginal discharge. It is completely normal for a woman to have a vaginal discharge, the amount and consistency of which varies during the course of the menstrual cycle. Each of the three most common types of vulvovaginitis will be described separately.
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