Vulvar and Vaginal Health

What is Vulvovaginitis

Vulvovaginitis is irritation and inflammation of the of vagina and/or vulva that can cause itching and pain. The most common reason for vulvovaginitis is exposure to irritating substances like scented soap, laundry detergent, or bubble baths that change the normal bacterial balance of the vagina. Reduced estrogen can also be a factor.


Vulvovaginitis symptoms include:
Change in colour, odour, and/or amount of vaginal discharge

  • Itching or irritation
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Painful urination


Treatment depends on what is causing the vulvovaginitis. It may include topical steroid, anti fungal or antibacterial cream or, in some cases, oral antibiotics. In many cases, the solution is limiting what the vulva and vagina are exposed to.

Here are a few tips for preventing and treating vaginal irritation

  • Wear cotton panties (no synthetic fabrics)
  • Don’t wear panties to bed
  • Limit wearing pantyhose or tights
  • Use a mild unscented laundry soap for washing underwear and don’t use dryer sheets
  • It may also help to wash underwear separately
  • Use a plain, unscented soap like Dove for cleaning your external genital area
  • Do not douche
  • Do not use Vagisil, as it contains a harmful local anaesthetic that acts as a common irritant
  • Avoid bubble baths and hot tubs
  • Avoid Always menstrual pads and use something with a softer cottony surface like Kotex or Stay Free