Vaginitis is an infection or inflammation of the vagina, which occurs due to an overgrowth of infective organisms or due to irritation caused by chemicals, like soap and deodorants.
The features of Vaginitis are:
An abnormal discharge
The vagina is a tubular tract and serves as a conduit between the uterus and the outside. Many bacteria grow naturally in the vagina. Some of the normal inhabitants of the vagina are yeast, streptococcus, staphylococcus and lactobacillus.
The vagina has an acidic pH, which is maintained by the bacteria, lactobacillus. The normal pH of the vagina is 3.8 - 4.5. This acidity helps to keep the vagina clean and also to prevent infections.
The normal vaginal secretions are usually thin or thick, clear in nature and white in color, without any odor. These secretions vary in intensity throughout the menstrual cycle, since hormones influence them.
There is an increase in the normal vaginal secretions during ovulation (mid - cycle) and in the premenstrual phase (week before a period). Other conditions associated with an increase in the normal vaginal discharge are pregnancy, use of oral contraceptive pills, sexual excitement, breast-feeding and stress.