There are 3 common infections that cause vulvovaginitis:
- Thrush – caused when there is too much of a yeast called candida. You always have some candida in your vagina but an overgrowth of it causes vaginal thrush.
- Bacterial vaginosis – caused when there is an imbalance of the different types of bacteria that normally live in your vagina. See bacterial vaginosis.
- Trichomoniasis – caused by a tiny parasite called trichomonas vaginalis that you can get through having sex with someone who is infected. See trichomoniasis.
You can also get vulvovaginitis from:
- Other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). So if you're sexually active, it's a good idea to get a sexual health screen to make sure any infections can be treated.
- A change in hormones, usually during childbirth, after menopause or with some types of contraception.
- Irritation caused by lubricants, soaps, tight clothing, hair removal etc.
- Having diabetes, which can make you more likely to get some forms of vulvovaginitis.
- Leaving a tampon in for too long.