Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 21, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963855 | Print ISBN: 9781412941860 | Online ISBN: 9781412963855| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Tracey A. Hunt Ph.D.
Vaginal infections are one of the most common reasons for women to visit their family physician every year in the United States. Vaginal infections normally manifest as an itching, discharge, and malodor of the vaginal area. There are many kinds of vaginal diseases and all involve an infection or inflammation of the vagina. These include bacterial vaginosis, genital warts, herpes infections, gonorrhea, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), syphilis, trichomoniasis, and vaginal yeast infections. Vaginal infections can be caused by viruses, bacteria, yeast, or parasites. Most vaginal diseases are acquired by sexual contact as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), but some are transmitted by other methods. The three main types of vaginal diseases that will be considered here are bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, and vaginal yeast infections. Genital warts, herpes infections, gonorrhea, PID, and syphilis are considered sexually transmitted diseases. These infections can affect men as well as women. All outer surfaces of the ...