In a nutshell

  • Vaginitis is a vaginal infection.
  • Vaginitis is not considered to be an STI, but some types are sexually transmissible.
  • These infections are caused by bacteria (vaginosis), fungal infections (vulvo-vaginal candidosis) or protozoa (trichomoniasis).
  • The main symptoms of vaginitis are abnormal blood-tinged vaginal discharge (spotting).
  • Vaginitis mainly concerns girls but boys may also experience some symptoms such as redness or a tingling sensation in the penis.

Symptoms and complications

Click to open/close

Many people with a vaginal infection show no symptoms.

If symptoms show up, they are as follows:

  • abnormal blood-tinged vaginal discharge that is characterized by textures, odours or colours that are different from the usual ones: lumpy, white, yellow or beige liquids that have a fishy odour, etc.;
  • irritation, redness and itchiness in the vulvar and vaginal region;
  • swelling and pain in the area of the vagina;
  • pain while urinating;
  • pain during sexual intercourse.

It’s normal to have vaginal discharge, but it’s better to see a doctor if you think that this looks abnormal.

Possible consequences for health:

  • pains in the lower abdomen;
  • redness, swelling of the vulva and small lesions;
  • pain during sexual intercourse;
  • trouble during pregnancy or childbirth;
  • In cases of trichomoniasis, health problems in the baby.

Screening and treatment

Click to open/close


  • To get a precise diagnosis and the appropriate treatment, it is important to see a doctor.
  • The screening test for vaginal infection consists in taking samples of vaginal secretions.


  • On the basis of the type of infection, vaginal infection is treated using creams, medications or antibiotics.


Click to open/close
  • It is difficult to prevent vaginal infections because some may develop naturally in girls after a change in the balance of vaginal bacteria.
  • When you have sexual intercourse, use a condom.
    • A condom must be used before any contact of the penis with the mouth, the vagina or the anus.
    • A condom must be used from start to finish of sexual intercourse.

In terms of figures :

50 % of declared cases of gonorrhoea occur in young people between 15 and 24 years of age

Getting help

To get a screening test

  • Call Info-Santé 8-1-1
  • Talk it over with the nurse in your school or CLSC
  • Talk it over with your doctor


For any
other question

Consult Tel-jeunes

Tel-Jeunes Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux