Many conditions can result in vulvar or vaginal symptoms. An infectious cause should be considered, especially if the woman is sexually active.

Testing should be considered in any woman with abnormal vulvar or vaginal symptoms.


Testing should definitely be performed when:

(1) there are severe or recurrent symptoms

(2) there is a failure of a vaginal discharge to respond to empirical therapy

(3) there are symptoms during pregnancy

(4) Trichomonas vaginalis is seen on cervical cytology

(5) Trichomonas vaginalis is seen in sexual partner


Common infectious causes:

(1) bacterial vaginosis

(2) aerobic vaginitis

(3) Trichomonas vaginalis

(4) Candida albicans

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