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What Are the Causes of Vaginal Burning?

author image Leigh A. Zaykoski
Leigh Zaykoski has been a writer and editor for six years. Her medical writing has appeared on dozens of websites. Zaykoski attended the University of Pittsburgh and Keystone College, studying microbiology and business administration. She is currently pursuing a medical writing certification.
What Are the Causes of Vaginal Burning?
Doctor looking through microscope


Vaginal burning is a very uncomfortable condition that affects women all over the world. Determining the specific cause of vaginal burning is important because successful treatment depends on eliminating the cause of the burning entirely. Causes of vaginal burning include sexually transmitted diseases, vaginal infections and vaginal irritation from the chemicals contained in soaps, detergents and hygiene products.

Yeast Infections

Vaginal yeast infections are a common cause of vaginal burning. These infections are caused by the fungus Candida albicans and can cause other symptoms including a thick discharge, vulvar inflammation, labial itching and pain during intercourse. Vaginal yeast infections are usually treated with over-the-counter creams or suppositories or prescription antifungal medications.

Noninfectious Vaginitis

Noninfectious vaginitis is any type of vaginal irritation that is not caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Noninfectious vaginitis can be caused by irritation from medications or chemicals in soap and other hygiene products. Atrophic vaginitis is caused by a decrease in hormone levels after removal of the ovaries, menopause or radiation therapy. Both forms of noninfectious vaginitis can cause vaginal burning and other symptoms.

Viral Vaginitis

Viral vaginitis is caused by several different types of viruses. The herpes simplex virus and the human papillomavirus (HPV) are common causes of viral vaginitis. Herpes causes vaginal burning and sores on the vulva and in the vagina. HPV causes warts to grow on the vagina, rectum and vulva and can also cause vaginal burning and irritation.

Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is a condition that results from an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina. This bacteria causes an imbalance in the amounts of bacteria that normally grow in the vagina. In addition to vaginal burning, bacterial vaginosis can cause vaginal discharge, odor and itching.

Sexual Transmitted Diseases

Trichomoniasis, gonorrhea and chlamydia are sexually transmitted diseases that may cause vaginal burning. Other symptoms may include painful intercourse, vaginal discharge, vaginal odor and vulvar itching.

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