Preparing for your appointment

Your family doctor, gynecologist or another medical practitioner can diagnose and prescribe treatment for vaginitis.

What you can do

To get ready for your appointment, make a list of:

  • Your symptoms and how long you've had them
  • Key personal information, including how many sex partners you have and whether you have a new sex partner
  • All medications, vitamins and other supplements you take, including doses
  • Questions to ask your doctor

Avoid using tampons, having sexual intercourse or douching before your appointment so that your doctor can assess your vaginal discharge.

For vaginitis, some basic questions include:

  • What can I do to prevent vaginitis?
  • What signs and symptoms should I watch for?
  • Do I need medication?
  • Are there over-the-counter products that will treat my condition?
  • What can I do if my symptoms return after treatment?
  • Does my partner also need to be tested or treated?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, such as:

  • Do you notice a strong vaginal odor?
  • Do your symptoms seem tied to your menstrual cycle? For instance, are symptoms more intense just before or just after your period?
  • Have you tried over-the-counter products to treat your condition?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • Do you use scented soap or bubble bath?
  • Do you douche or use feminine hygiene spray?

Don't feel embarrassed to discuss symptoms that might suggest vaginitis. Discuss your symptoms with your health care provider as soon as possible, to avoid delaying treatment.

Oct. 25, 2016
  1. Sobel J. Approach to women with symptoms of vaginitis. Accessed Aug. 11, 2016.
  2. Vaginitis. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists—FAQS.. Accessed Aug. 11, 2016.
  3. Vaginitis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Aug. 12, 2016.
  4. Overview of vaginitis. Merck Manual Professional Version.,-cervicitis,-and-pelvic-inflammatory-disease-pid/overview-of-vaginitis. Accessed Aug. 11, 2016.