What is vaginitis? Vaginitis, also called vulvovaginitis, is a common condition in which there is inflammation of the vagina and vulva. Vaginitis can result in vaginal discomfort, such as irritation and heavy vaginal discharge. Vaginitis can be caused by an infection or by noninfectious causes. In many cases, vaginitis can be successfully treated if diagnosed early. Treatment varies depending on the underlying cause. Some underlying causes of vaginitis, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and genital herpes, can lead to serious complications if untreated. Complications include infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, and serious complications of pregnancy and the newborn. Using safer sex practices, seeking regular medical care, and seeking early, regular prenatal care can help reduce the risk of serious complications of underlying causes of vaginitis.