I’ve been having itching, redness and soreness when I wipe or touch my vagina. I also have a white milky color vaginal discharge and when I wipe I see a yellowish color on the toilet paper. What could this be?

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girl with hands over groinYour symptoms suggest that you have inflammation of your vagina which is likely due to a vaginal infection. The 3 most common causes of vaginal infections are yeast, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis. Similar symptoms may also occur if you have an infection in your cervix with gonorrhea or chlamydia. There are also other causes of vaginitis that are less common. Each type of vaginitis is caused by a different type of germ or organism, so each type must be treated differently. It’s hard to know exactly which type of vaginal infection you have just by your symptoms alone, since many of the signs are similar. It’s also possible to have more than one type of vaginal infection at the same time. Only your health care provider can tell for sure if you definitely have a vaginal infection or a sexually transmitted infection (STI). You should always be completely honest with your health care provider about what symptoms you have, such as odor, burning, or a new vaginal discharge, even if it is embarrassing. This way, your health care provider can figure out the cause and provide the correct treatment. If you haven’t done so already, make an appointment with your primary care provider (PCP) or your gynecologist right away.