Inflammatory diseases of the vagina often also affect the vulva, but the vagina alone can be affected. Vagin-itis causes discharge, odour, painful intercourse and itching or burning sensations. The differential diagnosis includes candidiasis, trichomoniasis, bacterial vaginosis, cytolytic vaginosis and atrophic vaginitis. The dia-gnosis can be made by the appearance of the discharge both grossly and under the microscope. Most patients with vaginitis get their care from gynaecologists. Swabs for microbiological examination are essential.