WebMD writes that vaginitis is a medical term which is used to describe various conditions that cause infection or inflammation of the vagina. Vulvovaginitis makes reference to inflammation of both the vagina and vulva. These conditions may be the result of "a vaginal infection caused by organisms such as bacteria, yeast, or viruses, as well as by irritations from chemicals in creams, sprays, or even clothing that is in contact with this area." In some cases, organisms that are passed between sexual partners causes vaginitis.
Amy Norton on March 8, 2013, for HealthDay, Petroleum Jelly Tied to Vaginal Infection Risk in Study.
A small study has suggested that women who use petroleum jelly vaginally may put themselves at risk of a common infection called bacterial vaginosis. Prior studies have associated douching to ill effects, including bacterial vaginosis, and an increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases and pelvic inflammatory disease. However, Joelle Brown, the lead researcher for this study, has said little research has been conducted on the possible effects of other products some women use vaginally.
In this study when the researchers tested the women for infections, they discovered that those who'd used petroleum jelly in the past month were more than twice as likely as non-users to have bacterial vaginosis. The symptoms with bacterial vaginosis include discharge, pain, itching or burning. However, most women have no symptoms, and the infection generally causes no long-term problems. Nevertheless, bacterial vaginosis can make women more vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases,
including HIV. Brown has said, "Women should talk with their health care providers and ask them if the products they are using inside their vagina are known to be safe for use in the vagina,"