All sexually active women presenting with vaginal symptoms should undergo a brief sexual health risk assessment as part of the history taking, and be offered STI testing if relevant.
Most young women with vaginal symptoms will have either candidal vulvovaginitis or bacterial vaginosis as the cause. Neither of these conditions is considered to be sexually transmitted. However, it is important as part of the history taking to take a brief sexual health risk assessment and then offer testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) if relevant (see the box). This article reviews the approach to a woman with vaginal symptoms and discusses the common causes.