Candida vulvovaginitis differential diagnosis

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Dima Nimri, M.D. [2], Aravind Kuchkuntla, M.B.B.S[3]


Candida Vulvovaginitis must be differentiated from diseases with similar presentation such as bacterial vaginosis, trichomonas vaginitis and atrophic vaginitis.

Differentiating Candida Vulvovaginitis from other Diseases

Candida Vulvovaginitis must be differentiated from the following diseases which have a similar presentation:[1][2][3][4][5]

Disease Findings
Atrophic vaginitis
Desquamative inflammatory vaginitis
  • Chronic clinical syndrome with unknown etiology
  • Presents with dyspareunia, dyspareunia, yellow, grey, or green profuse vaginal discharge with the signs of vaginal inflammation and elevated vaginal pH (>4.5)
  • Microscopy shows large number of parabasal (immature squamous epithelial cells) and inflammatory cells
Bacterial Vaginosis


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2015 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines. Bacterial Vaginosis. Accessed on October 13, 2016
  2. Bachmann GA, Nevadunsky NS (2000). "Diagnosis and treatment of atrophic vaginitis". Am Fam Physician. 61 (10): 3090–6. PMID 10839558.
  3. Krieger JN, Tam MR, Stevens CE, Nielsen IO, Hale J, Kiviat NB; et al. (1988). "Diagnosis of trichomoniasis. Comparison of conventional wet-mount examination with cytologic studies, cultures, and monoclonal antibody staining of direct specimens". JAMA. 259 (8): 1223–7. PMID 2448502.
  4. Sobel JD, Reichman O, Misra D, Yoo W (2011). "Prognosis and treatment of desquamative inflammatory vaginitis". Obstet Gynecol. 117 (4): 850–5. doi:10.1097/AOG.0b013e3182117c9e. PMID 21422855.
  5. Eckert LO, Hawes SE, Stevens CE, Koutsky LA, Eschenbach DA, Holmes KK (1998). "Vulvovaginal candidiasis: clinical manifestations, risk factors, management algorithm". Obstet Gynecol. 92 (5): 757–65. PMID 9794664.