Vaginal itching

Vaginal Itching

Vaginal itching is an unpleasant and sometimes painful symptom often caused by irritation, infection, or menopause.

It can also occur as a result of certain skin diseases or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Vaginal itching may be developed due to stress or vulvar cancer, in very rare cases.

In most cases, vaginal itching is not a cause for concern. However, one should contact a doctor or gynecologist if the itching is severe or if you suspect that you have an underlying medical condition.

Doctors can determine the cause of vaginal itching with exams and tests. They will also be able to recommend the appropriate treatment for this unpleasant symptom.

Causes of vaginal itching

Here are some possible causes of vaginal and surrounding itching.

Irritants

Vaginal itching can occur due to exposure to chemicals that irritate the vagina. These irritants can trigger an allergic reaction that causes an itchy rash on various parts of the body, including the vagina. Common chemical troubles include:

  • soap
  • bath foam
  • Female sprays
  • Shower
  • Local contraceptives
  • Cream
  • Ointment
  • Detergent
  • Fabric softeners
  • Scented toilet paper

If anyone has diabetes or urinary incontinence, then urine can also irritate and itch the vagina.

Skin disease

Some skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, can cause redness and itching in the genital area.

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a rash that occurs predominantly in people with asthma or allergies. The grains are red, itchy, and crusted. In some women with eczema, it can spread to the vagina.

Psoriasis is a common skin condition in which scalp, itching, and red patches are formed on the scalp and joints. Sometimes, these symptoms may flare-up in the vagina.

Yeast infection

Yeast is a naturally occurring fungus commonly found in the vagina. This is not usually a problem, but if left uncontrolled, a nasty infection can occur.

This infection is called a vaginal yeast infection. According to the Mayo Clinic, this is a very common condition that affects 3 to 4 women at some point in their lives.

Infection often occurs after a course of antibiotics, as these types of drugs can kill good bacteria with bad ones. Good bacteria are essential to prevent yeast growth.

Yeast overgrowth in the vagina can cause unpleasant symptoms, including itching, burning, and nodular discharge.

Bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is another common cause of vaginal itching.

Similar to vaginal yeast infections, BV is caused by an imbalance between good and bad bacteria naturally in the vagina.

The condition does not always cause symptoms. When symptoms appear, they usually include vaginal itching and foul discharge. The discharge could also be thin and dull gray or white. In some cases, this may be incorrect.

Venereal disease

Many STDs can transmit during unprotected intercourse and can cause vaginal itching. This includes:

  • Chlamydia
  • genital warts
  • Gonorrhea
  • genital herpes
  • trichomoniasis

These conditions may also cause additional symptoms, including abnormal growth, green or yellow vaginal discharge, and pain while urinating.

Menopause

Women who are undergoing menopause or already had a higher risk of vaginal itching.

This is due to a decrease in estrogen levels during menopause, which leads to vaginal atrophy. It is a thinning of the mucous membrane that can cause excessive dryness. If left untreated, dryness can cause itching and burning.

Tension/Stress

Physical and emotional stress can cause vaginal itching and irritation, although this is not very common. This can happen when stress weakens your immune system, putting you at risk of an itchy infection.

Vulvar cancer

In rare cases, vaginal itching may be a sign of vulvar cancer. It is a type of cancer that develops in the vulva, which is the outer part of the female genital organs. This includes the inner and outer lips of the vagina, the clitoris, and the opening of the vagina.

Vulvar cancer may not always be the cause of symptoms. However, when symptoms occur, they may include itching, abnormal bleeding, or pain in the vulva.

If diagnosed early by a doctor, vulvar cancer can be successfully treated. This is another reason why annual gynecological examinations are necessary.

When to see your doctor for vaginal itching?

If the itching is severe enough to disrupt your daily life or sleep, it is important to see a doctor about vaginal itching. Although most of the causes are not serious, some treatments can reduce vaginal itching discomfort.

One should also see a doctor if vaginal itching persists for more than a week or if it is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • wounds or ulcers on Vagina
  • Pain or tenderness in the genital area
  • Redness or swelling of the genitalia
  • Problems with urination
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Discomfort during sexual intercourse
Medication for vaginal itching

Once the doctor finds out the underlying cause of vaginal itching, they will suggest treatment options. The specific course of treatment required depends on the specific condition that is causing the problem.

  • Vaginal yeast infection

Your doctor can treat vaginal yeast infections with antifungal medicines. They come in many different forms including creams, ointments, or pills. They are available with or without a prescription.

However, if your doctor has not diagnosed you with a yeast infection, be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications.

  • Bacterial vaginosis

Doctors often treat BV with antibiotics. They can be in the form of pills that can be taken by mouth, or in the form of a cream that can be applied in the vagina. Regardless of the type of treatment, it is important to follow the doctor’s instructions and complete the full course of treatment.

  • STD

One can treat STDs with antibiotics, antiviral or antiparasitic medications. You will need to take your medicines regularly and avoid sexual intercourse until the infection or disease is gone.

  • Menopause

Itching associated with menopause can be treated with estrogen creams, pills, or vaginal rings.

  • For other reasons

Other types of vaginal itching and burning often go away on their own.

In the meantime, you can apply steroid creams or lotions to reduce inflammation and reduce discomfort. However, you should limit your intake as they can also cause chronic irritation and itching if you use them.

Home remedies for vaginal itching

You can prevent most of the causes of vaginal itching with good hygiene and lifestyle habits. There are several steps you can take at home to prevent irritation and infection in your vagina:

  • Use warm water and a mild cleanser to wash your genital area.
  • Avoid scented soaps, lotions, and bubble baths.
  • Avoid using products such as vaginal sprays and douching.
  • Remove wet or damp clothing immediately after swimming or exercising.
  • It is advised to wear cotton underwear and change your underwear every day.
  • Eat live yogurt to reduce the chance of yeast contamination.
  • Use condoms during sexual intercourse.
  • Always wipe from front to back after a bowel movement.

Reference :

  1. https://www.webmd.com/

 

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