7 Possible Causes Of Vaginal Itching And A Few Tips To Relieve It

Date January 31, 2018

The majority of women have experienced vaginal itching and know how annoying and uncomfortable it may be. More often than not, the cause of this unpleasant symptom isn't serious and can be resolved quickly and without much effort. However, some causes warrant a visit to the gynecologist and require treatment.

Here are seven possible causes of vaginal itching:

1. Use of certain hygienic products

It might be the most common cause of vaginal itching, and the solution, in this case, is quite easy and simple. Using scented soaps, shower gels, and bubble baths can lead to dryness and irritation which causes itching in the genital area. Other products that can cause dryness and irritation include douches, topical contraceptives, creams and ointments, laundry detergents, and fabric softeners. It's possible that you are allergic to an ingredient in the product that causes irritation, so try using a less harsh alternative.

2. Dryness caused by menopause

When a woman enters menopause, the production of estrogen in her body decreases, which leads to a number of symptoms. These symptoms include drying out of the vaginal mucous membrane, which may cause irritation and itching. There are a variety of treatments available to correct this unpleasant symptom.

3. Yeast infection

Candida is a type of fungus that is naturally present in the vagina, but if there aren't enough good bacteria to keep it in check, it can grow out of control and lead to symptoms such as itching and thick, white discharge. Yeast infections commonly occur after treatment with antibiotics.

4. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

Having unprotected sexual contact (especially if it’s casual) can sometimes lead to an infection. STDs that cause vaginal itching and other symptoms (such as unusual discharge) include chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and genital herpes.

5. Bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is caused by an imbalance in vaginal microflora, when good bacteria are lacking and bad bacteria thrive. This infection can produce symptoms that include itching, burning, and foul-smelling discharge.

6. Skin conditions

Less commonly, vaginal itching can be caused by skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. These two conditions aren't contagious, and they rarely affect the genital area, but when they do, they can cause redness, irritation, and itching.

7. Vulvar cancer

Although this is rare, vaginal itching can sometimes be caused by cancer of the vulva (the external part of the female genitals). This type of cancer doesn't always show symptoms, but when they are present, the symptoms may include itching, pain, and bleeding between periods. Don't skip your annual gynecological exam to catch this and other problems in your reproductive system early if they develop.

Self-care tips to prevent vaginal itching

If vaginal itching doesn't go away on its own and/or is accompanied by other symptoms, you should see your gynecologist.

If this symptom isn't caused by anything serious, self-care measures can help you relieve it and prevent it from returning:

  •  wash your genital area daily with warm water and unscented cleanser;
  •  don't douche;
  •  wear cotton panties instead of those made from synthetic fabrics, and change them daily;
  •  don't apply scented products to your genital area;
  •  avoid unprotected sexual contact with someone who isn't your regular sex partner;
  •  refrain from sexual activities until your symptom goes away;
  •  resist the urge to scratch the area, as it can make itching worse.

Source: WebMD, HealthLine, MedicineNet

READ ALSO: Atrophic Vaginitis: Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors And Treatment

This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.