Vaginal itching is a fairly common and unpleasant symptom that most women may experience at some point in their life.
Imagine yourself in middle of a very important meeting or travelling or with guest, and suddenly you feel a compelling desire to scratch the itch down there in your vagina. You change your position, you rub your vagina against your seat or you gently excuse yourself and rush to the toilet and then give yourself a comfy spray of cold water. Then you feel a little relief.
This terrible vaginal itching may have a few reasons. Did you analyse it for yourself? If not then start here with me.
Causes of Vaginal Itching
The vagina and vulva are full of fungi and bacteria which helps in keeping the area environment moist and healthy. Whenever there is a change in the vaginal or vulva environment, they become angry and starts troubling you.
Here’re few possible causes for vaginal itching, internal environment and surrounding areas:
Using irritating chemicals for vaginal cleaning can dry out the vaginal area and causes itching. These chemicals are commonly found in:
- Harsh soaps
- Vaginal wash
- Perfumed spray or cosmetics
- Fabric softners
- If you are on antibiotics
Vaginal Yeast Infection
Yeast is a naturally occurring fungus in the vagina. Overgrowth of fungus Candida can cause vaginal yeast infection and uncomfortable symptoms like itching, burning sensation or a lumpy discharge.
Long-standing skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema can cause redness in genital areas with an itching.
Eczema or psoriasis can cause the reddish, itchy and scaly texture of the skin and you should consult your treating physician before trying out any treatment on your own.
Sexually transmitted disease
Unprotected sex can transmit many STD infections which are responsible for itching in private parts. These STDs can be:
- Genital Herpes
- Genital warts
STDs vaginal itching may have additional symptoms like abnormal or greenish discharge or pain while urinating.
Women in the menopausal period or who already have achieved menopause are much more likely to have vaginal itching.
During or post-menopause, estrogen levels changes and causes atrophy of the vagina with dryness. The dryness can cause itching and irritation in the vagina.
Vaginal itching can be a symptom of vulvar cancer in rare cases. Vulvar cancer may not cause any symptoms, if they do, then symptoms can be abnormal itching, abnormal bleeding or pain in the vulvar area.
Is it always fungal infection causing vaginal itching?
It is like there is always fire behind smoke but not every fire has smoke.
In the same way, fungal infections can be a cause of vaginal itching but not every time. Vaginal itching can have many other causes like:
- Skin irritation
- Long-standing skin conditions
- Sexually transmitted diseases
Why does the vaginal Itching keeps coming back
Itching is not a one-time problem, it can come back again and again. And these can be the possible causes:
- Wrong diagnosis
- Inadequate treatment
- Excessive cleaning
- Dry vagina
- Tight undergarments
- Tight trouser/jeans
When you need to see a doctor
Treating vaginal infection with home remedies are limited for general infection only. You may require a medical attention if:
- The symptoms are bothering you significantly.
- Symptoms are coming back.
- Associated with lots of discharge which can be curdy/yellowish/greenish or brownish.
- Itching is linked with pain or soreness of local area.
- Itching or burning sensation with lumps or ulcers.
How to prevent vaginal itch
All of us must have heard from our elders “Precaution is always better than cure.” Here are few tips for your daily routine to prevent itching:
- Avoid excessive cleaning or douching
- Limit frequency of vaginal washs
- Do not use soap, chemicals and perfumes for vagina
- Rub it gently or avoid rubbing, just pat dry it
- Use vaginal moisturiser
- Follow underwear rules
- Don’t self diagnose
Can vaginal itching be a symptom of cancer?
Yes, but fortunately very rare. Itching in vagina is only a symptom of vagina if it is associated with
- Discomfort while passing urine
- Long-standing vaginal symptoms
- Symptoms not responding to usual medication
- If there is a pimple, sore, ulcer or lump down there
I hope you are now fully equipped with do and don’ts of vaginal hygiene. You can send your queries and leave a comment below with your feedback. Be sure to sign up for my free newsletter to be the first to get new posts! You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.