There’s no doubt that an itchy vagina is one of the most common yet uncomfortable conditions that you might suffer from. Not only can it disturb your daily routine, but it can also interfere with your ability to sleep. What’s even worse is that, with so many possible causes, it can be hard to track down the source and deal with it permanently.
Fortunately, if you want to learn more about this irritating condition, you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to find out and get a few tips on how to stop itching down there.
Why Is My Vagina Itchy? 7 Most Common Causes
Vaginal itching can occur due to a variety of conditions, such as infections, irritations, menopause, and sexually transmitted diseases. Additionally, in some cases, it can also develop due to stress or vulvar cancer.
Some chemicals can trigger an allergic reaction that causes an itchy rash over specific areas of your body, including your vagina. Here are a couple of common chemical irritants that you should watch out for:
• Bubble baths
• Topical contraceptives
• Feminine sprays
• Fabric softeners
• Scented toilet paper
It’s important to mention that even urinary incontinence or diabetes can lead to irritation and itching.
2. Yeast Infections
Generally speaking, yeast is a fungus that’s always present in the vagina. And while it doesn’t usually cause problems, it can sometimes grow excessively and lead to an uncomfortable infection. This infection is called a vaginal yeast infection and it’s extremely common, affecting 3 out of 4 women at least once in their lives.
So, what causes yeast infections? Simply put, even though antibiotics can destroy bad bacteria in your body, they can also destroy good bacteria. Without it, there is nothing to keep the yeast growth in check, which causes the infection. Luckily, it’s easy to recognize a yeast infection by its uncomfortable symptoms, which include burning, itching, and lumpy discharge.
3. Skin Diseases
Skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema can also cause itching and redness in the genital region. On the one hand, psoriasis is a widespread condition that is characterized by itchy, scaly, red patches that form along the joints and scalp. Sometimes, these symptoms can occur in the vaginal area as well, causing uncomfortable itchiness.
On the other hand, eczema is a rash that is more common among people with allergies or asthma. The rash is extremely itchy and can be recognized by its reddish and scaly texture. Since eczema can occur anywhere on your body, it can also spread to the vagina and cause itchiness in that area.
4. Sexually Transmitted Diseases
There are many STDs that can trigger itchiness in the vagina, such as:
• Genital warts
• Genital herpes
Besides itchiness, these diseases can also cause vaginal discharge, abnormal growths, and pain during urination.
5. Bacterial Vaginosis
Similar to a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis can be triggered by an imbalance between the bad and good bacteria in your vagina. Unfortunately, this condition doesn’t always have specific symptoms, which can make diagnosis pretty difficult.
However, when they occur, the symptoms include itching and a foul-smelling discharge. And while the discharge is usually thin and has a gray or white color, it can also be foamy.
6. Vulvar Cancer
As the name suggests, vulvar cancer develops in the vulva, which is the external part of the vagina. In fact, it refers to the clitoris, the inner and outer lips, and the vagina’s opening. Some of the most common symptoms include abnormal bleeding, itching, and pain in the area.
It should be noted that checking with a doctor is essential, as vulvar cancer can be treated successfully when diagnosed in the early stages. That’s why regular gynecologist check ups are a must, especially if you encounter any possible symptoms.
Women who are going through menopause have an increased risk of developing vaginal itching. Why? Because menopause reduces estrogen levels, it can cause vaginal atrophy, which is a thinning of the mucosa. This thinning can lead to excessive dryness, irritation, and itching.
How to Stop Itching Down There
The best treatment for vaginal itchiness depends solely on what’s causing it. For instance, if your itching is caused by an irritant, you’ll have to avoid the sources of irritation. That can mean staying away from heavily perfumed washes and soaps, scented toilet paper, and harsh washing powders. It can also mean replacing your synthetic underwear with cotton in order to allow your skin to breathe.
In contrast, if the cause is related to an infection, you need to get it treated with the appropriate medication. From antibiotics to antifungal treatments, there are all sorts of medical solutions for vaginal itchiness.
However, if the problem is due to a change in your hormone levels, you might need to undergo hormone replacement therapy. That usually includes a variety of patches, creams, gels, or medicines that should restore your hormonal balance.
Nevertheless, it’s important to check with your doctor before you decide to give any treatment a try. Not only will a specialist discover the source of itchiness, but they can also come up with an effective, reliable, and safe treatment scheme.