5 Causes For Vaginal Itching That Are Not an Infection

Where is that itch coming from? If you're a women, this question probably isn't new to you! Learn more about the possible causes of vaginal itching in this article.
5 Causes For Vaginal Itching That Are Not an Infection

Last update: 16 November, 2018

This condition affects many women at different stages of their life. It’s often the result of infections due to an alteration in the pH balance in the area, but there are many other causes for vaginal itching that may affect you.

Whatever the cause may be, it’s still a very annoying occurrence that can cause women to worry and feel insecure.

Some women suffer from vaginal itching even when they don’t have an infection. Below are five reasons why this could be the case.

Possible causes for vaginal itching

1. Vulvitis

This is the medical term for the irritation of the vulva. It may happen due to:

  • The use of soaps with chemicals that are too aggressive for this delicate area.
  • The use of toilet paper with dyes or irritating compounds.
  • Roughly handling the area when washing in the shower.
  • Prolonged wear of bathing suits or gym clothes.

One of the best ways to avoid vaginal itching caused by vulvitis is to wash your intimate area with warm water and special soap for the pH of this area.

Experts also recommend to avoid using vaginal deodorants, talc and other products containing strong chemicals.

2. Vaginal hair removal

Woman covering her bikini line

Some hair removal techniques may be causes for vaginal itching. This is because the skin on the vaginal is very sensitive and is susceptible to allergic reactions.

Therefore, it’s normal to feel an itching sensation after you shave.

Razors, shavers, and even creams can cause severe irritation to the skin and lead to infected ingrown hairs.

It’s advisable not to remove hair from this area so often. Doing it every 15 to 20 days will give your skin time to recover. In the meantime, you can ease the itching with a cream for this area that will calm the irritation.

3. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

Sexually transmitted diseases are also causes for vaginal itching, but you shouldn’t worry as this occurs very infrequently.

In most cases, STDs are asymptomatic in their early stages and appear in addition to malodorous secretions and pain.

Even so, women who suffer from STDs may end up experiencing vaginal itching as one of the first symptoms.

Generally, if the itching is  due to an STD, you’ll notice a set of other symptoms.

In the case of herpes, it can cause small red lumps on the genital area, in addition to vaginal itching.

Herpes is one of the most common and widespread STDs that doesn’t usually lead to serious consequences, but you should still treat it as soon as possible.

4. Skin problems

Dry elbows

Psoriasis and eczema may be other causes for vaginal itching. Moreover, they don’t only affect the skin on the vagina, but other areas of the body as well.

It’s easy to detect when eczema or psoriasis are the cause of the itching because they occur in several areas at the same time.

If you suffer from these types of problems, it’s important that you consult a general practitioner or gynecologist so you receive the appropriate treatment for your problem.

You can treat psoriasis or eczema that affects the vulva with topical low-resistance corticosteroids and by applying gentle, fragrance-free moisturizing creams.

5. Menopause

A decrease in hormones caused by menopause can trigger the natural pH of the vaginal area to rise to values close to 7, when it’s normally around 4.7.

This is because the epithelium of the vagina becomes thinner.

All this causes the lactic acid bacteria, which maintains the pH of the vagina, to disappear. This consequently exposes the area to infections.

Medical tests often show that the vagina of a woman going through menopause is pale, thin, and accompanies symptoms such as painful urination, burning, itching, and pain or bleeding during sexual intercourse.

You can take estrogen-based treatments in creams, pills, vaginal rings or skin patches if your gynecologist recommends this.

Make an appointment with your gynecologist

Woman at a gynecologist to figure out the causes for vaginal itching
It’s important that you don’t panic or self-medicate.

Instead, you should make an appointment with your gynecologist so that you have a clear diagnosis and an effective treatment if you suffer from vaginal itching.

This is highly recommended if the discomfort is accompanied by some of the following symptoms:

  • Vaginal discharge.
  • Fever and pain in the pelvic area or abdomen.
  • You think that you may have contracted an STD.

If you have an infection, the combination of symptoms could be as follows:

  • Sudden changes in the amount, consistency, odor, or color of your vaginal discharge.
  • Itching, accompanied by redness and swelling in the genital area.
  • Vaginal discharge in girls who have not yet gone through puberty.
  • You suspect that medication is the cause of the symptoms.
  • The symptoms increase or last longer than a week, despite using home care measures.
  • The presence of blisters or lesions in the vagina or on the vulva.
  • A burning sensation when urinating.
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