5 Causes of Vaginal Itch

Although it doesn't have to be indicative of any serious condition, it's always advisable to see a specialist if you have frequent vaginal itch to discover the reason and get the right treatment.
5 Causes of Vaginal Itch

Last update: 16 September, 2020

Vaginal itch is one of the most common complaints in women. It can occur due to various factors. Therefore, no single cause can be mentioned.

Hormonal changes, hygiene habits, hydration, and even the type of underwear women wear can influence the appearance of this discomfort that generates so much insecurity and discomfort.

Although vaginal itch is a symptom that generally disappears on its own in a short time, there are cases in which it causes concern, especially when it’s accompanied by other symptoms, such as irritation and swelling. In these cases, it’s best to go to the gynecologist as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment.

1. Vaginal itch as a result of fungal infection

Candidiasis in a petri dish.

A yeast infection is a disease in this area that develops when the pH or vaginal flora balance is altered.

Your pH is acidic and below 4.7 on average. When this level of acidity is destabilized, the lactobacilli levels can drop and microorganisms will proliferate.

This change can be triggered by the use of certain feminine hygiene products, wearing clothing that’s too tight, and even nutritional deficiencies.

Fungi grow very easily in humid environments like the vaginal region, and this can lead to bad odors and itching. In order to maintain a stable pH, it’s a good idea to consume plain yogurt and other sources of probiotics.

2. Irritation of the vulva

Vulvitis, or irritation of the vulva, is a condition that occurs when you clean your vaginal area too frequently or use soaps that contain aggressive chemical compounds. The skin in this area is too sensitive and is susceptible to alterations in its pH when confronted with irritants found in feminine hygiene products.

It’s a common problem among women who go to the gym regularly and don’t change out of their sweaty clothes soon after.

3. Aggressive hair removal methods

A person waxing their bikini area.
You should be careful with bikini area waxing techniques, as the skin is sensitive there.

There are plenty of hair removal methods for all parts of the body. In this region, it’s important to find out which ones are the most appropriate. Shaving techniques using razors can be a little too aggressive for the delicate skin around the vulva.

This, along with depilatory creams, can cause irritation, ingrown hairs, and a prolonged itching sensation. One solution for this problem is to consult with your doctor which hair removal creams are best for your case.

4. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

Vaginal itch can also be a sign of a sexually transmitted disease. There are few cases in which this symptom is an indicator of an STD but it’s never a bad idea to have a checkup when it recurs on a regular basis or occurs with other symptoms.

Most diseases in this category are asymptomatic in their early stages and manifest with pain or a foul smelling discharge later on. Vaginal itch should put you on alert, however, especially when accompanied by small red bumps, irritation, or thick vaginal discharge, among others.

5. Skin conditions

A woman hoding clothing to her vaginal area.

Skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema can also cause vaginal itch. Although they typically cause problems in other parts of the body, certain skin conditions can lead to continuous vaginal itching.

If this is your case, it’s essential that you consult your gynecologist. They’ll be able to give you specific treatments to balance the pH of your vagina. Topical application of low-resistance corticosteroids and mild moisturizers may help in cases of psoriasis of the vulva.

Final comments

In addition to using the treatments recommended by your gynecologist, try to improve your hygiene habits. It’s also a good idea to wear breathable clothing made of cotton. Although this intimate area retains a certain degree of moisture, it’s best to keep it as dry as possible. This will help you protect against the proliferation of harmful bacteria.

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