Top 5 Causes of Vaginal Itching
Causes of Vaginal Itching
Vaginal itching is an uncomfortable and sometimes painful condition that mainly arises due to benign causes like yeast infections. But, there are many other potential causes of itching in the vaginal area. While itching in the vagina can often be treated with over-the-counter remedies, the condition can sometimes grow more serious if overlooked. So, it is important to be familiar with possible reasons for vaginal itching other than yeast infection:
1. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
Genital itching is one common symptom of many STDs. STDs can occur due to sexual contact with a person who has an infection of some type.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), STDs occur at a very high rate, with millions of cases reported annually.
People can reduce the risk of suffering from STDs by:
● Having safe sex (using barrier precautions)
● Getting yourself tested for STDs before having sex
● Preventative measures like the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine
2. Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
BV is a common bacterial infection that often affects women after puberty. It occurs when the healthy bacteria in the genitals become unbalanced. Many times, BV does not show any symptoms. But, it can cause watery vaginal discharge with a bad odor and a burning sensation around the vagina.
Some known causes of BV are:
● Douching (can upset the vagina’s natural bacteria)
● Bathing with antibacterial or antiseptic products
● Using scented products in the vagina or surrounding areas
● Using harsh clothing detergents
BV can be dangerous to pregnant women and their fetuses. So, pregnant women must see their gynecologist for any vaginal itching or discharge.
3. Pubic Lice
The feeling of bugs crawling around any part of your body is really disturbing. This is sometimes caused by public lice, an easily transmittable infestation of tiny, crab-like creatures can make your vagina itch like crazy.
Public lice may attach to any body areas covered in hair. Bites or eggs from these bugs can cause vaginal itching and irritation in the surrounding areas.
You can treat public lice using store-bought lice-killing lotions. In severe cases, you may need prescription medication.
4. Hormonal Changes
Hormones fluctuate during menstrual cycles and pregnancy. This can lead to drier vaginal tissue than normal, which can result in itching.
Besides, perimenopause - the time period before menopause starts, causes a dropped level of estrogen. This can further lead to dryness and itching in the vagina.
OTC moisturizers that are gentle and unscented can treat vaginal itching. Your physician may prescribe you an estrogen cream for external vaginal itching if they feel it is caused by your hormones or menopause.
5. Beauty Treatments
Women sometimes have procedures like waxing done to have less hair on their vulvar area. Due to these treatments, you can develop irritation, skin injury, rashes, and ingrown hairs which can all cause itching.
If you are using any new treatment for hair removal, consider that they may be causing your itching.
The Bottom Line
Overlooking vaginal itching is never a good idea, as you may miss a serious cause. So, it is important to consult with your physician in a timely manner to get the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.