Causes of Vaginal Itch
Itch in the vaginal area implies some irritating stimulus there. The irritation may be some chemical irritant, fabric, any infection, dryness or even cancers.
So, each time you ask yourself, why is my vagina itchy, you know there are many causes and evaluation is required.
Let us pick them one by one on the basis of chief symptoms that are perceived by a female.
Itchy Vagina but No Discharge
An itch without discharge points chiefly towards the presence of some irritant substance there. This may be your underwear fabric, tight clothing or improper hygiene.
Non absorbent fabrics are incapable of removing moisture down there. Trapped moisture mixes with your own secretions and tissue debris to give you itch.
It is therefore recommended to wear loose cotton undergarments only. They keep the area well aerated and dry.
Wash the region daily with plain water. This is the best home remedy for itchy vagina.
Dry Vaginal Area
- This may be due to some soap, gel or douche used for cleaning. You may be allergic to a particular stuff used.
- Excessive washing, especially with soaps, can lead to very itchy vagina. The area requires only a gentle cleaning with plain water. Use of soap actually washes away the vaginal secretions and the layer of good bacteria present there. This lead to dryness and hence itch. Removal of bacteria predisposes to the growth of fungal infections. So, whenever you use a douche or soap next time, you know you are rendering the area vulnerable to fungal infections.
- Dryness may have a hormonal cause too. Women often complain of a burning itchy vagina after menopause. This is due to reduced estrogen levels that is a hallmark of the phase. Such cases are treated by topical estrogen creams or emollients.
- Stress, as in teens, may be due to innumerable changes that take place in this phase. It leads to physical symptoms too, like changes in appetite, dryness and itch in vagina, pimples etc.
- A shaving rash in the pubic area may be causing you a localized itch. It is alright to shave if you want. But, always remember to apply some emollient over it to prevent itchiness. It is true that there area stays healthier when not shaved.
Redness Without Discharge
- An allergic reaction (condition medically referred as contact dermatitis) to a particular tampon or pad is common. If you repeatedly notice any reaction, simply change the stuff you are using.
- Though yeast infections usually present with discharge, a topical infection with the fungus may cause you only itch. Anti fungal cream with proper hygiene is required to treat it.
Girls often notice some itchiness after menses. The blood and other shed material may irritate the vaginal tract leading to some itchiness. Also, there is an hormonal factor. The levels of female hormones are lowest just after menses, leading to reduced secretions and lubrication.
The result is a dry vagina containing irritants in it.
An itchy vagina before periods or during period has also been noted. The reason is again reduced lubricating secretions due to low hormones.
Most of the women would counteract an yeast infection during their reproductive years. You note a curdy white or a thick white discharge and a lot of itch lower down.
Treat the condition promptly with anti fungals. Never use a steroid based cream for this condition. This may increase the spread of infection.
This indicates the presence of an infection.
You need the note the kind of discharge associated.
A normal vaginal discharge is clear and stringy. It may be thin at times, due to excessive straining or standing.
It may be slightly white (not thick white) during ovulation.
Any discharge different from this should be noted.
Bacterial vaginosis gives a itchy red vagina with yellowish thin discharge having a fishy odor. You need antibiotics to treat the condition.
Trichomonas vaginitis is caused by a parasite. This leads to itchy burning vagina with heavy discharge, yellow- grey or greenish in color. A foul smell is usually present.
Presence of Flakes
- Psoariasis- Leads to red patches covered with white flaky scales.
- Seborrhoeic dermatitis, also called dandruff, leads to yellowish, flaky red looking rashes.
Bumps on Vagina
Scabies, is where mites enter the skin surface to form nest there. Bumps are formed which itch a lot.
Due to STD
Herpes is a condition where itchy bumps are found on the vagina. The bumps are usually in clusters and increase with time. They may ulcerate or burn on urination.
Folliculitis– A single bump which is red and inflamed may be due to an infection of a hair follicle down there. This condition is called folliculitis.
Warts due to HPV, is a viral illness where bumps may be present in the vaginal region.
- You may be allergic to the latex condom used. Try changing the material of condom being used.
- Some women are allergic to seminal secretion. If you note an itch or redness each time after sex, seminal allergy needs to be considered.
Investigations are required at the earliest. During pregnancy, the vagina is a bit dilated and its pH is altered, making it more vulnerable to infection.
An itch during this phase may imply infection. Early treatment would arrest the infection within the vagina and prevent it from climbing upwards.
A growth in the area that is painless but itchy needs evaluation. Vulval cancers needs to be ruled out.