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.

After Period

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.

White Discharge

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.

Swollen Area

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.

After Sex

  • 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.

During Pregnancy

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.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “Causes of Itchy Vagina and Its Management

  1. Anonymous

    Hi. This evening, before showering, I noticed that the area around my vagina (around the opening and a little above it where the hair is) is red and rash looking. It just looked inflamed. It isn’t itchy or anything. I had been doing hard work all day. For about 6 hours and also I am on antibiotics. This is the 5th time in like 6 months. For different things (ear infections, strep throat, sinus infection). Right now, I am currently taking them because I was exposed to whooping cough at my children’s school. I’m not sure how or if the antibiotics could relate, just thought I would give you all of the information. I have been very happily married for 11 years so I’m not worried about STDs or anything. Thanks.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Do you have any discharge from the vagina? If yes, let us know for a better understanding into your problem.

      These rashes are likely to be due to excess sweat and vaginal secretions produced in the groin region. Sweat is an irritant. When the sweaty skin of the groin and inner thigh region experiences friction during walking and other activities, the skin out there gets irritated.

      As a result, redness and rashes may appear.

      The condition is managed simply by washing off the salty sweat immediately after sessions of physical works. Also, wear loose cotton underwear only. This would absorb the excess sweat produced and help in keeping the area dry. Avoid tight fitting lowers for some time.

      You may apply a little baby powder over the skin out there, sparing the mucosal surfaces.

      Long term use or recurrent use of antibiotics is definitely harmful, and predisposes to infective disease conditions. You may read more on the side effects of excess antibiotic intake. It is advisable to manage your sinus infection by supportive treatments like steam inhalation etc.

  2. Patricia

    My daughter is 17yrs old and she said her vagina is itchy inside and she looked in a mirror and she said her hole is closed up and she can’t get a finger in. I told her she needs to go to the hospital. She is about 5hr drive from me and I am worried.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Does she have any discharge from the vaginal opening? Ask her if she is getting some white, yellow or reddish fluid coming out from down there.

      This may be some mild infection that requires medical treatment.

      If she is a virgin, it is natural that she can’t insert her finger in. Young girls have tight vaginal openings with a hymen (membranous curtain) at the end.

      Is she having any sexual urge or feeling of orgasm?

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      There has to be a reason for itching. This is not normal. You may read above about the common causes of itching in vagina.

      If you are not sexually active, the commonest reason may be dryness. Try rubbing bland coconut oil/ vaginal lubricant like KY jelly over the areas that itch. Rub it adequately, two to three times a day.

  3. Pragati Mishra

    My vaginal section are very itchy. I am very tensed about it and when my period is on, the infection becomes very bad. Any cream I apply is not effective. What should I do?

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      As you may read above, there are many causes of having an itchy vagina.

      Let us know if you are having any discharge from the vagina, its color and smell. Any redness or swelling in the vaginal lips?

  4. Anitra Johnson

    A week ago, I recently shaved my vagina and I noticed bumps start to form. When I try to get rid of them and they start to hurt or they may burst on their own. I’m not sexually active at all. Only a virgin, so is it from shaving?

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Likely to be due to shaving.

      You may need to apply mupirocin (topical antibiotic) ointment over it for now. Apply it thrice daily for a week.

  5. IraZeu

    My vagina is itching a lot. There is some white discharge stuck around my pee hole area. The entire part is itching a lot. There is no odour smell. This itching is since 1 week for now. Before my vagina was even feeling swollen down there but then automatically it got recovered. Now my issue is only the itching and the white discharge around there. Please help? ThankYou.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Likely to be a fungal infection. Try applying canesten/ candid ointment over the affected area. Do this daily for a week and let us know the results.

      Also, take care that the region down there is clean and dry throughout the day. Wear loose cotton underwears to help it stay dry.

  6. lisa jone

    hie my vigina is very itchy and l have a paste like white discharge l feel swollen. l”ve recently had a six months
    stillborn. might the same problem that caused my baby to die

  7. Autumn Thibodeau

    My period is late and I’m itchy all over down there, I had a bunch of bulit up gunk and cleaned it with water.After it started burning.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      You may apply a general ointment, like quadriderm/ Fourderm over there. Avoid friction over the parts and wear lose undergarments.

  8. Phindulo

    I’m 21 years old, I started having sex early this year. I’m having a problem with my vagina. It’s itchy, more especially after sex and when I urinate and during bath. Sometimes I masturbate.

  9. Miranda

    Hello. I noticed that I sometimes have itchy rashes in my vagina area and a folded dry skin after have done a fair share of itching. Several days later then it becomes red in color and I also have a creamy discharge which can be thick at times and watery at times pls what durable treatment can I use and what’s the nature of the infection. Lest I forget too I treated it more than once with a fungal cream last yr but it seems to worsened. Please can I get your answer to this?

  10. Aeiou

    Hi. The area around my vagina (around the opening and a little above it where the hair is) looks similar to a mosquito bitten skin and slightly swollen. It is slight red and there is no discharge from it. It was itchy a few days back and seems my fingers were too harsh on it. But this was almost 15-20 days back. Now, just as I said the skin appears like mosquito bitten area around half an inch. I got to know about this today morning and I washed the place with lukewarm water and now it is slightly itchy. I have never been sexually active and I wear Cotton clothes, loose enough to keep the flow of air. What to do? Is it very serious?

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      You mean you have many red bumps there?

      If yes, this is likely to be an infection. Check your underwear for any discharge.

      1. Aeiou

        No. Just one lump/ pimple. There is no discharge till now. I guess this lump or pimple or something has just formed today. I didn’t have any itching or pain. But for the past few hours i have a slight itchiness and slightly pain when i try to sit or sleep. I have applied Candid B for now, but I don’t know if it will work. Is it serious?

        1. Buddy M.D. Post author

          Likely to be a pimple there. Nothing to worry.

          You may apply 1% cortisone cream over it, once a day for 3 to 5 days. Do not over use the cream.

          This would alleviate your symptoms, as the pimple gradually regresses on its own with time.

  11. Anonymous

    I had sex with my boyfriend a week before last, I did not orgasm, but my vagina kept beating for a while after. A day or so later my vagina had a burning/itchy feel which I thought would go away, a few days later I bought a pack of Candid V-6 and went through the course without sexual intercourse. I felt better. Two days ago my boyfriend and I had sex again and again the same thing happened. He says that he cannot feel anything wrong with his privates, but I am pretty sure he needs to be cleaned out too. There is a slight cloudy discharge throughout the day and it has a funny sterilized mixed with vagina kind of smell. Do you have any idea what this could be and how we both could treat it?

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Yeast gives you itching, whitish discharge and redness over the affected part.

      Self examine with a small mirror to see any redness, swelling down there.

      Since you responded to the anti fungal, it may be yeast. If you have yeast, he’s likely to have it too. Both of you need treatment.

      1. Anonymous

        Thank you for the answer. I have a few more questions. I regularly masturbate, but i have not gotten any feelings like this. He did however masturbate me that same night using his fingers. He works a lot with grease and his also a smoker, could this also have an affect on what happened? Or is it purely through penetration? Also, i had put a little Lennon Medication (Balsem Kopiva) on a pad and wore it for two days, it has seemed to subsided the itch and burn a little, today my period started.

        How does a yeast infection occur? How can i treat it?

  12. Anonymous

    In 2013, I noticed that my vagina is itching me. Then I used anti fungi cream. It’s remain the same it now spread to my buttock and I’ve tried using candid v.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      So, is it 4 years since you have an itchy vagina?

      Any discharge from the vaginal canal? Is the area red or swelled?

  13. Kc bro.

    Hi, I shaved a few days ago and I’m now starting to notice little red bumps all around my vagina and butt hole. They have been getting itchier and itchier. The tops of the bumps are white but I popped one and it only released blood. I’m not sexually active, I’m 16 and still a virgin. What exactly should I do?

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Avoid shaving till it gets alright.

      Keep the area well washed and dry. Wear loose under garments to let the region breathe throughout the day. Moisture shouldn’t get accumulated there.

      You may start applying an antibiotic cream over all bumps you have. Mupirocin/ bactroban may be used.

  14. Sasha

    Hi please help my V is itchy on the top inner lip it has even changed colour a bit my discharge is fine no smell or bumps, it’s just itchy in da inner lip what should I do plzzz help

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Any bump or rash there?

      If not, this may be a temporary irritation. You may apply ointment betnovate over the affected area. Use it once daily for not more than a week.

  15. Anonymous

    I am 2months pregnant and I’ve had Virginal bleeding for last 1week. My doctor have me fragile antibiotics to curb any infections. I have finished the medicine and still I have discharge and utchich down there. Could it be due to the ended bleeding or its another infection.

  16. Anonymous *

    I have had an itchy V for a few weeks now. It gets red and swollen after sex, which is sometimes painful. One side of my labia gets swollen. A lot of discharge, white but a little clumpy and has a different odor than normal. I was treated for a yeast infection a few weeks ago and the Rx helped but my spouse wasn’t treated. No bumps or rashes. I also have always had a difficult time staying naturally lubricated down there.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      May be yeast again. You need medication at the earliest.

      For lubrication, you may use a lubricant, like KY jelly. Dryness during the act is bad for you.

  17. the girl

    I’ve been having vigina infection for almost a year now .it is itchy , gotten dark, sometimes reddish,no burning sensation except when I itch it much and then clean with water,it is scaly it even look like blisters but not swollen and the scaliness has spread to my bottom cheeks also sometimes after I itch it a lot it pains me slightly….am not sexually active,I’ve has sex once and that is in 2013long ago ,I didn’t orgasm and even there was no deep penetration.. but I masturbate a lot and I orgasm very fast ,urge is also high.also on my but cheeks there are some dark rashes…… please what do I do

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      This is very likely to be an infection.

      Any discharge from the vagina? Have you tried any medicines or ointments down there? If yes, kindly detail them here.

      1. the girl

        discharge varies,sometimes thick sometimes light but it is off white color no odour…. have tried oral metronidazole,ampiclox, doxycycline, antifungal ointment and inserted clotrivag

        1. Buddy M.D. Post author

          Looks like a fungal. Try applying any anti fungal cream down there over the affected part. Keep the area well washed and dry.

          Avoid using soap or gels for washing. These would render the skin dry and increase itch. Just plain water cleaning is enough. Avoid friction over the affected part while walking.

          Wear loose cotton underwears to let the area breathe and stay moisture free.

  18. Kate

    Gd evening doc, i dont know what happened toy vaginal, ot is so itchy and when i pee, it hurts. I looked in the mirror and i see that my hymen near to vagina orifice is getting bigger? Im afraid if what will happened to me, i have not been menstration after a month and i have sti last year.

  19. Monet

    Hi so my vagina is itching a lot its not red or anything it just plain out itches and I have no idea what to do or what causing it

  20. Anie

    Hi. My vagina started itching me 2 days ago and it’s becoming more itchy by d day, I noticed an odorless and slightly whitish discharge, no bumps or anything. I’m 18 and still a virgin, please I hope it’s nothing serious

  21. Leslie

    Hi. Am Leslie. My vagina itches and I have a kind of thick yellowish discharge but brown on my panty. Also, each time I have sexual intercourse with my partner, it pains during the penetration. I didn’t know if it’s a problem or not

  22. Nicole

    Hey dr , the outer part of my vagina itches alot plus skin is also too dry my vaginal discharge is colourless but sumtimes white plus 2 or 3 bumps which itches a lot no pain thou… can ypu tell me medications for it

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      May be extreme dryness there. Clean the area with ample water daily, avoiding the use of soap or gels there, as these may render the region drier.

      Liberally apply an emollient over the entire area to combat dryness. Let us know if it improves.

  23. anonymous

    hi I have an itchy vagina with redness swelling and smelly clear discharge (sometimes). it seems to get worse at night. I have tried antifungal creams, steroid creams and antibiotics but it wont go away my doctor said it may be a skin condition and gave me antroquoril it has not helped I have seen numerous doctors who tell me different cauuses and give medicine or creams nothing works have had this itch for over 8 years. please help

  24. juliya

    Hi doctor, I’m 20 and I have vaginal itching since a month. It occurred after my last period. outer vagina skin is white and have white discharge like peaces. And now I have 2 tiny skin tags on the hair area. And also its pinful to sex and on that time l have bleeding litle bit. After I washed my vagina with hot water it feels normal but after a while it iching again. Do I have a serious problem?

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Likely to be a fungal infection.

      Keep the whole area clean by washing it with normal water. No hot water, soaps or gels to be used there. All these would render the region dry and add to itching afterwards.

      Moisturize the whole region after washing with any non perfumed vaginal moisturizer.

      Start applying an anti fungal cream over and inside your vagina at night time, every day for 7 to 10 days. You may use miconazole/ ketoconazole. These are available over the counter.

      Let us know if it improves.

  25. Shawn

    Hi dr. I’m Still a vrign . I’m just getting over uti, BV and vaingistis . I been on two dose of antibiotics And still having itching and buring . Went back to the obgyn they said the Infection is gone. But I’m still have itching and burning. I also have IC I kown that cause burning but I haven’t had a flare in 4 year. Do IC CAUSE itching to

      1. Shawn

        The dr also gave me two creams to us last Friday . I’m very worry cause I’m still a virgin . Also use unsent soap and I wear cotton unwear and natural pant liner

  26. minolie

    I am 61yrs old. I get a bad smell from vagina it is about 5 months. I inserterd candid v-gel 3days. No improvements. I stopped that there is no any discharge no swelling or no redness or no drying. I used soap to clean twice a day. I have no sex with any one. Please help me.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Any itching?

      If no symptoms, this smell may be related to something in your diet. Strong herbs, like garlic, may also give a smell.

      You may also check your vaginal pH once and let us know for better diagnosis. pH strips are easily available at stores.


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