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Vaginal Itching

vaginal-itching
By Medicover Hospitals / 18 Jan 2021
Home | symptoms | vaginal-itching
  • Inflammation of the vagina can lead to discharge, itching, and pain. Vaginitis is usually caused by a change in the normal balance of vaginal bacteria, an infection, or a decrease in estrogen rates after menopause. Signs include unusual vaginal discharge, itching or irritation, painful urination, and pain during sex. Treatment usually involves medications that focus on the underlying cause.
  • Article Context:

    1. What is vaginal itching?
    2. Causes
    3. Diagnosis
    4. Treatment
    5. When to visit a Doctor?
    6. Home remedies
    7. FAQ's

    What is vaginal itching?

  • Vaginal itching is the hallmark of yeast infections and other vaginal infections (including STDs), itching in the vagina and vulvar areas have multiple causes. Vaginal itching can also arise due to chemical irritants that can be found in detergents or soaps, douches, and vaginal creams, toilet paper, bath products, feminine hygiene products, and vaginal contraceptive products.
  • Women in the menopausal transition may experience vaginal itching due to fluctuations in estrogen levels. As estrogen levels drop in perimenopause, the vaginal wall becomes thinner and drier and can result in itchiness.
  • Some studies have shown a link between psychological stress and vaginal yeast infections. This is likely because stress is known to harm the immune system and could increase the likelihood of yeast infection in women and men.
  • Causes:

  • Here are some of the possible causes of itchiness in the vagina and the surrounding area.
  • Irritants:

  • Exposing the vagina to irritating chemicals can cause vaginal itching. These irritants can trigger an allergic reaction that creates an itchy rash on various areas of the body, including the vagina. Common chemical irritants include:
    • soap
    • bubble bath
    • feminine sprays
    • topical contraceptives
    • creams
    • ointments
    • detergents
    • fabric softeners
    • scented toilet paper
  • If you have diabetes or urinary incontinence, your urine can also cause vaginal irritation and itching.
  • Skin diseases:

    • Some skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, can cause redness and itching in the genital region.
    • Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a rash that occurs mainly in people with asthma or allergies. The rash is reddish and itchy with a scaly texture. It can spread to the vagina in some women with eczema.
    • Psoriasis is a common skin condition that causes red, scaly, itchy patches to form along the scalp and joints. Sometimes flare-ups of these symptoms can also occur in the vagina.

    Fungal infection:

    • Yeast is a natural fungus that is normally present in the vagina. It rarely causes problems, but when its growth doesn't stop, an uncomfortable infection can ensue.
    • This infection is known as a vaginal yeast infection. It is a very common condition that affects 3 out of 4 women at some point in their lives.
    • Infection often occurs after taking a course of antibiotics, as these types of medications can destroy good bacteria along with bad. Good bacteria are necessary to control yeast growth.
    • Yeast overgrowth in the vagina can lead to uncomfortable symptoms, including itching, burning, and a lumpy discharge.

    Bacterial vaginosis:

    • Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is another common reason for vaginal itching.
    • Like a vaginal yeast infection, BV is triggered by an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria that are naturally found in the vagina.
    • The condition doesn't always cause symptoms. When symptoms do appear, they usually include vaginal itching and an abnormal, smelly discharge. The discharge may be thin and dull gray or white. In some cases, it can also be sparkling.

    Sexually transmitted diseases(STDs):

  • Many STDs can be transmitted during unprotected sex and cause the vagina to itch. These include:
    • chlamydia
    • genital warts
    • gonorrhea
    • genital herpes
    • trichomoniasis
  • These conditions can also cause additional symptoms, including abnormal growths, green or yellow vaginal discharge, and painful urination.
  • Menopause:

    • Women who are going through menopause or who have already done so are at higher risk of vaginal itching.
    • This is due to the reduction in estrogen levels that occurs during menopause, which leads to vaginal atrophy. It is a thinning of the mucosa that can cause excessive dryness. Dryness can cause itching and irritation if left untreated.

    Stress:

  • Physical and emotional stress can cause vaginal itching and irritation, although this is not very common. It can occur when stress weakens your immune system, leaving you more prone to infections that cause itching.
  • Vulvar cancer:

    • In rare cases, vaginal itching can be a symptom of vulvar cancer. This is a type of cancer that develops in the vulva which is the outer part of the female genitalia. It includes the inner and outer lips of the vagina, the clitoris, and the opening of the vagina.
    • Vulvar cancer may not always cause symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, they can include itching, abnormal bleeding, or pain in the vulvar area.
    • Vulvar cancer can be treated successfully if your doctor diagnoses it in the early stages. This is another reason why annual gynecological check-ups are essential.

    Diagnosis:

  • Your doctor will diagnose the cause of your blurred vision by first taking a look at your signs. Examples of questions they can ask:
    • Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, including how severe they are and how long they have lasted. They may also ask you about your sexual activities. They will probably also need to do a pelvic exam.
    • During a pelvic exam, your doctor will visually inspect the vulva and may use a speculum to view the inside of the vagina. They can press down on your abdomen while inserting a gloved finger into your vagina. This allows them to check the reproductive organs for abnormalities.
    • Your doctor may also collect a tissue sample from the skin of your vulva or a sample of your discharge for analysis. Your doctor may also do blood or urine tests.

    Treatment:

  • Once your doctor finds the underlying cause of your vaginal itching, they will recommend treatment options. The specific course of treatment required depends on the particular condition that is causing the problem.
  • Vaginal yeast infections:

  • Your doctor can treat vaginal yeast infections with antifungal medications. These come in various forms, including creams, ointments, or pills. They are available by prescription or without a prescription.
  • However, if your doctor has never diagnosed you with a yeast infection, be sure to speak with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications.
  • Bacterial vaginosis (BV):

  • Doctors usually treat BV with antibiotics. These can come in the form of pills that are taken by mouth or as creams that are inserted into the vagina. Regardless of the type of treatment you use, it is important to follow your doctor's instructions and complete the full round of medications.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases(STDs):

  • You can treat STDs with antibiotics, antivirals, or antiparasitics. You will need to take your medications regularly and avoid sexual intercourse until your infection or illness clears.
  • Menopause:

  • Itching related to menopause can be treated with estrogen cream, tablets, or a vaginal ring.
  • Other causes:

  • Other types of vaginal itching and irritation often go away on their own. In the meantime, you can apply steroid creams or lotions to reduce inflammation and relieve discomfort. However, you should limit their use, as they can also lead to chronic irritation and itching if overused.
  • When to visit a Doctor?

    • It is important to see your doctor for vaginal itching if the itching is severe enough to interrupt your daily life or sleep. Although most cases are not serious, some treatments can lessen the discomfort of vaginal itching.
    • You should also contact your doctor if your vagina itching persists for more than a week or if your itching occurs in conjunction with the following symptoms:
      • ulcers or blisters on the vulva
      • pain or tenderness in the genital area
      • genital redness or swelling
      • difficulty urinating
      • an unusual vaginal discharge
      • discomfort during sexual intercourse

    Home Remedies:

  • Here are some tips for preventing and treating vaginal irritation at home:
  • Avoid scented towels or toilet paper, creams, bubble baths, feminine sprays, and shower showers.
    • Use water and regular, unscented soap to regularly clean your outer genital area. But don't wash more than once a day. This can increase drought.
    • Always wipe from front to back after a bowel movement.
    • Wear cotton panties (not synthetic fabrics) and change your underwear every day.
    • Don't take a shower.
    • Don't take a shower.
    • Change baby girls' diapers regularly.
    • Use condoms during sex to help prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
    • If you suffer from vaginal dryness, use a vaginal moisturizer. Apply a water-based lubricant (K-Y, Astroglide) before having sex.
    • Avoid sex until your symptoms improve.
    • Don't scratch - you can irritate the area further.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Antifungal, It works by stopping the growth of the yeast that is causing the infection. The vaginal product comes in 2 forms (cream or a vaginal tablet).
  • Signs of yeast infection can range from mild to moderate and include Itching and irritation of the vagina and vulva, Burning sensation, especially when having sexual intercourse or urinating.
  • Vaginal itching and dryness are usually due to a yeast infection or dryness due to low levels of estrogen in the vaginal area, inside and out. Another possible condition that causes vaginal itching on the outer area is something called lichen sclerosus, which is linked to testosterone deficiency.
  • Conditions that can mimic a yeast infection. These include trichomoniasis, herpes, and genital warts. Skin reaction or allergy: Some hygiene products can cause a reaction, just like feminine hygiene products, bath soap, or even a change of laundry soap.
  • Yes, virginal itching is normal in all women, but in some cases it is severe. Vaginal itching is an uncomfortable and sometimes painful symptom that often occurs due to irritants, infections, or menopause. It can also occur as a result of certain skin disorders or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In rare cases, vaginal itching may develop due to stress or cancer of the vulva.
  • Citations:

  • Vaginal itching and burning - https://search.proquest.com/openview/7a70f136e2b7c67be52784f0ba312fbb/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=34049
  • Vulvar and Vaginal Atrophy and Its Treatment - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1743609517300589