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Why Does Your Vagina Itch?

Dr. Afroze Khan

1 min read

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Down under, there is an itch you can’t scratch, and ignoring it just won’t do. Aside from yeast infections, vaginal itching might also be an indication of a skin disorder, infection, or even vulvar cancer, making a visit to your gynecologist imperative; even if it’s uncomfortable to talk about. Here are some reasons for your vaginal itching:

1- Your Lifestyle:

Almost 25% of mild external itching on the vulva i.e. the visible parts of the female genitals, is due to skin inflammation (dermatitis) caused by using dull razors, tight pants or wet clothes-especially after showering or strenuous exercise. Switch to loose pants and a new razor, change immediately after exercising and apply small amounts of petroleum jelly or coconut oil for itch-relief.

2- You’re Menopausal:

Vaginal Atrophy decreases estrogen levels and disrupts the pH balance, causing the thinning and drying out of vaginal walls as menopause approaches. This leads to constant itching and irritation. Additionally, breastfeeding women might also have thin walls and an itchy vagina. While OTC (over the counter) estrogen creams and tablets can be used, a specialist consultation is advised.

3- The Products You Use:

While the normal vaginal scent can be irritating for some, using heavily scented soaps and deodorants is not recommended, as they not only aggravate the skin, but also disrupt the natural balance of vaginal bacteria. Other possible chemical irritants include creams, ointments, detergents, fabric softeners and scented toilet paper. Urine may also be a cause of vaginal itching in case of diabetes or urinary incontinence.

4- Bacterial Vaginosis:

Mostly targeting women of reproductive age, this common infection is the result of an imbalance and bacterial overgrowth in the vagina, causing irritation. It often goes undiagnosed due to lack of visible symptoms; although a thin, dull gray or white discharge, foamy in some cases, might indicate a possible BV infection. Antibiotics and supplements are commonly prescribed for treatment and prevention.

5- Skin Disorders:

The scaly, red patches of Psoriasis and the reddish, itchy rash characteristic of eczema, which usually affect the scalp and joints, might also spread to the vagina. Women suffering from asthma or allergies are at high risk of vaginal eczema. Either way, mild steroids and oatmeal baths are employed for treatment and pain relief. Consult a doctor in case of no change after one week of treatment.

6- Lichen Sclerosis:

In post-menopausal women, thin white patches can form around the vulvar skin and cause itching as well as permanent vaginal scarring. This rare condition can be treated via prescription-grade steroid creams, mainly to alleviate skin irritation.

7- You’re Stressed:

A stress-weakened immune system exposes the body to itch-causing infections. Habitual vaginal scratching similar to head scratching when stressed  can create micro-tears in the area that leads to more itching.

8- Vulvar Cancer:

In addition to itching, abnormal bleeding and vulvar pain might indicate a Vulvar Cancer diagnosis. This rare condition hardly ever displays symptoms, although it is 100% treatable if detected in the early stages.

Pregnant women are encouraged to consult a specialist immediately in case of vaginal itching, burning or discharge to avoid possible damage to the foetus. You can book an appointment with a top Gynecologist in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad through oladoc.com or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your womanly needs.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Afroze Khan - Author Dr. Afroze Ashraf Khan is a Gynecologist practicing in Lahore. Over the last 22 years, she's been helping patients get treatment of various medical conditions. You can book an appointment with Dr. Afroze Ashraf through oladoc.
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