An itch in your most intimate area is generally quite uncommon and when it happens you can just pop to the rest room to adjust your underwear or have a little scratch. When however, that urge to scratch is prolonged and there is persistent itchiness, it is a cause for concern. I’m going to share some of the most common causes of vaginal itchiness, but even if the symptoms match yours, it is important to get a medical diagnosis asap.
1. Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis, or B.V., is one of the leading causes of vaginal itchiness. B.V. is caused by an imbalance in the pH level of your vagina. An imbalance means that there are more unhealthy bacteria present than healthy bacteria, and this can lead to discomfort and itchiness. The main signs of B.V. are itchiness and a watery discharge that will have an odor. In terms of treatment, B.V. can be cleared up with over the counter creams but more serious cases can be eased with a prescription.
2. Contact Dermatitis
Contact Dermatitis is a skin irritation that is caused by some sort of allergic reaction. Causing a great deal of discomfort and itchiness, you can develop the symptoms of contact dermatitis by the negative reactions to products like lubricants, perfumed sprays or body washes and even some varieties of condoms. A red soreness often accompanies the vaginal itchiness, but contact dermatitis can be treated with creams and by identifying exactly what you are reacting to.
3. Yeast Infection
Much like B.V., a yeast infection occurs when there is an imbalance in the natural pH levels of the vagina. Yeast infections can occur at random and can be the result of a change in diet, a course of antibiotics, sex or even periods of stress. Thick white discharge usually accompanies a yeast infection but the good news is that they can be easily and effectively treated by a number of dedicated over the counter medications.
Vaginal itchiness can often be caused and aggravated by genetic skin conditions such as eczema. Though people don’t often associate eczema with the genital area, it can cause a patchy and rash-like skin just like on a person’s arms or face. Though a genetic skin condition can be tougher to treat than a once-occurring problem, the eczema can still be eased with mild steroids or more natural treatments like oatmeal baths.
5. Lichen Sclerosus
Lichen sclerosus is a quite serious condition that causes the vulva to itch and produce white spots on the skin around the vagina. It can happen at random but is often linked to a change in hormones or an overactive immune system. Rather than being able to be treated by over the counter medicines, lichen sclerosus should be examined and treated by a gynecologist.
6. Sexually Transmitted Disease
This is an obvious one but absolutely one of the most important ones because it is so easily avoidable with appropriate precautions. A large number of active STDs boast vaginal itchiness as a key symptom including herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and crabs, and the only way you are going to be able to avoid these horrible experiences is by practicing safe sex. Yes, the pill may stop you from getting pregnant but it offers absolutely no protection from sexual disease. Be smart, be safe!
Sadly, this one is pretty much unavoidable. The human body, especially the female human body, goes through so many unbelievable changes through its lifetime that there are always going to be some hormone surges and imbalances that lead to different health issues, in this case vaginal itchiness connected to, yep, you guessed it, pH levels! A lot of the medications women take can also often contribute to hormone related itchiness such as birth control and medications to help ease the symptoms of menopause.
As I mentioned at the beginning, it is vital to see a doctor and not try and self-diagnose or treat yourself. It’s so easy to go the wrong route. It might be an embarrassing subject but to your doctor/gyno, there’s nothing unusual. Always better to be safe than sorry. Agreed?