Itching at any part of the body can be very discomforting and annoying and makes the person irritated and cranky. But if we talk about vaginal itching, it can be far worse than itching on any other part of the body. The vagina is the most sensitive and gentle part of a female. The female intimate parts including the vagina, vulva, labia, and clitoris need proper hygiene to remain healthy. The human body naturally secretes hormones to keep the vaginal area healthy and maintain the pH balance. There are natural bacteria present in the vagina to keep the vagina lubricated and prevent infections. The gynecologist may also advise a PAP Smear test or Pelvic Exam if the itching or irritation is unbearable.
Also Read:Vaginal changes when you catch an STD
Medications for Vaginal Itching
As explained above, vaginal itching can be a cause of several conditions. It is not assured that vaginal itching happens due to an infection or another prevailing disease. It is always better to consult a gynecologist before taking any medication or trying over the counter treatments for vaginal itching or irritation. Here are general medications for vaginal itching, depending on the seriousness of disease or condition.
- For Vaginosis or STDs– Gynecologist generally recommends antibiotics or antiparasitics for this condition. Metronidazole (Flagyl) and clindamycin (Cleocin) are the most preferred medicines in the case of bacterial vaginosis.
- Yeast Infections- These are generally treated with antifungal medicines. They are generally available in the form of ointments to apply in the vagina. These are also available as suppositories that are for oral consumption. Fluconazole (Diflucan) is the most effective anti-fungal oral medicine that is given in severe cases of yeast infections.
- Menopause– Estrogen creams or tablets are helpful to get relief from vaginal itching caused due to menopause. Such creams act as anti-histamine or anti-allergic that effectively get you rid of vaginal itching.
- Other infections- Vaginal itching that occurs due to general infections can be treated effectively with steroids, ointments or lotions. You should only use the steroids or ointments that your specialist doctor prescribes.
Make sure to consult your gynecologist before taking any medication, Only a gynecologist can identify the cause of the itching or irritation. Self-medication can be very harmful and cause side effects or allergic reactions. Consult your gynecologist for effective medication or treatment. Doing so will save you from any further troubles.
Just to add to your knowledge, you should be well aware of the reasons that may lead to itching in your vagina. So, here is a list of the most common causes of vaginal itching that you must know.
Causes of vaginal itching
Bacterial Vaginosis- Vagina is home to many natural bacteria that keep the vagina healthy. But if an unwanted foreign bacteria enters inside the vagina, it disrupts the healthy functioning of the vagina. This growth of harmful bacteria in the vagina causes itching, irritation, soreness, etc. This condition is called Bacterial Vaginosis. When a female suffers from Bacterial Vaginosis, she would notice symptoms such as foul or fishy-smelling vaginal discharge, pain, and irritation in the vaginal area. In addition to these, she may also complain of burning sensation while urinating, etc.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases- STDs such as Chlamydia, Genital Herpes, Genital Warts, Gonorrhea or Trichomoniasis have vaginal itching or irritation as a major symptom. But vaginal itching can exist for several reasons. It can be normal also. It can even be a sign of a Sexually Transmitted Disease! So consult your gynecologist if the itching does not stop soon or increases.
Yeast Infections or Vaginal Candidiasis- On average, three out of four women complain about Yeast at once in their lifetime. A yeast infection happens when the yeast named Candida grows excessively inside the female’s vagina or vulva region. Conditions such as pregnancy, sexual intercourse, antibiotic reactions, weak or slow immune system, etc can increase the risks of vaginal infections. Such infections may cause itching and irritation accompanied by white discharge resembling cottage cheese.
Menopause- The estrogen levels in a female drops down with the passage of age. This happens more around the stage of menopause. The vaginal walls get dry and thin because of a lack of estrogen that induces pain, irritation, rash or irritation in and around the vagina. This problem can also happen to women who are breastfeeding.
Lichen Sclerosus- It is a rare skin disease that causes thin white patches on the skin. Such white patches around the vulva region are vulvar lichen sclerosus. These scars can be permanent on the skin of the vaginal area. Women are more likely to develop lichen sclerosis after their Menopause.
Artificial Irritants- Normal or flavored condoms, lubricants, tampons, etc can cause irritation or itching in the vaginal area. Vaginal irritation in such cases, generally goes away on its own but if it does not, consult a professional for proper medication and treatment.
You can also try home remedies for vaginal itching
- Baking Soda For Bathing– Baking soda is very effective in treating yeast (fungal) infections that cause itching in the vagina.
- Apple Cider Vinegar– Adding some apple cider vinegar in bathing water eases out the itching due to fungal vaginal infection.
- Coconut Oil– It has soothing effects on vaginal infections that are fungal in nature. Coconut oil kills harmful microbes and helps in restoring vaginal health.
- Wear cotton underwear– Cotton underwear helps in managing the discomfort such as itching and discharge that happens due to vaginal infections.
- Greek Yogurt- You should have more of greek/probiotic yogurt to promote the growth of good bacteria in the vagina. Thus, greek yogurt helps in fighting infection causing bacteria.
These home remedies can be effective, but it is wise to get in touch with a doctor to discuss your problem.
Professional Consultation For Vaginal Itching
In a recent study, it came out that about 57% of women have vaginal itching or irritation at least once a year. This is normal vaginal itching and irritation we are talking about here. A little imbalance in the vagina or pH balance can cause some irritation or itch down there. You are not the only one experiencing itching or irritation in the vaginal area sometimes. But if it happens very frequently or if there is a lot of itching or irritation or it is accompanied by other symptoms lie abnormal discharge, rash, dryness or soreness, it should be discussed with a professional gynecologist. There may be some infection causing the uncomfortable itching or irritation.