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What Can I Do About Vaginal Itching?

Post-menopausal women may suffer from vaginal itching due to lower estrogen levels.
Many cases of abnormal vaginal discharge and itching are caused by vaginitis and can be treated with prescription medication.
Women with sensitive skin should avoid scented feminine hygiene products, which can cause vaginal itching.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 23 October 2014
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Vaginal itching can result from numerous causes, and it’s often vital to determine the cause before deciding how to address the problem. Many women think automatically that itching is sign of a yeast infection, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes itching is simply irritated skin. This can result from using soap on the vagina, from condoms or spermicides, from detergents used on clothes that come in contact with the skin, or even from using scented products like scented maxi pads or toilet paper. Eliminating these may eliminate irritation and itch.

It is true that yeast infections can result in very uncomfortable vaginal itching. Yeast infections may be present with white, thick discharge, which has a yeast smell to it. Itch may be felt on the interior and exterior of the vagina. When women have had these infections in the past and recognize them clearly, the best method to deal with the problem is to use an over the counter yeast infection treatment to help reduce itch.

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Bacterial infections may also cause vaginal itching. Itching may result from bacterial vaginosis or conditions like trichomonas, which is sexually transmitted. There are actually several sexually transmitted diseases that could result in itching in the vaginal area, including herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. This does not mean that all itching occurs because of an STD, but it’s important, particularly if a person has multiple sexual partners or has had unprotected sex to consider this as a possible cause. Some of these conditions can be treated with antibiotics, and others may be treated with anti-viral drugs to help reduce outbreaks or flares.

Women who are in menopause or post-menopausal may also suffer from vaginal itching. This usually indicates that estrogen levels are lower, which is a normal state as menopause progresses. There are occasionally times when a woman who is pre-menopausal might have low estrogen levels and vaginal itching could be an indication of this. Hormone supplementation might reduce itch, but isn’t always advised.

People who have certain skin conditions can get itching on various parts of the body, including the vagina. Skin conditions like psoriasis can develop on the vagina and be very uncomfortable. Eczema could also be present on or around the vagina. These conditions may have treatments that help to resolve episodes and to promote greater comfort.

It’s a temptation to view vaginal itching as simple and always resulting from just a few things. The causes of it, however, are extensive, and it isn’t recommended that itch that lasts for more than a day or two be ignored. Instead, women are advised to see their doctors to help diagnose the problem and get the appropriate treatment.

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Discuss this Article

Pippinwhite
Post 1

Obviously, seeing a doctor for prolonged itchiness is the best course of action. In the meantime, getting an OTC preparation like Vagisil is also a good alternative.

One good temporary remedy is to get Vagisil wipes, which are pre-moistened disposable cloths, and put them in the fridge for an hour or two. Applying the cold cloth on the itchy skin is a little bit of Heaven for someone who has been miserable. The itch stops almost immediately, and the cool cloth helps soothe the irritated skin.

Some women douche when they have itching, but this is not always recommended since, if they go to the doctor, the ingredients in the douche can alter the results of a vaginal swab.

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