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Vaginal itching: what causes it?

Perhaps one of the most uncomfortable vaginal discomfort is itching. It can be very embarrassing, and it is not recommended to scratch down there. Having a constant itch in your intimate area can also have a large impact on your daily activities. Before you can treat vaginal itching, it is good to first establish the cause. Let us tell you about the most common ones.

Vaginal yeast infection

One of the main causes of vaginal itching is a yeast infection, also known as candida or thrush. A yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of yeast cells in your vagina and/or in the external intimate area. Together with a white, crumbly discharge and burning, itch is one of the symptoms.

A yeast infection is fairly harmless and the symptoms will fade away, however it can be very uncomfortable. Therefore there are several options to treat it or to relieve the symptoms. You can use anti-yeast medication (antimycotics) to treat the infection. It is very effective but the medication can cause side-effects and recurring infections.

Another option is to relieve the symptoms, this can be done with self-care products you can buy at your local pharmacy. If you choose a product with natural ingredients you may also prevent recurrence.

Vaginal dryness

Another cause of itch is vaginal dryness. Most women will associate this with menopause, however women of any age can experience it. Besides itching, vaginal dryness can be accompanied by other discomforts such as burning, soreness and pain during intercourse.

“Most women will associate this with menopause, however women of any age can experience it.”

Vaginal dryness commonly occurs when there is a drop in estrogen levels, for example due to pregnancy, medication (contraception), stress, depression or menopause. If you would like to treat dryness you can take medication to increase your estrogen level. Another option is to directly relieve vaginal dryness by using a lubricant or products that stimulate the natural moisture.

Other causes of vaginal itching

Next to a yeast infection and dryness there are other causes of vaginal itching. While not common, bacterial vaginosis can also cause itch in some cases. Bacterial vaginosis is an infection caused by an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the vagina.

The symptoms, strong fish-like odor and grayish white discharge, can be quite uncomfortable but will fade away after some time. If you would like to treat bacterial vaginosis you can take antibiotics or use a natural self-care product that doesn’t have side effects.

Finally, vaginal itching could also be caused by irritation, caused by chemicals such as soap or perfumes, or a sexually transmitted disease (STD). If you suspect it could be an STD, contact your physician.