Itching in itself is already very irritating, and out of all the places, your vaginal probably ranks as the absolute worst. We mean, it’s not exactly easy to scratch down there. But what’s even more frustrating than doing the crotch-itch dance in public, is not knowing why your vagina is itchy in the first place. To be honest, there are tons of reasons behind that urge to scratch, but here are a few common things that might be causing the itch.
1. Yeast infections
Most of us assume vaginal itching is a yeast infection, and it is usually the cause. The technical term for this is vulvovaginal candidiasis and candida, like most fungi, need warmth, moisture, and food to proliferate. So help avoid infections by removing damp underwear as fast as possible after sports and other sweaty activities. Your best treatment option is however through medication.
2. Bacterial vaginosis
This sounds a lot scarier than it is, because bacterial vaginosis isn’t truly an infection. It happens when the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina gets thrown off and there’s an overgrowth of a certain type of bacteria. While the primary symptoms of this infection are a loose discharge, strong odour, and general irritation, it can make you feel itchy as well. If you’re experiencing of these symptoms, see your doctor right away so he or she can prescribe an antibiotic prescription that will help restore that healthy balance in your vagina.
3. Hormonal change
When your hormones fluctuate during your menstrual cycle, you might end up with drier vaginal tissue than normal, which can cause itching. Further, perimenopause and breast-feeding are also common reason for vaginal dryness and itching, thanks to the drop in estrogen.
4. Pubic lice
No one wants to think about bugs crawling around on any part of their body, but especially not down there. Unfortunately, that’s exactly where pubic lice a.k.a. crabs reside and cause intense itching in the vaginal and pubic areas. The really bad news is having sex isn’t the only way to get pubic lice; they’re passed from skin to skin as well. Though treatable with an over-the-counter medication, the morals of the story here are as follows-practice safe sex, read hotel ratings carefully because you might just get them from the bed sheets, and maybe don’t let anyone borrow your pants.
If you’re sexually active and also experiencing ongoing irritation, it’s in your best interest to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases as soon as you can. But, worry not, as an STD is not the end of the world, and treatment for many cases, in fact, is easier than you think. But your best tool is awareness of the problem, so don’t hesitate to find out.
This one seems simple, but if you’re feeling particularly irritated, shaving could be the culprit. Take a few weeks off and see if you feel better. You might be surprised by how much you love the new look too, and maybe realize that you don’t want to shave down there anymore. Especially because it’s quite a hassle and painful at times.
6. Everyday products
If there is no infection present, the most likely cause of irritation of the vulva and vagina is from chemicals in the environment. Common culprits include laundry detergent, dryer sheets, bleach used to clean clothes, certain toilet papers, and sanitary products, especially perfumed ones. Skip products with a scent if you can, and try to use a nonirritating soap when you shower. Switching out detergents and other laundering products for safer and softer alternatives might be just the trick to finding relief.