If you’re a woman, you’ve most likely dealt with vaginal itching at some point in your life. Vaginal itching, sometimes known as vaginitis, can affect the inside of the vagina or the vaginal opening, as well as the vulvar area (including the labia). In addition to being a major annoyance, vaginal itching can also be a sign of more serious gynecological issues. So we are writing today to discuss the common causes of vaginal itching and when your condition should warrant a visit with your board-certified gynecologist.
Vaginal itching isn’t necessarily a major cause for concern. At times, it can be caused by something as minor as a reaction to chemicals found in everyday detergents, soaps, fabric softeners, feminine sprays, ointments, or douches. Other common causes of vaginal itching include skin conditions like psoriasis, side effects of certain medications, low estrogen levels due to menopause, or clothing that is too tight.
In many such cases, vaginal itching is nothing to worry about. But if your vaginal itching is severe or doesn’t go away after a few days, something more serious could be going on and we recommend seeking a professional opinion. Patients should also see a gynecologist at once if their vaginal itch is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, as they could be a sign of any number of vaginal health conditions including yeast infections, sexually-transmitted infections like HPV, bacterial vaginosis, or other vaginal infections:
- An unusual or foul-smelling vaginal discharge
- Irregular bleeding
- Burning, pain, or irritation in the vagina or pelvic area
- A white discharge that may look like cottage cheese
- Symptoms of urinary incontinence
There are a variety of ways for women to promote good vaginal health and prevent vaginal itching. For starters, wash your vagina daily with plain, mild soap. We also strongly recommend wearing breathable cotton panties, drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated, and not staying in wet bathing suits or sweaty exercise clothes for too long after you are done swimming or working out. For women seeking relief from long-term vaginal itching, we often recommend FemTouch™ Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation. FemTouch™ treatments are fast, safe and effective for relieving vaginal itching, as well as other vaginal health symptoms including vaginal irritation and the effects of urinary incontinence.
Here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, patient education is a major part of our practice philosophy. We believe that women who know and understand more about their bodies will not only have a better chance to keep themselves healthy over time, but are also more likely to seek medical attention quickly in the event of a more serious gynecological issue. For more information on vaginal health or if you would like to request an appointment, please contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more tips, news, and updates on our upcoming Health & Wellness events.