Vaginal itching is among the most common reproductive health concerns for women. Itching or irritation can be uncomfortable regardless of where it occurs but itching in an area as sensitive as the vagina can be especially frustrating. Vaginal itching can affect the inside of the vagina, the vaginal opening, and/or the vulvar area (including the labia). In order to properly treat vaginal itching, we must first get to the root of your issue and determine what is causing your discomfort. That’s why our gynecological healthcare providers wanted to take some time to highlight a few of the most common causes of vaginal itching.
A yeast infection is the first thing that comes to mind for many women who experience vaginal itching. This common vaginal infection occurs when an overgrowth of yeast causes an imbalance in the natural bacteria that exists in the vagina. In addition to vaginal itching, a yeast infection can also produce a thick, white, vaginal discharge.
Other Vaginal Infections
Often confused for a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis (BV) is another type of vaginal infection that can also cause persistent vaginal itching. Unlike a yeast infection that is caused by excess production of yeast, BV occurs when there is an overgrowth of normal vaginal bacteria. Other common symptoms of BV to be aware of include inflammation, burning, and a fishy-smelling discharge.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Various sexually transmitted infections (also known as STDs) can be the source of a woman’s vaginal itching. Some of the more common STIs that can cause vaginal itching include chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, and pubic lice (also known as “crabs”).
Entering menopause can instigate several changes to a woman’s body including a reduction in the levels of natural estrogen production. This lack of estrogen that occurs during the perimenopause (or pre-menopause) period can lead to vaginal dryness, which in turn can lead to vaginal itching.
In some cases, vaginal itching can be caused by something as minor as using the wrong laundry detergent or feminine hygiene product. However, if you experience vaginal itching that is severe or doesn’t go away after a few days, we recommend coming into our office to speak with one of our gynecological healthcare providers to make sure you’re not dealing with anything more serious. For more information on vaginal itching and how it can be treated, contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett to request an appointment today. You can also follow us Facebook and Twitter for additional healthcare tips, news, and more.