Vaginal itching is a common discomfort experienced by many adult women. The sensation is a tingling or itch in the areas in or surrounding the vagina. Because of the severe itch in some cases, those affected cannot help but scratch the affected area.
Vaginal itching can be caused by a number of things, such as:
- Reaction to chemical irritants found in laundry soap, detergent, fabric softeners, feminine sprays, creams, and other hygiene products;
- Vaginal yeast infection, which produces a white, cottage cheese like discharge and is usually caused by contraceptive use, pregnancy, menstruation, birth control pills, diabetes, sexual intercourse, and a weak immune system;
- Menopause also causes vaginal itching because it causes the thinning of the vaginal wall and therefore has less lubrication;
- Vaginitis, a condition which results in itching, inflammation, discharge, and odor, commonly experienced by women going through puberty.
To find out the cause of the problem, if you are experiencing vaginal itching you should see a doctor straight away for diagnosis and treatment.
For mild cases of vaginal itching, lidocaine gel can be used to relieve the pain and itch. However, if it is found that a yeast infection is causing the vaginal itching, yeast infection creams or oral tablets may be prescribed.
If you think you have or you have been diagnosed with vaginal itching, it is best to refrain from any sexual activity until this is fully healed.
Although it is not contagious through sexual intercourse, it may only aggravate the situation and cause more bacteria to enter the vagina.
If you are going to engage in sexual intercourse after the itching has been cured, be sure to use condoms to protect against spreading of bacteria for the future. Also, scratching should be avoided as much as possible.
Vaginal itching can also be avoided by certain lifestyle changes such as:
- Practicing good hygiene is essential in avoiding vaginal itching. This means always washing during baths, and keeping the area dry especially when sleeping.
- After bowel movement, be sure to wipe from the front towards the back, because bacteria from vaginal movement can enter the area and cause vaginal itching.
- Stick to loose clothing because wearing clothes that are too tight restrict the air flow and promote moisture, making it breeding ground for bacteria and infections.
- Wash your hands frequently which are not only good for vaginal itching but also for preventing a number of other diseases.
- At night, try to go to sleep with no underwear on as this will promote the passage of air within the area.
- Using cotton panties are best as they also promote airflow in the pelvic area.
- Use only fragrance-free solutions when choosing laundry detergent, fabric softeners, and soaps. The chemicals in these formulas can be active irritants that will lead to vaginal itching.