Vaginal itching is the most uncomfortable and common symptom of several health conditions – often caused by infections, irritating substances and/or hormonal changes (puberty, menopause). Sometimes vaginal itching can be caused by hygienic menstrual products or perfume or pubic hair styling but in most cases it can be a symptom of more complicated conditions or diseases.
Usually yeast infection (vaginal candidiasis) occurs when the fungus grows excessively in the vagina and vulva. It was noted that about 3 out of every 4 women will develop yeast infection at some point in their lives. Main yeast infection risk factors include antibiotics, weakened immune system and pregnancy. Sometimes diabetic women could experience vaginal yeast infection. Vaginal yeast infection symptoms include the following:
- Vaginal discharge (thick, white, cheesy);
- Uncomfortable swelling;
- Intensive vaginal itching;
- Vaginal irritation.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV)
Bacterial vaginosis is vaginal infection triggered by changes in the amount of certain types of bacteria in the vagina – overgrowth of atypical bacteria in the vagina when the balance of bacteria inside the vagina becomes disrupted and vaginal PH is changed. Bacterial vaginosis is a common reason for vaginal itching. Typical symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include the following:
- Vaginal discharge (watery white or milky gray or yellowish);
- Intensive specific vaginal odor (fishy smell);
- Vaginal inflammation;
- Vaginal burning;
- Vaginal itching.
Trichomoniasis is common sexually transmitted infection caused by Trichomonas vaginalis. This infection is very common in women who experience unprotected sex with several partners.
Trichomoniasis symptoms include the following:
- Vaginal discharge (greenish yellow, frothy);
- Vaginal burning;
- Vaginal itching;
- Urination problems (frequent, painful with burning sensation);
- “Strawberry cervix” (cervix with lesions and vaginal inflammation – giving the appearance of redness).
- Lower abdominal pain (rare in 10% cases).
Lichen sclerosis is an uncommon condition that causes thin white patches to form on the skin, especially around the vulva which can permanently scar the vaginal area. Postmenopausal women are at greater risk of this condition. Main symptoms include the following:
- Intensive vaginal itching (tends to be worse at night disturbing sleep);
- Skin becoming fragile and thin or wrinkly and thickened;
- Vaginal discomfort and pain;
- Easy bruising or tearing;
- Painful intercourse;
- Bleeding, blistering or ulcerated lesions (in severe cases).
Eczema or psoriasis
Eczema and psoriasis both are considered as genetic skin disorders – they can cause redness and itching in the genital region, along with a patchy or rash-like appearance.
Different chemical substances such as soaps, detergents, creams, douches, lubricated condoms, washing powders and scented toilet paper can cause very specific allergic reaction and irritation in vagina.
Vaginal itching – Hormonal changes
Medical expert noted vaginal itching during dramatic hormonal changes such as puberty, pregnancy and menopause. Postmenopausal atrophic vaginitis is the most common cause of this type of itching.
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