Genital itching is an irritating health problem that can affect almost all women during lifetime. Genital itching can disrupt your daily life and sleep – it is uncomfortable and painful condition that often occurs due to infections, irritating substances, allergy, skin diseases, stress, hormonal disturbances or even cancer.
In most cases genital itching is not a serious problem and can be a result of allergic or chemical skin reaction. Sometimes genital itching is just a common symptom of several diseases. Genital itching can be stopped only after adequate treatment and visit to doctor is necessary – your gynecologist can determine the cause of your genital itching by making several laboratory tests. In most cases treatment is easy but sometimes more intensive treatment can be required.
Genital itching causes
According to health experts, about 50% women get vaginal yeast infection at some time in their lives – it triggered by fungal infection Candida albicans. Normally yeast is a naturally balanced occurring fungus in the vagina. Vaginal yeast infection often occurs after taking a course of antibiotics or during hormonal dysfunctions. The overgrowth of yeast in the vagina can result in uncomfortable symptoms (genital itching, cottage cheese discharge, burning sensation).
Genital itching can be a sign of diabetes. During diabetes increased levels of sugar could promote intensive growth of yeast infection.
Sometimes genital itching could be a signal of increased blood sugar levels.
Sexually transmitted diseases
Several sexually transmitted infections (Chlamydia, genital warts, gonorrhea, genital herpes and trichomoniasis) can cause genital itching after unprotected sexual intercourse. Most typical symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases include the following:
Bacterial vaginosis is pretty common reason for genital itching – this condition triggered by imbalance between naturally occurring bacteria in the vagina. Most common symptom of bacterial vaginosis is non-stop fishy vaginal smell combined with thin white grayish vaginal discharge.
Genital itching caused by bacterial vaginosis can usually be easily treated with a short course of oral antibiotics or local antibiotic applications or by bacterial vaginosis natural remedies.
Menopausal women are at risk for vaginal itching due to the natural decreased levels estrogen which leads to vaginal atrophy – thinning of the mucosa that can lead to excessive dryness. It is well known that vaginal dryness can cause itching and irritation.
At the same time, lower estrogen levels could cause vaginal soreness and burning sensations.
According to health experts, physical and emotional stress can trigger vaginal/genital itching and irritation. Scientists explain it by weakened immune system during stress. It is well known that weak immune system “open doors” for infections.
Vaginal contacts with irritating chemicals can cause genital itching (allergic reaction). Irritating substances could be very different – soap, vaginal contraception, feminine sprays, synthetic underwear or cloths, detergents, etc. Irritation chemicals trigger inflammation and soreness.
Several skin diseases (eczema, psoriasis, lichen simplex chronicus, scabies, pubic lice) can be responsible for genital itching and inflammation. Most skin diseases often affect other areas of the body too, not just the genitals. Laboratory tests can easily identify each skin disease.
Cancer is a rare cause of genital or vaginal itching – both can be a symptom of vulval cancer. This type of cancer develops in the vulva and could be discovered on inner and outer lips of the vagina, the clitoris, and the opening of the vagina. In most cases vulval cancer besides itching could be responsible also for abnormal bleeding, vaginal pain and brown discharge.
Genital itching prevention
Always wipe from front to back after urination and bowel – it will prevent bacteria getting into the vagina;
Avoid chemical substances (perfumed soaps, sprays, douching, vaginal perfume) while having routine vaginal hygienic procedures;
Keep genital area always dry – genital moisture “invite” infections;
Avoid chemical and scented menstrual hygiene products – try to select cotton panty liners, pads and tampons);
Avoid synthetic underwear and clothing which can trigger irritation;
Wear loose cloths to insure proper genital ventilation;
Avoid wet clothing for long periods of time (after swimming or bath);
Always avoid unprotected sexual contacts which will prevent all possible sexually transmitted infections.
Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.