Vaginal Itching – Causes, Diagnosis and its Treatment
What is Vaginal Itching?
Itching or irritation can cause uneasiness and irritation if it affects any part of the body and if it’s an exceptionally sensitive area like genital area, it can especially cause discomfort. The area around near the genital area is really sensitive. If there is an infection in any part of the reproductive system – the labia, clitoris ad vulva and vaginal opening it is case of vaginal itching. Now vaginal itch in itself is not a major cause of concern, but if the symptoms get more serious it is essential to call a heath care provider.
What are the risk factors involved in vaginal itching?
Person experiencing vaginal itching may experience burning, irritation, dysuria, erythema and dyspareunia.. There are many risk factors involved which predispose that an individual might develop this condition. One of the most obvious reasons that vaginal infection may infect you is because of poor hygiene. However, frequent cleaning of the genital area with help of a douche also increases you risk of contracting a vaginal infection. Use of some antibiotics which may lead to decrease lactobacilli is another hazard. Pregnancy or alkaline vaginal pH because of menstrual blood or semen and diabetes mellitus are some of the risk factors involved in vaginal itching.
Vaginal itching can happen to very young girls as well, many of the risk factors in such cases are poor hygiene such as not washing their hands after bowel movement or wiping from back to front after one.
Causes of Vaginal Itching
There are many causes for vaginal itching; the itching can be on the surrounding area – the vulva. While this might be a minor issue but may also indicate that there is an underlying serious condition that needs immediate attention. In some rare cases it can also be an indication of vaginal cancer. Most of the common causes for vaginal irritation are –
- Yeast infection
Yeast is normally present in the genital area, however if its growth goes unchecked, it causes uncomfortable sensation in the vaginal area which may cause infection. Many times such infections are caused by unhealthy bacterial growth; such bacteria that carry infection germs destroy the useful bacteria. The useful bacteria are the ones that keep yeast growth rate in check.
- Skin diseases
Skin diseases like itchy dry skin, blisters, eczema can be an indication of having vaginal infection.
- Irritation caused by chemicals in certain products
Vaginal irritation can be caused due to various irritants such as chemicals – which are exposed to the vagina can cause itching, it can cause an allergic reaction which may create rash all over the body including the vagina. Some of the irritants are chemicals present in certain soap, douches, contraceptives, detergents, bubble baths, creams, ointments, fabric softeners or feminine sprays.
Women going through menopause or those who have already gone through it are more prone to have vaginal itching. The reason for this is because after menopause, there is a rapid decrease of estrogen levels which many times leave excessive dryness in vaginal area. When left untreated, such dryness can cause irritation.
If the body is going through extreme exertion, be it physically or mentally, it can cause irritation and itching. Emotional stress and physical pressure weakens your immune system to fight infections.
What is the Diagnosis for vaginal itching?
When you visit a doctor, they will ask you about your symptoms – they will enquire about how long the infection lasted, about their symptoms, sexual activities etc. You would undergo a physical examination and check for any abnormal condition in and around the genital area. Further, tests may include collecting sample of cells from your crevice for examination. When the underlying cause of infection is known, treatment can be given as per the diagnosis. Blood and urine tests may also be taken in some cases.
Treatment for Vaginal Itching
Doctors often recommend antibiotics or the antifungal ointments to cure vaginal itching. These ointments may include, hormone creams, steroid creams and antihistamines. Although vaginal itching can be easily be cured, it is good if preventive measures are taken instead to avoid it all together. Some of the things, one can do to avoid vaginal itching are –
- Avoid feminine hygiene products that can cause irritation or infection.
- Wear cotton underwear, which will keep you dry
- In case you have a diabetic condition, take care of your sugar levels.
- When you go for swimming or any other exercise where you are required to be in water, change out of the damp clothes immediately.