why is my vigina sore and itchy
Sure, not every woman is walking around with an itchy vagina, but many are. Below-the-belt itching is Бa common symptom that we see as gynecologists. It can be so bothersome that even mild symptoms will bring women in,Б says Julianna Schantz-Dunn, MD, an ob-gyn at Brigham and WomenБs Hospital in Boston. And the reasons why can range from benign (your choice of undies) to more worrisome (an STI). ThatБs why itБs important to figure out what the heckБs going on. That, and itБs not like you can go around scratching your crotch all day. While you donБt have to run to the doc for every unusual itch, she recommends making an appointment if symptoms stick around for more than two days or if, along with the scratchiness, you have unusual bleeding or lesions in the area. Here are 7 possible causes, plus the best advice for fixing each one. RELATED: We'll start with the most obvious one: yeast. These infections are so common that
of women will get one at some point. The hallmark symptom is extreme itchiness, along with an odorless thick, white discharge. БWe suggest you at least call your doctor to discuss your symptoms rather than going to the drugstore to buy an OTC treatment,Б says Dr. Schantz-Dunn. БIf you randomly self-treat and itБs not a yeast infection, you can make the problem worse,Б she says. This common sexually transmitted infection (STI) is caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that while 3. 7 million people (more of them women), only 30% know it. ThatБs because it often causes no symptoms. But when it does, it causes itching, burning, a change in discharge, or external white cracking in the skin, Dr. Shantz-Dunn says. БYou may assume it's a yeast infection and try an OTC antifungal, and it doesn't work. Then you try douching, [which is ], and that makes it worse,Б she adds.
ThatБs all the more reason to see your doc first. If tests come back positive, itБs very easy to cure with an antibiotic, but the catch is both you and your partner have to be treated, otherwise, you can easily re-infect each other. RELATED: Rounding out the top three most common causes, Schantz-Dunn says, is irritation caused by certain fabrics or products. БWe often talk to patients about good vulvar hygiene,Б she says. That includes not wearing scented panty liners (and not wearing panty liners too much overall), avoiding scented soaps for down-there cleaning, and absolutely never douching or using scented feminine sprays or powders. These can kickstart the problem; then, scratching can lead to infection, making things worse. Besides, these can also change up the pH of the vagina, making you more susceptible to an infection called bacterial vaginosis (BV). (More on that later. ) Also, your vagina needs to breathe. Suffocating it with synthetic underwear traps moisture against your skin, which can be an irritant. Switch to cotton, Dr. Schantz-Dunn recommends. And be sure you're gently washing up with regular, unscented soaps around the outside only. RELATED: While this vaginal infection can cause some, Dr. Schantz-Dunn swarns that more often the hallmark symptom of BV is a foul-smelling discharge. If you call your doc and explain that you itch like crazy, he or she will more likely think it points to a yeast infection, trichomoniasis, or irritation, she says. So be sure to make note of all your symptoms, including details about discharge, which can go a long way in identifying your issue. You may think you could spot genital herpes, but not everyone gets big lesions that are easy to see. БYou may feel some itching or painful urination, but the symptoms may not be as severe as youБd think,Б Dr.
Schantz-Dunn says. БIБve seen people try to treat herpes with a topical yeast medicationБand that doesnБt do much. Б When you shave down there, it may feel smooth in the moment, but when the hair grows back itБs itchy city. In fact, in a 2014 published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology about problems women experience ridding public hair, 20% said theyБve felt severe itching. БWomen know their bodies well and if they know they get irritated from shaving, I say donБt do it,Б Dr. Schantz-Dunn notes. A vagina-friendlier way: trim the hair or get a bikini wax. RELATED: If youБre post-menopausal, the source of the itch could be that your vagina is changing along with your changing hormones. Namely, a drop in estrogen can thin the mucosal lining in your vagina. But don't fret: after ruling out other causes, Бwe can treat this with a vaginal estrogen cream or tablet," Dr. Schantz-Dunn says. If you suffer with an itchy vagina then you'll know how irritating and uncomfortable it can be. But that doesn't mean you have to put up with it! You may feel embarrassed to talk about it, but it's actually an incredibly common condition. In fact, around 1 in 10 women need to see the doctor about an itchy vagina at some time in their lives. The good news is that there are lots of ways you can ease the irritation and even stop it for good once you've uncovered the cause. Our itchy vagina guide will help you to spot what's causing the discomfort, and treat it! Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), also known as BV, is one of the most common causes of vaginal itching. This occurs when the naturally acidic pH balance in your vagina is disturbed, leading to a white, grey or thin discharge and discomfort or itchiness. To treat BV you'll need to see your doctor for a course of antibiotics, so if you think you might be suffering from the condition make an appointment now.
Pregnancy Being pregnant can cause your vulva to become swollen - which means it may be more prone to itching. Another reason pregnancy can cause itching is because your body requires more fluids during pregnancy, which then leads to vaginal tissues being drier than usual - all of which can lead to itching and even soreness. Pregnant women are also more likely to get thrush, which is another cause of itchy vagina. Oh the joys of pregnancy! STDs If you have a sexually transmitted disease, particularly chlamydia, herpes, trichomoniasis or gonorrhea, then one of the symptoms you experience could very well be an itchy vagina. It you have itching bordering on pain or burning, plus other symptoms associated with STDs such as discharge, sores on your genitals, and pain during sex, then make sure you visit your GP as soon as possible for a quick test. Menopause If you're going through, or have been through, the menopause, then the change in your hormones could be one of the causes of an itchy vagina. A woman's estrogen levels drop at the end of a her reproductive years, which causes the walls of the vagina to thin and dry out - which leads to itching and irritation. Contact Dermatitis This is caused when your skin is allergic to certain products that have had perfumes or chemicals added to them, such as condoms and lubricants, the washing power you use for your clothes, body wash or even shaving. Even coloured or fragranced toilet paper could cause irritation! Yeast infection (Thrush) Yeast infections are incredibly common - in fact, three out of every four women will develop a yeast infection at some point in their lives. Pregnancy, sex, some medicines such as antibiotics and a low immune system can all contribute to the liklihood of getting a yeast infection, and one of the main symptoms can be itching as well as a thick, white discharge.
Period products The products you use during your time of the month (such as pads and panty liners) can often contain colors or fragrances that can cause itching and discomfort. If you have an itchy vagina and don't have the symptons of BV or thrush, and you're not pregnant or post-menopause, it could just be that a change of sanitary product is need. Try a menstrual cup or organic cotton products for less irritation. If you think you may have an STD, thrush, or Bacterial Vaginosis, it's important that you make an appointment to see your doctor, as they can prescribe you something specifically for that condition. However, there are some other ways you can relief the discomfort of itching daily: 1: Stop scratching! Scratching may make the itch worse. Try not scratch, keep your fingernails short and consider wearing gloves as night to stop you from scratching in your sleep. 2. Buy new underwear If the material of your underwear is causing the irritation then it's time to try something else. Wear loose 100% cotton underwear and, it goes without saying, but make sure you change it daily. Avoid tight fitting trousers, shorts and leggings too. 3. Wash differently Wash your vagina once or twice a day, but don't scrub vigorously. Use a bland, unscented moisturiser instead of soap, or try a product specifically designed to be more gentle for that area, such as. Always make sure your vagina is completely dry before putting underwear on. 4. Buy different products It's not just your body wash you can change if you're suffering from an itchy vagina. Consider changing your washing powder as you may have become sensitised to the ingredients, as well as any fabric conditioner and if you use condoms or lubcriants it might be worth changing these to see if that helps.
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