When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you have vaginal itching or vulvar itching without abnormal discharge, and it lasts more than a few days, you should see your healthcare provider.
What sometimes appears to be a minor problem, like razor burn, may be something more serious, such as genital herpes. In addition, using the wrong treatment may further irritate your skin, lead to even more discomfort, and allow a condition to worsen.
If abnormal discharge or pelvic pain accompanies your vaginal itching, see your healthcare provider right away.
Your healthcare provider may suggest various treatments depending on the cause of your itching. In addition, they may suggest some general home remedies and over-the-counter solutions for soothing an irritating itch, including:
- Cold compresses or ice packs for 5-10 minutes at a time
- An oatmeal bath
- Moisturizer, especially if it’s additive- and fragrance-free
- Topical anesthetics containing pramoxine, found in Vagisil anti-itch wipes
- Topical treatments containing menthol or calamine
And as hard as it is, try not to scratch.
A Message To Our Patients
Overlake OB/GYN Covid-19 protocols and safeguards have been instituted for the protection of our patients and staff. This includes mandatory screening at check in and limiting visitors to 1 per patient. Masks are required at all times. No children between the ages of 2 months to 13 years of age can be admitted to the clinic at this time. We will continue to offer telemedicine interactions for those appointments our providers deem appropriate but remind patients that only certain types of appointments are appropriate.
Thank you for your acceptance, cooperation and patience during these changing times.
Home Treatments For Vaginal Itching
If youre looking for ways to get some fast itch and pain relief right at home, there are a few things you can do. Below find expert-approved home remedies from Dr. Shepherd and the Cleveland Clinic.
- Use warm water and soaps that do not contain heavy chemicals or perfumes.
- Wear cotton underwear to help airflow through to the vaginal region.
- Avoid trauma to the area, such as excessive shaving and scratching.
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Causes And Risk Factors
Vaginal yeast infections are usually caused by a type of yeast called Candida albicans. Its normal for this yeast to live in the mucous membranes lining the genitals. There are usually only small amounts of it, though, so it doesn’t cause any problems.
But the healthy balance of microorganisms living in the membranes is sometimes disrupted for instance, through pregnancy or medication.
The level of estrogen in the body is particularly high during pregnancy. That can upset the healthy balance and increase the likelihood of developing a vaginal yeast infection. Taking the contraceptive pill affects a woman’s hormone levels in a similar way to pregnancy. So women who take the pill are also more likely to have yeast infections.
Some illnesses increase the risk of vaginal yeast infections. These include diabetes and other diseases that weaken the immune system. Various medications can increase the risk too, such as , steroids, hormone therapy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Other factors that increase the risk of vaginal yeast infections include stress, washing your genitals with soap, wearing synthetic and tight clothes, sweating and using non-breathable panty liners or sanitary pads. These things allow the yeast to thrive, leading to an inflammation.
Causes Of Vaginal Itching Without Discharge
Anyone of any age can experience mild to severe external vaginal itching that is intermittent or continuous. The vaginal itching may or may not be associated with a skin condition. Some common causes of external vaginal itching are:
- Neoplasia Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia, Pagets disease, squamous cell cancer, and vulvar cancer can cause external vaginal itching.
- Severe itching of the vulva can occur due to lichen planus, lichen simplex, or lichen sclerosus.
- Neuropathy can also cause itching of the vulva.
Some other common skin disorders that can result in external vaginal itching are:
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What Is Bacterial Vaginosis
Because bacterial vaginosis is caused by bacteria and not by yeast, medicine that is appropriate for yeast is not effective against the bacteria that cause bacterial vaginosis. In fact, getting treated for the wrong condition can make symptoms worse.
Bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted infection , but its seen more often in sexually active people. Risk factors for bacterial vaginosis include:
- New or multiple sexual partners.
- Cigarette smoking.
When To See Your Doctor About Vaginal Itching
Its important to see a healthcare professional for vaginal itching if the itching is severe enough to disrupt your daily life or sleep. Although most causes arent serious, a healthcare professional can help find and treat the root of your itch and offer advice or a prescription to help you find relief.
You should also contact a healthcare professional if your vaginal itching persists for more than a week or if your itching is accompanied by other symptoms, such as:
- ulcers or blisters on the vulva
- pain or tenderness in the genital area
- genital redness or swelling
- an unusual vaginal discharge
- discomfort during sexual intercourse
If you dont already have an OB-GYN, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
Your care team will ask you about your symptoms, including how severe they are and how long they have lasted. They may ask you about your sexual activities as well.
And just a heads up: a pelvic exam will likely be required.
They may also collect a sample of skin tissue from your vulva or a sample of your discharge for analysis. Depending on your symptoms, they may also perform blood or urine tests.
Once your healthcare professional finds the underlying cause of your vaginal itching, theyll recommend treatment options. The specific course of treatment required depends on the particular condition thats causing the problem.
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Hormonal Changes And Perimenopause
Replens Long-Lasting Vaginal Feminine Moisturizer
Replens Long-Lasting Vaginal Feminine Moisturizer
When your hormones fluctuate during your menstrual cycle, you might end up with drier vaginal tissue than normal, which can cause itching. But Dr. Minkin points out that perimenopause is a more common time for vaginal dryness and itching, thanks to the drop in estrogen.
An OTC moisturizer like Replens can usually provide relief from internal itching for about three days, Dr. Minkin says, and your provider can give you a prescription estrogen cream for any external itching.
And yup, its possible for pregnancy to cause vaginal itchiness and dryness, too. How so? Well, the common hormonal changes during pregnancy can disrupt the vaginal biomes typical pH, says Dr. Dweck. This is what makes yeast infections pretty darn regular during pregnancy, explains Dr. Dweck.
Complications Of Vaginal Itching
Some complications can develop when vaginal itching is present, including the following:
- If itching is caused by trichomoniasis or bacterial vaginosis, these conditions can increase the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections because they cause inflammation.
- Having symptomatic bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis while pregnant has been linked to premature deliveries and low birth weight.
- When lichen sclerosus is left untreated, it can cause scarring and increase the risk of cancer of the vulva.
- If left untreated, gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease .
- If left untreated, chlamydia can cause ectopic pregnancy in women.
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Reasons Vaginal Itch Happens When You Dont Have A Yeast Infection
When vaginal itch strikes, you may assume that you have a yeast infection. But think twice before you dash to the store for an over-the-counter antifungal remedy.
There are many other potential reasons for vaginal itch. If you treat the condition improperly, you may do more harm than good.
Occasional vaginal itching is common and often resolves on its own. Persistent itching may be a sign of something more serious. Here are five possible reasons for vaginal itching other than a yeast infection:
- vaginal lubricants and spermicides
- fabric softeners
- tampons and sanitary pads
Prolonged friction from activities such as riding a bike, wearing tight clothes or underwear, and horseback riding may also cause contact dermatitis and vaginal itch.
It may be challenging to determine the exact cause of contact dermatitis. However, once the irritating offender is identified and eliminated, most cases go away on their own.
To help the healing process along, try soaking in a lukewarm bath with a few tablespoons of baking soda for up to 15 minutes a few times a day. Severe cases of contact dermatitis may require treatment with a steroid prescription cream.
Bacterial vaginosis is a vaginal infection. It may be caused by douching or an overgrowth of bad bacteria. Symptoms may include:
- thin white, grey, or green vaginal discharge
- a foul, fishy vaginal odor
- burning during urination
Can Vaginal Yeast Infections Be Prevented
For most girls, there’s no way to prevent yeast infections. You may feel more comfortable and have less irritation if you wear breathable cotton underwear and clothes and avoid vaginal sprays and douches. Wearing cotton underwear may also help prevent yeast infections.
If you have diabetes, keeping blood sugar levels stable also can help you avoid yeast infections.
If you think you have an infection, call your doctor for advice. Don’t take leftover antibiotics or someone else’s antibiotics or medicine. They might be the wrong choice for your condition, and taking antibiotics when they’re not needed can make yeast infections more likely.
Yeast infections can be annoying, especially if they happen often. To help avoid them, follow your doctor’s advice, wear cotton underwear, and try to wear loose-fitting clothes. Your body will thank you.
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Common Causes Of Vaginal Irritation And Home Remedies That Ob/gyn Doctors Recommend
Vaginal itching affects nearly every woman at some point, and while for some it’s simply an uncomfortable nuisance, for others it signals a more serious underlying health issue. In most cases, however, alleviating vaginal itching is as simple as identifying and treating the cause.
Vaginal itching, burning and discharge can be caused by many different aggravating factors such as irritating substances, infections, skin disorders, sexually transmitted diseases or even menopause. If your OB/GYN doctor find that your vaginal itching is a result of one of the following common causes, there is most likely an easy treatment or fix.
Apple Cider Vinegar Bath
If youre searching the internet for how to relieve vaginal itching, chances are youll find apple cider vinegar listed as a cure-all.
Many people believe that adding apple cider vinegar to your bath can soothe a yeast infection. Its also a common home remedy for itchy skin.
Unfortunately, theres little evidence to support this claim. Nevertheless, its a cheap remedy to try, and one that has no known side effects.
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Menopause And Estrogen Levels
As women age, their estrogen levels change as they approach menopause. Once the ovaries stop producing eggs, hormone levels decrease, and menstruation comes to an end , a woman has reached menopause and is no longer fertile.
Estrogen is a key hormone that aids in the development and health of the reproductive organs. During perimenopause, estrogen levels decline in a sporadic manner. Symptoms may include changes in sex drive, hot flashes and night sweats, and vaginal dryness.
However, after menopause some conditions are linked to the big drop in estrogen levels that include osteoporosis and an increase in heart disease. Slower metabolism and weight gain are also associated with menopause.
Yeast Infection After Sex
While its possible to develop a yeast infection after sex, a yeast infection itself is not an STI. Instead, there are other factors at play that can throw off Candida balance in the vaginal area. Vaginal intercourse, as well as penetration via sex toys and fingers, can introduce bacteria.
most common type of vaginal infection in women between the ages of 15 and 44. Its primary causes are bacterial imbalances from douching and sex its not a fungal infection like a typical yeast infection. BV is said to have a strong fishy odor, too.
BV has similar symptoms as a yeast infection, including discharge, burning, and itching. This can make distinguishing between the two infections difficult. But while a vaginal yeast infection doesnt cause long-term complications, untreated BV can.
Among the complications include fertility issues and premature delivery , and a higher risk of contracting STIs.
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My Top Secret: How To Stop Vaginal Itching From Returning
Once you have been able to stop vaginal itching with one of the above techniques, then you might wish to read our article , to learn what could be the root cause of your chronic itching. As the techniques we have spoken about today are aimed at helping to give you immediate relief naturally, but what you ideally want is to prevent it coming back altogether so you wont have to suffer again! A great product for preventing vaginal itching from ever returning is Secret Ceres. I can totally recommend it!
Is Vaginitis An Std
Vaginitis isnt an STD or STI, but some sexually transmitted diseases can cause vaginitis. Trichomoniasis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes and HPV are all transmitted through sexual contact. And all of them can lead to vaginal inflammation and pain associated with vaginitis. But sex isnt the only way you can get vaginitis. Bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, non-infectious vaginitis and atrophic vaginitis are all types of vaginitis that arent considered STIs.
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An Allergic Reaction Or Sensitivity
Your vaginal area is sensitive, which means it may be sensitive to certain products you use.
As with other parts of the body, the vulvar and vaginal areas can develop a contact dermatitis reaction to detergents, lotions, soaps and creams that you use Dr. Nelson said. In addition, depending on what products you use, they can also alter the which can lead to increased risk of infections like bacterial vaginosis.
This kind of vaginal irritation is known as noninfectious vaginitis. It can cause itching and burning and vaginal discharge.
Treatment: Treating an allergic reaction or sensitivity will depend on whats causing the symptoms and then eliminating them to see if symptoms resolve. Sometimes short courses of steroid creams can help with the itching.
Yeast Infection In Babies
While yeast infections are commonly associated with vaginal infections, babies can also get them.
The most common yeast infection in a baby is a diaper rash. However, not all diaper rashes are the result yeast overgrowth.
You can tell if the condition is more than just a diaper rash if your babys skin is extremely red and has spots in the diaper/groin area, despite using diaper rash cream. Yeast infections may also be presented in other folds of the skin, such as under the armpits.
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Is It Possible To Have Itching Without Discharge
Vaginal itching is typically partnered with symptoms like unusual discharge, a foul odor, redness, or abnormal bleeding, says Dr. Dweck.
That saidits quite possible that youre experiencing vaginal itching without finding any discharge. While discharge and itching often go hand in hand, it’s totally possible to have one without the other, Dr. White notes.
In short, dont worry if you feel like your symptoms are atypical. Consult your doctor to talk through what youre experiencing before stressing out.
Is It A Vaginal Yeast Infection Or Something Else
Every year, millions of cases of vaginitis affect women of all ages, but they are especially susceptible during the reproductive years.1 Fluctuating hormonal levels, bacteria, and sexual activities are just a few of the most common reasons women experience vaginal infections and discomfort. Knowing your body well and understanding your symptoms, causes, risk factors and treatment options will help you decide upon a course of action that is right for you.
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Itching Caused By Vaginal Dryness
Vaginal dryness can result in many cases of itching, both external and internal. Hormonal shifts during menopause, as well as douching and certain medications, can dry up vaginal mucus. That dryness can result in itching and other uncomfortable symptoms.
In cases where vaginal dryness results from menopause or other hormone-related issues, estrogen in the form of a cream, tablet or inserted ring is the most common treatment. Most women find these approaches very effective in alleviating dryness and itching. If you believe you are experiencing vaginal itching caused by hormones, see our article on vaginal atrophy.
For those whose dryness and itching comes from an external source or lifestyle factors, your doctor may recommend you stop douching or, if possible, change medications. Dabbing a little bit of vaseline petroleum jelly, coconut oil or even Crisco vegetable shortening on the dry skin area can also help heal itching.
How Are Vaginal Yeast Infections Treated
If you’re using a vaginal treatment and are sexually active, you should not have sex until the infection has been completely treated because these medicines can weaken condoms and diaphragms.
All these types of medicine can clear up your symptoms in a couple of days and cure the infection within a week. It’s important to take the medicine for the whole time its prescribed. If you stop taking it too soon, the infection could come back. If you’re not feeling better within a few days of finishing treatment, call your doctor.
Some medicines used to treat yeast infections are available without a prescription, but you see a doctor for your diagnosis before buying one. You could have another type of infection that might get worse if not properly treated. Also, over-the-counter medicine should not be used by anyone younger than 12 or girls who might be pregnant without talking to a doctor first.
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