What Causes Vaginal Itching?

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There are many conditions that can lead to an itchy vagina. Some vaginal itching is caused by  sexually transmitted diseases. Other times, an itchy vagina can be caused by irritation from soaps, tampons, pads. Even some vaginal medications can lead to itchiness! If you suffer from vaginal itching, only a doctor can diagnose the cause. Still, it can be helpful to recognize the diseases that most often cause an itchy vagina.

Some of them you may learn to recognize yourself. 

There Are Many Common Conditions That Cause Vaginal Itching. 

  • Yeast Infections are one of the most common causes of vaginal itching. These infections are generally not considered to be sexually transmitted diseases. They CAN be transmitted from person to person.. However, far more often are they caused by dietary, hormonal, or other issues. There are many things that can make a woman more susceptible to yeast overgrowth. For example, diabetics whose blood sugar is poorly controlled may have high concentrations of sugar in their urine. Yeast thrive in conditions like that. 
  • Bacterial Vaginosis, or BV, is another common cause of vaginal itching. This itching is often accompanied by runny vaginal discharge and a fishy odor after sex. Like yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis is not always considered to be sexually transmitted. Unlike yeast, it is clearly associated with sex. This is particularly true in women who have sex with women. However, BV is associated with sex in women who have sex with men as well. The reasons there are just less clear. 
  • Trichomoniasis symptoms are similar to those of BV. It also causes a change in vaginal discharge along with strong vaginal odor and vaginal itching. Unlike bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections, it is clearly sexually transmitted. One reason that may not always be realized is that trich rarely causes symptoms in men. However, if you're diagnosed with trichomoniasis, it's important to make certain that you and your partner are both done with treatment before you start having sex again. 

STDs That Cause Genital Itching in Both Men and Women

  • Pubic Lice are little bugs, like scalp lice, that like to nest in the pubic area. Their main symptoms are itching and visible lice or nits.
  • Scabies is an infestation, like pubic lice. The symptoms for the two conditions are slightly different. In addition to itching, people often get pimple-like bumps and a skin rash. That rash that can become infected if scratched. 
  • Molluscum Contagiosum causes raised fluid-filled bumps on the skin. These bumps are usually painless, but they can cause itching and discomfort. It is important to avoid scratching the bumps. Doing so can cause the disease to spread or your skin to become infected by other bacteria. That's not fun for anyone.

    If You Have an Itchy Vagina...

    If you have an itchy vagina, or any genital itching, it's a good idea to visit a doctor. It's not always clear what is causing the itching. That means it's also not always clear how to treat it. A doctor can screen you for STDs and other infections and then give you a good idea of appropriate treatment. That's a better plan than just guessing at treatments on your own.

    Some women are good at correctly diagnosing the source of a vaginal itch. That's usually because they've had a lot of practice with recurrent yeast infections or BV. Those women may be able to treat their vaginal itching successfully with over the counter medication. However, it's still a good idea for them to keep their doctors informed. Sometimes, what seems like a recurrent infection is something else entirely. For example, the rare skin condition lichen sclerosis can masquerade as a recurrent yeast infection. 

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