What is Vulva Itching?
Itching in private parts are uncomfortable and a painful symptom that often occurs due to irritating substances, infections, or menopause. Most itchings are not a cause of concern, however, when it is persistent, it can be a sign of infection and would need medical attention.
What are the causes and risk factors of Vulva Itching?
Following are the possible causes and risk factors of Vulva itching:
- Irritants: Certain irritants like soap, cream, laundry detergent, scented toilet paper, lubes, douching and feminine spray can cause itching.
- Certain medical conditions: People with diabetes and urinary incontinence also experience more itching than others
- Skin diseases: Some skin diseases, such as eczema and psoriasis, can cause redness and itching in the genital region.
- Yeast infection: Yeast infections occur when the yeast, candida, grow excessively in the vagina and vulva.
- Menopause: The drop in estrogen can cause the vaginal walls to dry with age and menopause, causing itching. Older women also have a weakened immune system making them more prone to itching.
- Bacterial infection: There is always healthy bacteria present in the vagina. But sometimes, harmful bacteria can also enter and cause itching.
- Sexually transmitted diseases: STDs like gonorrhea and genital warts can also cause vaginal itching.
- Vulvar cancer: In rare cases, vulva cancer can cause itching in the vagina and vulva.
How is Vulva Itching diagnosed?
- General exam: The doctor may ask you about your symptoms and sexual activities.
- Pelvic exam: The doctor may perform a pelvic exam to check the vulva and use a speculum to see inside the vagina. They may also press down on your stomach while inserting a gloved finger in your vagina. This is done to check your reproductive organs.
- Tests: A swab from the vagina may be taken and the doctor may also ask you to give blood and urine samples.
How is Vulva itching treated?
Once the underlying cause for the itching is determined, the doctor will start treating the problem:
- Yeast infections: For yeast infections, antifungal medications are prescribed. These can be applied to the area, or also taken in the pill form.
- STDs: You can treat STDs with antibiotics, antivirals, or antiparasitics. You’ll need to take your medications regularly and avoid sexual intercourse until your infection or disease clears.
- Menopause: Menopause related itching can be treated with estrogen cream or tablets.
What are the complications of Vulva Itching?
When not treated on time, vaginal itching can be debilitating. Itching because of cancer or STDs can give rise to bigger problems related to reproductive health. In case of cancer, it can also spread to other organs in the body.
What are the lifestyle changes required to manage Vulva Itching?
Make the following changes for better vaginal and vulva health:
- Have only protected sex, even if with a known partner
- Keep the area always clean and dry
- Don’t use skin irritant soap, cleaning the place with warm water is enough
- Don’t douche the place or you could kill the healthy bacteria
- Maintain a healthy blood sugar level to avoid sugar in the urine that can cause itching
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