When to Discuss Vaginal Itching with Your Doctor

A woman at an appointment with an Ob/Gyn doctor.

Any itching on your body can be annoying; but when it happens “down there,” not only is it annoying, it can also be very uncomfortable and embarrassing. Most vaginal itching is not serious and if it does not go away on its own after a day or so, it usually responds to simple treatment. When it does not resolve on its own, or if you continue to have recurring episodes of itching, you need to see a doctor. This is especially true if you also experience any pelvic pain, or you have an abnormal vaginal discharge.

Causes of Vaginal Itching

There are several reasons you may experience vaginal itching. Some of the more common causes are:

  • Yeast infection is one of the most common causes. Also known as vaginal candidiasis, nearly 75% of all women will have this experience sometime during their lifetime. When the candida, or yeast, grows excessively, a thick, white cheesy discharge usually develops along with annoying itching.
  • Another frequent source is bacterial vaginosis. This condition occurs when the normally healthy mix of bacteria in the vagina is overrun by harmful bacteria, which creates infection. In addition to the itching, bacterial vaginosis also presents with inflammation, burning, vaginal discharge and an odor that can smell like fish.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases also cause vaginal itching. Such diseases as Chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea and others will have symptoms including itching.
  • Irritants such as highly perfumed laundry detergents, bubble baths, douches, soaps, etc., can also cause itching. Contraceptive foams and condoms have been known to cause itching problems.
  • Lower estrogen levels accompany menopause, and the vaginal walls begin to thin and dry out. This condition can lead to itching and irritation. Women of childbearing age who breastfeed may also experience vaginal itching if their vaginal walls have become thin.
  • Although rare, lichen sclerosis is a condition in which thin white patches form on the skin around the vulva area. Permanent scarring can occur in the vaginal area. Postmenopausal women seem to be more susceptible to developing this condition than younger women.

If you experience vaginal itching on a regular basis or if it becomes severe, you need to check in with your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Treatment for Vaginal Itching

Before you can be treated for the condition, your doctor must find the cause of the itching. Treatment can vary from case to case. Mild cases of vaginal itching may respond well to over-the-counter topical ointments or creams. Infections are treated with antibiotics or antifungals, depending on what kind of infection you have.

Our board-certified OB/GYNs at Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. will give you the compassionate, gentle service you deserve when you need diagnosis for your female issues. Call us and make an appointment so you can resume living comfortably.