How to Stop Vaginal Itching
Most women will experience the discomfort of vaginal itching at some point in their lives. For some, it may be a minor issue that goes away on its own, but for others, it may persist due to disease or allergy. Depending on the specific cause of your vaginal itching, you may be able to treat it at home, or it may be best to see your doctor for professional treatment.
Getting Temporary Relief
Apply a cold compress.No matter what the cause of your vaginal itching, you may be able to get temporary relief from the discomfort by applying a cool compress, like a washcloth, to your labia.
- To use a cold compress, take a clean washcloth and hold it under cold, running water until it is saturated. Then, wring out the excess water and apply the cloth to your vaginal area for about five to 10 minutes.
- Make sure that you wash the washcloth after using. If you want to repeat the treatment, use a new washcloth.
- You can also use an ice pack. Just make sure that you wrap the ice pack in a clean paper towel and do not leave it on your vaginal area for more than 20 minutes at a time.
Eliminate irritants.Irritants from your laundry detergent, soap, or other products may be causing your vaginal itching.Switching to unscented laundry detergent and skipping fabric softener may help to relieve vaginal itching caused by allergies. You may also want to switch to a gentle cleanser to eliminate potential irritants from your shower gel.
- For example, you could try using Dove bar soap or Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser.
- Avoid scented cleansers, wipes, powders, and other products that might irritate your vaginal area.
Try a moisturizer.You can purchase aqueous creams and emulsifying ointments that will help relieve feminine itch at most pharmacies. Be sure to follow all of the instructions for application, and be aware that these products will not treat the underlying cause of your itching.
Avoid scratching.Scratching will likely only worsen the irritation and cause even more itching. It may even lead to an infection if you cause a lesion, so avoid scratching at all costs.
Treat the cause.Some women may experience occasional vaginal itching that does not require any kind of treatment, but if you have severe or persistent itching, there’s a good chance that there is some underlying cause. It’s important to identify the cause so you can treat it if you have an infection, or so you can avoid coming in contact with the source of the irritation.
Stopping Itching from a Yeast Infection
Diagnose your yeast infection.Yeast infections can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from other types of infections, so see your doctor right away if you are not sure about your diagnosis. Common symptoms of yeast infections include inflammation, a burning sensation, vaginal pain, and an odor-free vaginal discharge that is either watery or thick and white.
- If you have other types of vaginal discharge, you may have another type of infection.
- Women who are pregnant, are taking antibiotics, have diabetes, or have suppressed immune systems are more likely to get yeast infections.
- If you are pregnant and suspect that you have an infection, see a physician to have the infection evaluated. The infection may harm the unborn child if it turns out not to be a yeast infection
Use an over-the-counter remedy.A wide variety of creams and vaginal suppositories to treat yeast infections can be found at nearly any drug store. These remedies are sufficient to treat the majority of yeast infections.
- Some of the products offer different lengths of treatment. If you have recurrent yeast infections, choose a product that can be used for seven days.
- If you are feeling very uncomfortable, look for a yeast infection remedy that also contains an itch-relieving ingredient.
- Butoconazole, clotrimazole, miconazole, and terconazole are some of the more common active ingredients found in these medications, and they have all been shown to be effective in treating yeast infections.
Consider alternative treatments.If the typical drug store treatment options aren’t effective for you, or if you’re looking for something more natural, you do have options.
- Use a boric acid suppository. Boric acid is very effective at killing off the bacteria that cause yeast infections. You can buy boric acid suppositories at health food stores. Never attempt to treat your yeast infection with boric acid powder, as this can worsen the irritation. Keep in mind that this is a poison, so do not allow anyone to perform oral sex on you while you are using it.
- Try tea tree oil. You may be able to cure your yeast infection by using a tampon that has been soaked in tea tree oil. Use this method with caution and remove the tampon if it feels uncomfortable in any way. Although the oil is believed to be an antifungal agent, more testing is needed to prove its effectiveness against yeast infections.
- Treat your infection with probiotics. There is some evidence that you might be able to fight off a yeast infection by increasing the number of healthy bacteria in your body. In order to do this, you can insert Lactobacillus pills, which can be purchased at natural health food stores, directly in your vagina.You may even be able to clear your infection by eating probiotic-rich yogurt or applying it to your vaginal area.Keep in mind that these kinds of treatments are not as likely to be effective as the more conventional options and they can be expensive.
Know when to see a doctor.Most yeast infections can be treated at home, but in some cases you may need to see your doctor. In general, it’s a good idea to see a doctor if you have never had a yeast infection before, as you may be more likely to misdiagnose yourself. You should also see a doctor if your yeast infection does not get better after treatment.
- If your yeast infection does not respond to over-the-counter treatments, your doctor may prescribe oral medications.
- A yeast infection is often accompanied by a thick white vaginal discharge. If you have a grayish, yellowish, or greenish discharge, see your doctor, as you likely do not have a yeast infection.
- If you want to confirm that you have a yeast infection, but don’t want to see a doctor, you may want to consider purchasing an at-home screening test, such as the Vagisil Screening Test, to confirm your diagnosis. It is still very important to see your doctor if your symptoms do not improve with at-home treatment.
Prevent future yeast infections.It may not be possible to prevent all future recurrences of yeast infections, but there are lots of things you can do to reduce your chances of getting another one.
- Don’t take antibiotics unless you need them. Antibiotics can disrupt the balance of bacteria in your vagina, causing a yeast infection. It’s still very important to take these medications when you genuinely need them.
- Wear cotton underwear
- Avoid excessively tight pants, pantyhose, and underwear
- Keep your vaginal area as cool and dry as possible by removing wet clothing right away and avoiding hot tubs and hot baths
- If you are taking a birth control pill that contains estrogen and have had recurring yeast infections, consider switching to a progestin-only variety or an alternative form of birth control, as the increased levels of estrogen may be causing your yeast infections.
Stopping Itching from Bacterial Vaginosis
Know the other symptoms.Other symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include a burning sensation, inflammation, a thin grayish-white discharge, and a foul, fishy odor. You may experience all of these symptoms, just a few, or none of them at all.
- The exact cause of bacterial vaginosis is not known, but some women are more susceptible than others. Many women who have previously had bacterial vaginosis will have at least one recurrence within the year. This may be because some women have naturally low levels of healthy bacteria.
See your doctor.Unlike a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis cannot be effectively treated at home. In order to cure the infection and get relief from your symptoms, you must see a doctor and get a prescription medication. Your may get a prescription for an oral medication, such as Metronidazole or Tinidazole, or for a cream, such as Clindamycin.
- In order to diagnose bacterial vaginosis, your doctor will need to perform a pelvic exam and swab your vagina in order to examine the cells under a microscope. Your doctor may also use a strip to test the pH of your vagina.
- It is especially important to get treated for bacterial vaginosis right away if you are pregnant, as it can lead to serious complications.
Prevent vaginosis from recurring.While there is no way to prevent all recurrences of bacterial vaginosis, you may be able to reduce your risk by taking a few simple steps.
- Avoid douching, as this can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in your vagina and lead to an infection.
- Avoid scented products like soaps, tampons, and sprays.
- Limit your sex partners. Although it isn’t entirely clear why, women who have multiple sex partners, have recently had a new sex partner, or have female sex partners are more likely to get bacterial vaginosis.
- Thoroughly dry your vaginal area after showering, and avoid hot tubs.
- Always wipe from front to back after using the toilet to avoid introducing fecal bacteria into your vagina.
Stopping Itching from an STD
Know the warning signs of an STD.Vaginal itching can be a symptom of any number of sexually transmitted diseases. If you experience any of the following symptoms, or if you have any other reason to believe that you have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease, see a doctor right away. Keep in mind that it is possible to have an STD even if you do not have any symptoms.
- Trichomoniasis usually causes redness, a strong vaginal odor, and a yellow-green vaginal discharge,
- Chlamydia usually has no symptoms, but it may cause abnormal bleeding, vaginal discharge, and abdominal pain.
- Gonorrhea usually causes a thick, cloudy or bloody vaginal discharge, abnormal vaginal bleeding, anal itching, and painful urination.
- Herpes usually causes red bumps, blisters, or sores around the genital area.
- HPV or genital warts usually causes small, flesh-colored warts to appear near the genitals, which may appear in groups.
See a doctor.If you have an STD, you will need to see a doctor for medical treatment. Some STDs can lead to serious complications if left untreated, so it’s very important to see a doctor right away and take your medications as directed.
- Gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and trichomoniasis can all be treated with antibiotics. Depending on the infection, your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics or may give you an injection.
- HPV cannot be cured, but your doctor may be able to offer you treatments that can reduce the occurrence of genital warts.
- Herpes can be suppressed with antiviral drugs, which may help reduce outbreaks, but there is no cure and no way to guarantee that an infected person will not transmit the disease to others.
Prevent future infections.The best way to avoid coming in contact with sexually transmitted diseases is to practice safe sex.
- You will be safest from STDs if you are not sexually active or if you have one exclusive sexual partner who does not have an STD.
- If you have multiple partners, protect yourself from infection by using condoms whenever you have sex.
Stopping Itching from Noninfectious Vaginitis
Understand the causes and symptoms.Noninfectious vaginitis is a generic term used to describe irritation of the vagina that is not caused by any kind of infection. It may have a variety of causes, including allergic reactions, skin irritation, or hormonal imbalances.
- It can be difficult to distinguish noninfectious vaginitis from an infection. Yeast infections are often confused with an allergy to laundry detergent. That is why it's important to see a doctor if you are not sure what is causing your symptoms. Common symptoms include vaginal burning and discharge, along with pelvic pain.
Stop using potentially irritating products.Your vaginal itching may be caused by an allergy to a product you have been using, such as a soap or lubricant.
- Steer clear of scented products if you tend to have sensitivities.
- If you begin to experience vaginal itching shortly after you begin using a new product, discontinue use right away and avoid other products that contain the same ingredients.
Address hormonal changes.Many women experience vaginal itching shortly before and during menopause due to a decrease in estrogen. To combat this, your doctor may prescribe estrogen creams, estrogen tablets, or vaginal estrogen rings.
- If you also experience vaginal dryness during menopause, you may get relief from store-bought vaginal moisturizers and water-based lubricants for sexual intercourse.
Get treatment for skin conditions.In some cases, the skin around your vagina may be irritated by a skin condition. In this case, it is best to seek treatment from a dermatologist.
- Lichen sclerosis is a condition that causes white, flaky patches of skin. It can be treated with a prescription-strength steroid cream.
- Eczema and psoriasis can also cause vaginal itching. Your gynecologist or dermatologist can prescribe medications to help you manage these conditions.
QuestionMy vagina is so itchy. I recently started shaving down there, which might be a cause? I haven't had my period but I keep getting browny stuff down there, and it absolutely reeks of fish. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerOk, there's a lot going on there. First of all, growing pubic hair can be very coarse and scratchy. I wouldn't recomment shaving if you aren't going to shave every day or two with sharp razors. If you haven't even had a period yet, you're a little young to have anyone but you seeing down there anyway. Try a little hair conditoner on growing hair to soften it up a little. Next, brownish discharge indicates the presence of blood, so your body is probably getting ready to start periods. As for the fishy smell, it could be hormone related, as your body is starting to go through a lot of changes, but it could also be a bacterial infection. It sounds like it's time for you to see an OBGYN.Thanks!
QuestionCan I use salt water to get rid of the infection?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo. You need to see your doctor.Thanks!
QuestionI am 12, and I can't tell my mom that my vagina itches. How should I clear it up myself, as I know it is not a yeast infection?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWhy can't you tell your mother? Well, if you can't, you can go to a friend's mother and see if she can help you and take you to the doctor. An itchy vagina sounds like a yeast infection, but since you are confused, go to a female adult you trust and see if she can help you.Thanks!
QuestionMy vagina is very itchy. I don't want to go to the doctor because I'm scared. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere's no need to be afraid. Your doctor can easily evaluate the situation. You most likely have a yeast infection, which is very simple to treat.Thanks!
QuestionI'm 13, my vagina itches badly I've been to the doctor twice. Each time they give me a cream that works for a while and eventually stops working. What do I do?AmberCommunity AnswerI'd recommend going back to the doctors and explain to them that it keeps coming back. There might be a long-term treatment available.Thanks!
QuestionMy vagina itches. It burns sometimes and hurts in the vuvlar area and feels sore & swollen. What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou need to see a doctor. You may just have a yeast infection, but it may be a bacterial infection or even herpes. Until you can get to the doctor, one good remedy for itchiness is to mix a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water and drink it twice a day; if you have a yeast infection, the vinegar will help clear it up. You can also soak in a cool bath with a few cups of apple cider vinegar for more immediate relief.Thanks!
QuestionIf I bathed in Epsom salt and sea salt bubble bath and my vagina is itchy, could one of those things or the Zest bar soap I use have caused it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAny number of those things could have caused it. All the salt in the bath could have dried out your mucus membranes. You could try rubbing a little organic coconut oil into your folds and see if that helps. If the itching gets worse, see your doctor.Thanks!
QuestionI'm 13 years old and I have a really itchy vagina. I sometimes have yellow, watery discharge sometimes white. Because of scratching I get cuts, what do I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGo to the doctor. It might be a yeast infection, and they can prescribe something to help you. You definitely want to take care of this ASAP, as you are hurting yourself and the cuts from scratching could get infected as well.Thanks!
QuestionCould pubic hair cause my vagina to itch?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt may. If it is too long, it could make the skin around and in your vagina itchy. No need for a full Brazilian wax, but a light trim of the hair should help.Thanks!
QuestionI have an itchy, foul smelling, yellow and watery discharge coming out of my vagina and I also saw tiny bumps around it. It is swollen. What should I do?Trinity GCommunity AnswerIt sounds like a vaginal infection. Tiny bumps could mean herpes or any other number of infections/STIs. See a doctor.Thanks!
In severe instances, can vaginal scratching or scarring lead to an inability to have vaginal births in the future?
My vagina has been itching me. I always scratch it so hard sometimes it begins to bleed. I usually have this white discharge sometimes. What can I do because it is not convenient?
What causes itching after having sex using a condom and how can I control it?
I am a pregnant woman with an itchy vagina and a restless fetus. What can I do?
I took antibiotics last week and as soon as I started ovulation I started getting the itching sensation,what should I do?
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