What is Vulvar Itching?
Vulvar itching is the irritation of the skin on the vulva, the area that surrounds the vagina. The tingling sensation of the irritation causes one a need to scratch the vulva. There are several causes of itchy sensation on the vulva and there are several factors on how women acquire it as well.
An infection on the vulva, vagina or both areas can cause vulvar itching. Vaginitis and yeast infection on the vagina are two types of infection that causes some cases of vulvar itching experienced by women. Yeast infection such as candidiasis has symptoms including vulvar itching. Aside from the itching, women with vaginal yeast infection also experience having a whitish, curd-like vaginal discharge. Yeast infection can be caused by birth control pills, antibiotics, diabetes, menstruation and pregnancy. Vaginitis is the inflammation of the vagina that can either be caused by vaginal changes during puberty or by a sexually transmitted disease.
Infections are not the only cause of itchiness on the vulva. Other than infections, there are other simpler causes of vulvar itching that generally affects most women experiencing it. Women can experience vulvar itching when the vulva had a direct contact with chemical irritants such as fabric softeners, ointments, feminine sprays, detergents, douches, foams or jellies for contraception and creams.
Other than the chemical irritants, stress and menopause can also cause vulvar itching.
During menopause, the vaginal wall becomes less lubricated because of the drop in the hormone estrogen. Less lubrication on the vagina makes a woman susceptible to vaginal irritation. Stress on the other hand makes a woman more prone to acquire infection.
There are several methods of home care a woman can do to manage and prevent vulvar itching. The first thing that a woman should do is to always keep her genital area clean and dry all the time. Moist areas are the favorite of infective organisms. When cleaning the genital area, the direction should be from the font area (vagina) to the back (anus) and should not be the other way around. It’s always a must to direct cleaning from the clean to dirty side, otherwise infection will occur. When with wet clothing,
Antibiotics can kill the acid producing bacteria on the vagina that is normally found in the area. The acidity is one of the body’s protections against vaginal yeast infection. When a woman has to take antibiotics, she should also drink yogurt or beverages with Lactibacillus to keep the acidity of the vagina, preventing yeast infection. Feminine hygienic sprays can also decrease the acidity so use of the sprays and douches should be avoided.
Other preventive measures to stop vulvar itching include wearing of cotton underwear instead of synthetic made ones. This will avoid irritating the vulvar area. If a woman has diabetes, it’s highly advised that she should control her blood sugar. Losing weight if overweight is also one preventive measure.
In order to treat the condition, women experiencing vulvar itching might need to ask for a doctor’s prescription for creams and vaginal suppositories. These drugs can usually be bought over the counter and are effective in treating the itchiness but even though the symptoms are treated there is still a chance that the itchiness will reoccur in the future, especially if appropriate genital hygiene is not observed. If complications occur or the vulvar itching persists, it’s best to consult a doctor first.
If you are experiencing some other kind of itching besides vulvar itching, check out the other articles on this site. They are full of great info about types of itching and how to prevent feeling itchy all the time.