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Why Is My Vagina Itchy?

Why Is My Vagina Itchy?

No one likes to talk about their private parts, especially when something goes wrong, but it’s the most crucial time to be talking about genital health. You need a safe place to discuss your concerns without judgment and get treatment that puts those concerns behind you.  

Meet Dr. Asia Mohsin, our compassionate, discreet, and highly qualified gynecologist at Progressive Women’s Health in Friendswood, Texas. 

She understands that things can suddenly take a turn when you have genital issues and sexual health problems — they can be embarrassing at the least and life-threatening at worst. 

Dr. Mohsin has seen, diagnosed, and treated all types of women’s health issues and can help you figure out what’s going on down there. This month, she’s reviewing common causes of vaginal itching so you know what to look for, when to seek help, and how to resolve it.

Products with irritants

Anything that touches your skin can irritate and cause itchiness. If you recently bought new underwear or stopped wearing it, the fabric (or lack of it) can rub your skin incorrectly and create temporary itchiness.

Likewise, changing anything in your usual routine, such as washing your laundry with a new detergent, adding a fabric softener, or using dryer sheets, could make a difference. 

New soaps, lotions, and sprays can also irritate your genital skin. You may be allergic to the chemicals or have sensitive skin that prefers unscented, uncolored products, so consider everything that touches your vaginal tissue, including tampons, pads, stimulators, and condoms.

Yeast infection

About 75% of all women get at least one vaginal yeast infection. Yeast is a living, growing organism, which is good when you want your bread to rise but bad when it’s in your vagina. 

Vaginal yeast inflames your vaginal tissues, causing intense itching and burning when you urinate. You can treat a vaginal yeast infection with an over-the-counter (OTC) cream, but it’s best to check with Dr. Mohsin to get an accurate diagnosis.

Bacterial overgrowth

If you’re familiar with the pre-and probiotic craze, you know your body contains some good bacteria to keep your systems in check. Too many or too few bacteria can throw things off balance. When this happens in your vagina, it’s called bacterial vaginosis. 

You’ll notice a watery discharge with an unpleasant “fishy” odor. Dr. Mohsin can prescribe an antibacterial medication to clear the problem.

Hormonal imbalance

Your hormones fluctuate every month as you go through your menstrual cycle, but if you were hoping to see the end of that roller coaster during menopause, you’re going to be disappointed. 

Menopause is actually the biggest hormonal disrupter you’ll encounter, and one of the telltale signs of menopause is vaginal atrophy.

Vaginal atrophy is when the tissues inside your vagina become thin, wrinkled, stretched out, dry, and lax. These changes can make sexual intercourse uncomfortable and alter how your vagina appears outwardly. They can also cause itching. 

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

Everyone who is sexually active is at risk for STDs, even people who have sex with only one partner. Although some STDs have no warning signs, others cause vaginal discharge, painful sex and urination, cramping, bleeding, and itching.

Progressive Women’s Health offers discreet STD testing to rule out STDs or determine which one you have so we can get you started on the proper treatment. 

Skin conditions

Skin problems can develop anywhere on your body, including vaginal skin. Some of the most common culprits — eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis — cause vaginal itching.

You should also know about a less common skin problem — lichen sclerosus (LS). In recognition of Lichen Sclerosus Awareness Day on Jan. 17, we want all women to understand the symptoms and treatments for this condition.

Lichen sclerosus can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender, although it’s more prevalent in postmenopausal women. If you have it, you know the signature signs all too well: itchy, painful patches of thin, white, wrinkled-looking skin, primarily in the genital area. 

Most research indicates that LS is likely an autoimmune condition, where your body’s natural defenses mistakenly attack healthy cells — in this case, the skin. 

Other theories suggest a combination of genetics, hormones, and possibly even infection.

Although LS isn’t contagious, some studies have noted that trauma, such as scratching or friction from tight clothing, could trigger it.

Promising treatments for lichen sclerosus

While there’s no definitive cure for LS, Dr. Mohsin offers various treatments to manage your symptoms and prevent further complications. Prescription-strength topical steroids work wonders at reducing inflammation and itching.

You can also try lifestyle changes and home remedies. For example, gently washing the affected area daily, avoiding tight clothing, and applying petroleum jelly can alleviate discomfort and keep your genital skin healthy.

While LS isn’t life-threatening, regular check-ups with Dr. Mohsin are essential so she can monitor any skin changes.

Talk to Dr. Mohsin if you have vaginal itchiness and get the right treatment for lasting relief. Request an appointment online or call Progressive Women’s Health today. 

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