• Ugh...Why Am I Itchy Down There?

August 21, 2019

Vaginal and vulvar itching are quite common, and most women will experience it at least once in their lifetime. If you’re experiencing itching and discomfort, there can be a number of possible causes. 

Getting down to the root of the problem will help you treat it most effectively.

Five Reasons You Might Itch “Down There”

  1. Yeast Infection. The most obvious cause of vaginal itching is a yeast infection.  Candida is the scientific name for yeast, which a fungus that lives nearly everywhere, including in your body.  Candida causes inflammation, irritation, itching, and vaginal discharge in women. Typically, our immune systems keep the pH balance and yeast population in check without problems. However, there are a few factors that can affect the balance of yeast in our nether regions.  Taking antibiotics can cause yeast infections because they lower the amount of Lactobacillus, or good bacteria, in the vagina. Other causes of yeast infections include pregnancy, menopause, uncontrolled diabetes, and use of hormonal contraceptives and contraceptive devices – anything that upsets the normal pH and fungal balance down there.
  2. Infection. Bacterial vaginosis (a.k.a. BV) is the most common reason for vaginal itching and is caused by an imbalance in healthy bacteria and a change in vaginal pH.  Symptoms include thin gray, white or green vaginal discharge, a foul-smelling "fishy" vaginal odor, vaginal itching and possibly a burning sensation during urination.  BV is easily treatable, but you’ll need to see your doctor for a diagnosis.
  3. Too-Tight Clothing. Wearing very tight clothing like spandex workout pants and skinny jeans can cause not only friction and discomfort, but also itching in the vulvar area. Wearing tight clothing prevents the genital area from being able to “breathe”. It traps moisture, which can be irritating, especially if you are also wearing synthetic underwear such as nylon, polyester or satin which keep temperature and humidity levels high.
  4. Allergic reaction to scented soaps and detergents. The chemicals found in scented laundry detergents and soaps can cause redness and inflammation around the vulva and labial areas. One of the reasons I invented My V-Line Health products was because I was seeing so many patients having adverse reactions to using heavily scented soaps or foaming washes in the shower and bath.  My products are designed exclusively to care for the delicate vulvar region.
  5. Latex condoms, spermicide, lubricants. A common cause of vaginal itching and/or burning is the use of latex condoms and/or spermicide. Lubricants can also cause discomfort and itching.  If you experience itching and burning after sex, you may be allergic to one of the products you are using.

The bottom line? There can be a number of causes for vaginal and vulvar itching.  Figuring out the cause is the first step in alleviating the symptoms.

-Dr. Jessica

Dr. Jessica Ybanez Morano   Dr. Jessica Ybanez Morano is a leading doctor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and expert in women’s reproductive health issues.

Dr. Jessica is internationally recognized and speaks regularly about gynecological single incision surgery at conferences throughout the world.

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