Vaginal itching: causes and symptoms of burning and irritation

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Itching in the vaginal area – with redness or discharge

Vaginal itching

Vaginal itching is certainly an unpleasant phenomenon, which is characterized by a number of specific sensations. It can be a consequence of a number of reasons. Itching may disappear by itself or after a change in diet and hygiene procedures. Sometimes it is enough to change the preferences in the clothes, giving it to more free models from natural fabrics.

As a rule, a large percentage of women face such a problem at least once. Genital itching is one of the most common complaints on gynecological examinations. Every year more than 10% of patients note this sign. If the itching is not strong and occurs before menstruation – this is absolutely normal. Perhaps this is just a physiological feature of a woman who does not require treatment. In the event that the itching is excruciating, this may be a sign of the presence of any extragenital or gynecological disease.

The main measure that every woman can take to prevent the occurrence of pruritus is the observance of hygiene rules. When the first symptoms appear, you should make an appointment with a gynecologist and take laboratory tests. Itching is a consequence of the disease, which indicates that the inflammatory process has already begun. As a rule, the presence of a problem is also indicated by vaginal discharge (may be yellowish or bloody).

Vaginal itching can be triggered by various factors, however, the main one is the infection, the ingestion of which causes inflammation. The next stages are allergies and a number of changes that occur in women at the age of a decrease in the function of hormones.

Why my vagina is itchy? Causes of a problem

Skin and mucous covers of the vagina and vulva have a huge number of nerve endings, which are located close to the surface. That is why the reaction to external and internal influences (chemical or mechanical) is fast enough. Itching is the product of reaction to the stimulus. It appears as:

Local itching. It appears in the place of concentration of the factor, which provokes irritation.
Extensive itching. It spreads from the hearth to all nearby areas through nerve endings. In this case, the mucous membranes and skin undergo changes.

Vagina is very itchy after sex

Very often a woman feels itching in the vagina just after sexual intercourse. This is due to mechanical irritation of the mucous vagina – friction, as well as – contact with semen or latex (when using a condom). However, intimacy is often not the cause of unpleasant feelings: some problems already exist, and during the contact with a man they make themselves felt.

The most common reasons are:

  • Changes in the vaginal flora (bacteriological vaginosis, candidiasis and other diseases). It is accompanied by severe itching and discharge in large quantities with or without smell (yellow or curdled).
  • Presence of sexual infections (chlamydia, trichomoniasis, herpes).
  • Inflammatory processes in the small pelvis (erosion of the cervix, cervicitis and others).
  • Allergic reactions to contraceptives (for example, the components of the lubricant or the material that makes up the condom). Also, the cause of the occurrence of thrush or colpitis is often spermicidal contraceptives, such as pharmatex.
  • Allergy to food (usually nuts, citrus, spicy seasonings).
  • Negligent attitude to the rules of hygiene or vice versa: too frequent washing out of the vagina, which is dangerous to remove a large number of bacteria.
  • Injuries (postpartum or postoperative).
  • Hormonal rearrangements due to endocrine pathologies.
  • Decreased hormonal activity in menopause.
  • External factors: stress, improperly selected underwear, excessive stress.

Vaginal itching can have pathological causes. If the rules of hygiene are observed irremediably (or they are not adhered at all), a huge number of pathogens are formed that affect the internal genitalia, and can also cause itching. Harm to the genital organs can be applied from the external environment, for example, if you wear an incorrect underwear made of synthetic materials that help absorb sweat and do not allow air to enter the skin, and then itching appears.

Moreover, sweat, especially in the heat or under warm winter clothing, promotes the formation of irritation on the delicate skin integument. As a result – itching.

Chemicals due to their aggressive action, become an irritant to the genitals. These can be gels or intimate soaps, various creams. Itching occurs as a result of an allergic reaction. This symptom can also occur after sexual intercourse. This is because, due to the lack of lubricant mucus in the vagina, the organ is injured.

Discomfort in the genitals can be evidence of a violation of hormonal function. Sometimes itching may occur before menstruation, which indicates some hormonal changes in the ovaries, which is the norm. As a rule, the itch in this case lasts less than three days. This phenomenon can also be caused by external factors in the form of stresses that alter the activity of the nerve endings of the genital area. Therefore, in the latter case, itching can occur even in a healthy female body.

Many factors influence the nature of pathological pruritus. Some of the others are age features. For example, itching of the vulva or vagina in girls may indicate the presence of inflammation in the form of vulvovaginitis. Its focus can be in the vulva, but spread to the vagina, and maybe vice versa: from the vagina to the vulva. Itching in childhood often speaks of non-compliance with all the rules of hygiene, as well as the presence of parasites, foreign bodies and infection of the urinary canals. Any local or allergic diseases rarely affect the baby’s body, causing itching.

Very rarely, genital itching in children can be related to the general sensitivity of the body and various infections in childhood.

The next possible factor is the disturbance of the homeostatic parameters of the acid-base balance in the vagina. Normally, his indicators in the female body can be 3.8 – 4.4. These values ​​indicate that the environment is acidic. The indices are maintained in norm by the activity of lactobacilli, producing lactic acid. If there are changes in the environment, the risk of infection increases, as bacteria begin to develop in the vaginal environment.
Itching in the vagina in elderly women

Vaginal itching in elderly women

In mature women, the most common cause of pruritus in the genital area are diseases associated with the spread of infection or with the inflammatory process, which may be both specific and non-specific in nature. Then itching is not the only observed symptom. In addition to it, there may be abundant secretions, which in their composition have a mass of pathogenic microorganisms, which causes irritation on the mucous membranes of the vagina and, as a result, itching. It can also be caused by a pathogen of a specific nature, for example, Trichomoniasis.

The most common causes of itching in the genital area are fungal diseases that affect the mucous membranes. This is the so-called thrush, or candidiasis. This phenomenon can also cause complications in pregnancy. If the itching is not strong and lasts a short time, then, most likely, an inflammatory process has begun in the vagina.

Itching in the vulva or vaginal area in elderly women can talk about the progression of dystrophic mechanisms in the tissues, as the ovaries lose their hormonal function. These processes (for example, scleroschirushchy deprive or leukoplakia) traumatize the nerve endings of the external genital organs, causing itching. Since the tissues atrophy, the path to inflammation is open.

 

The concentration and effect of estrogens is reduced, so the flora of the vagina changes: the number of lactobacilli decreases, and the acidity level rises. By the way, senile itching can be a natural evidence of aging. Often it occurs on its own. Other causes of itching are cystitis, urethritis and other diseases of the urinary canals, as well as diabetes mellitus, problems with the endocrine system, allergic processes, skin diseases, neuroses and mental illnesses.

If the itching in the vaginal area is accompanied by a burning sensation, then there may be many reasons for this. Now we will consider the most common phenomena that can occur in young girls and in older women.

Candidiasis of the mucous membrane of the vagina

Candidiasis – an inflammatory disease, the causative agents of which are fungi of the genus Candida. We used to hear about it as a yeast infection or yeast colpitis. Signs of this disease are: unbearable itching, abundant white discharge of curdled consistency.

Diseases associated with microflora

If the vagina actively multiplies and grows various unfavorable bacteria, for example, gardnerella, in the microflora of the vagina, then, in addition to itching, there may be a discharge that has a specific smell resembling a fish. Colpitis, vaginitis – infections that are caused by E. coli or cocci. They are often mixed, that is, the joint course of candidiasis and gardnerelleza, for example, or other infections. As a rule, discomfort increases on the eve of menstruation.

Allergic reaction to sperm

This phenomenon is quite rare. Typically, it occurs in women who have a single and a permanent sexual partner, after having sex without a condom. The allergy to the sperm of a man has such symptoms as burning, redness and itching right after sex. Often, this problem becomes the cause of discord between a man and a woman.

Incompatibility of microflora in partners not only causes unpleasant sensations in the genital area of ​​a woman, but also causes suspicion of adultery and the presence of venereal infections. An element that causes such a reaction may be a protein contained in the sperm. This can also be a consequence of the sensitivity of a woman, especially if a man takes any medications or specific foods. To avoid such situations, it is necessary to pass tests that will help to identify the presence of allergies.

Vaginal itching and discharge: sexual infections

Among other things, there are a lot of infections that occur asymptomatically, but appear in the body after sexual intercourse. If the body has any problems with the immune system or when chronic diseases worsen, signs such as itching and burning appear. This is possible even when unprotected contact was a long time, and discomfort manifested itself later.

Five of the most common diseases have been identified, which are especially common in the human body after resorts, especially in the southern regions. Such diseases include: syphilis, gonorrhea, donovanosis, mild chancroid, venereal lymphogranuloma. Besides:

  • Chlamydia (in women there may be relapses after treatment).
  • Mycoplasmosis, ureaplasmosis (symptoms – smell of fish, yellow-green discharge of foam structure).
  • Trichomoniasis.
  • Herpes (signs – itching around the vagina, rash).
  • Genital warts, genital warts (the disease is viral in nature, manifested as outgrowths on the skin, the causative agent is papilloma).

Other pathologies that can become a complication of the aforementioned infections are urethritis, cervicitis, and enometritis. Urethritis – inflammation of the mucous membranes of the urethra. It can manifest itself in the form of itching, burning, painful emptying. Cervicitis is an inflammation that affects the mucous cervix of the uterus. It can occur both against the background of sexual infection, and because of trauma. Endometrite is an inflammatory process in the uterus, which exudates exudate, irritating the tender vaginal walls.

Vaginal itching

Consider a list of gynecological diseases, which is a consequence of the presence of other pathologies. Each of them can be observed both in women of reproductive age, and in those who are older than 45 years.

Atrophyc process of the vulva

This process is characterized by progressive atrophy of tissues lining the mucous membranes and skin of the vulva. It is associated with the age-related restructuring of the body. Symptoms of the disease – dryness, changes in the clitoris, labia, and itching on the external genitalia (near the vagina).

Tingling, dryness of the labia and vagina, burning sensation can be signs of atrophy, which begins in women with age. During menopause, the glands cease to emit a sufficient amount of mucus, as a result of which the mucous membranes of the vagina exhibit greater sensitivity and susceptibility to discomfort. In this case, painful sensations and itching may occur (especially during and after sexual intercourse). As a rule, the mucous membrane of the vagina atrophies in the climacteric period, when the tissues of the vagina become thinner. This phenomenon can also be observed in the presence of autoimmune diseases.

Urogenital fistulae

Such problems can occur after delivery (natural or caesarean section), as well as after gynecological operations. When the urogenital fistula is formed, the inflammatory process in the vagina begins. This happens under the influence of urine during emptying.

Tumors of the uterus or vagina

Education on the uterus, its neck or in the vagina can be both benign and malignant. Such phenomena include myoma, polyps, cysts, fibromas, as well as oncologic processes in the cervix, ovaries or in the vagina.

Other diseases

Itching can also cause non-gynecological diseases. Any infectious disease can cause an intoxication of the body, affecting all organs and mechanisms, including the mucous membranes of the vagina. The causes of itching may be:

Allergic reaction, including skin sensitivity factor, rash, genital dermatitis.

  • Diabetes. Analysis of this indicator is necessary in the event that no gynecological examination revealed inflammation, dysbiosis, or other pathologies.
  • Stresses, busy schedule. Exhaustion, depressive and stressful conditions, great emotional stress can negatively affect a woman’s health. Problems with the nervous system, mental disorders – all this can cause itching.
  • Renal diseases, liver and thyroid gland pathologies. All these aspects, including cirrhosis, hepatitis, leukemia, anemia, can adversely affect the body, causing discomfort in the genitals.
  • Lice and helminths. Often helminthiasis causes itching not only in the anus, but also in the vagina. That’s why you should take a smear from all places.
    Pubic lice can also cause itching.
  • Diseases of the digestive system. Diseases of the digestive system, hemorrhoids, intestinal dysbiosis, anal fissures are a combination of factors that cause burning, discomfort, itching in the vaginal area. This is due to the anatomical location of the vulva and the anus.
  • Cystitis. Cystitis is common in women, and it’s not uncommon when it combines with a genital infection, as well as with candidiasis and pyelonephritis. As a consequence – itching of the vagina and labia.
  • Diseases of the blood. Since the human body is an integral system, the disease can spread in a most unexpected way, affecting various organs. As a rule, oncological pathologies, such as leukemia, act like this. Cancer in the early stages may not show any signs, however, the process of its influence on the body is already running. There are local symptoms, including itching.

Other causes of severe vaginal itching

There are other factors that cause itching in the vagina and vulva. If the discomfort does not leave within three days, you should make an appointment with a doctor. Itching can be caused by:

  • An inconvenient linen made from coarse synthetic materials, which does not let air through to the skin. Then the effect of the greenhouse is created, due to which the perineum is injured.
  • Overcooling or overheating (the effect of temperature differences).
  • Aggressive chemical compounds, which are contained in means for intimate hygiene, pads, tampons, washing powders and so on. Their components can cause allergies.
  • Contraceptive pills, suppositories, creams that are used vaginally.
  • Sensitivity to the components of contraceptives: condom material (latex) and lubricant composition. Often they become the causes of itching, especially after sex.
  • Stresses, mood swings, nerves are factors that affect the whole body.
  • Non-compliance with hygiene rules. A woman should wash her external genitals at least once a day, and preferably two (in the morning and in the evening).
  • Genitals should also be clean before and after sex.
  • Irrational nutrition. Itching can occur if a woman is overly keen on fashionable diets, the menus of which are not always right. It is fraught with vitamin deficiency and lack of nutrients. As a result, the immune system is weakened, the skin cells are worse regenerated, microcracks appear. This can also occur due to the use of harmful foods with a high content of preservatives, dyes, which can cause allergies. Pay attention to the amount of sweet, savory and pickled food you eat, which can also provoke itching.

Pruritus of the vagina during pregnancy

Pregnancy is the period when the female body is completely reconstructed and works for two. Every woman suffers a lot of vagaries of her body at this time. Often this is manifested in the form of edema, redness, nausea. Itching in the genital area is no exception and is very common. Its causes can be very diverse: from non-compliance with hygiene rules to the wrong linen and aromatic components of daily pads. The reasons can be any. In general, they are the same as in non-pregnant women:

  • Improper hygiene. It should be remembered that in pregnancy, discharge can be abundant, so hygienic procedures should be enforced.
  • Allergies to food, cosmetics, intimate hygiene products, medicines.
  • Mood swings, nerves in anticipation of childbirth.
  • Hormonal changes.
  • Vaginal dysbiosis. As a consequence, bacterial vaginosis.
  • Trichomoniasis and other sexual infections
  • Disorders of the endocrine system
  • Improperly selected underwear made of synthetic materials.
  • Temperature changes: sweating in the heat or in cold weather, under layers of warm clothes.
  • Elevated concentrations of salts in the urine, which cause irritation. After a while, the inflammation can spread to the mucous membranes.

Often, pregnancy itself can provoke itching in the genital area. All individually: the itching of the skin does not always indicate a disease. Perhaps the elasticity of tissues has changed due to hormonal adjustment.

Also, during the growth of the abdomen and breast augmentation, the skin is heavily loaded, it stretches – this causes the itching of the genitals. It is very important to be able to see the difference between toxicosis and side symptoms, especially in the mature stages of pregnancy. The work of the liver and bile ducts changes radically, which is associated with an increase in the concentration of estrogen in the blood. The excess of bile and its stagnation can cause the appearance of itching, which can spread to the vagina. To determine the cause, it is necessary to pass functional tests of the liver.

Vaginal itching

Most often in pregnant women, vaginal candidiasis, which leads to the appearance of itching and discomfort. This disease torments women in the position several times more often than non-pregnant women.

It is important to note that candidiasis is an inflammatory disease that affects the mucous membranes. It causes the spread of fungal infection, namely Candida fungi. When there is not enough lactobacilli in the vaginal flora, it becomes vulnerable to the penetration of fungi, which are found in every third expectant mother. With this infection it is necessary to fight, as it is able to infect the fetus in the utero, after which pregnancy and childbirth can be difficult. The disease is diagnosed in a simple way. For this, the patient gives an analysis for a foreign vaginal flora, after which the diagnosis will not cause any difficulties.

Symptoms of vaginal itching

If you notice discomfort or unusual phenomena related to your genitals, you should immediately contact a gynecologist, and not rely on traditional medicine and self-medication. It also happens that these methods help, but if the genital itch does not stop after 3 days, then you need to take action.

The itch, or rather its causes, is diagnosed in a complex way. For the beginning the patient should describe in detail the sensations, having specified cases when the itch was amplified (for example, after sex, podmyvanija or medicines). If the intensity of itching goes beyond the limits, accompanied by burning, abundant secretions, discomfort with sexual contact, then this may indicate the presence of inflammation, the focus of which is in the vagina. Often, the symptoms make themselves felt after unprotected sex with the carrier of a disease.

Burning and pain accompanying itching may indicate the progress of the inflammatory process to the urethra. Very often itching can be a sign of diabetes mellitus, a disease of the biliary system. As a rule, a woman knows that she has any of the diseases listed above, so the diagnosis of the causes of itching is simplified, but experts from other areas of medicine are connected to the survey.

In addition to the presence of external diseases, the doctor is interested in such parameters as the duration and degree of itching, because it can appear periodically, or it may be permanent. Often, patients note that sensations intensify at night, causing discomfort and insomnia. As a rule, future moms are very nervous about the itch, which worries them, especially at night. If the itching is short-term, then, probably, the process of inflammation is at the initial stage.

In order to confirm or deny the presence of the inflammatory process or infection, it is necessary to undergo a gynecological examination, first paying attention to the secretions. With vaginitis, the walls of the vagina become thicker, hyperemia is observed, and the discharge becomes more abundant. Allocations may be clear or purulent, often with an unpleasant odor. With thrush, the secretion is frequent, abundant, curdled structure.

After menopause, many women experience unpleasant itching in the vagina, which is accompanied by burning and dryness. These signs are the consequences of age-related physiological changes, which are based on decreased hormonal activity and reduced secretions. Inspection shows that the tissues inside the steel are thinner, mucus is released little. It is these aspects that weaken the protection of the mucous membranes and make them vulnerable to inflammation.

If you notice an abundant discharge that is not characteristic of your body – you should contact a specialist who will study the structure of the microflora of your vagina. For this, it is necessary to pass a sowing and a vaginal swab. If there are other symptoms – you will have to pass also tests for the presence of sexual infections. Another way to diagnose the nature of changes in the vaginal flora is an express test for the acidity of the environment. It is carried out using strips. If the test shows deviation of the parameters from the norm, then it is necessary to take measures.

Severe itching and vaginal discharge

The degree of itching can be an individual characteristic of each patient, her level of sensitivity to irritants. For one woman, the discomfort is strong, but for the other – insignificant. Therefore this parameter is not the main one in diagnostics. Excruciating itching in the vagina can be evidence of kraurosis, trichomoniasis, vulvovagination or candidiasis.

Kraurosis is a disease that affects the vulva. It usually occurs after menopause as a result of ovarian hypofunction. When the function of hormonal secretion decreases, then atrophic processes occur in the tissues, which causes itching. The process takes place on the outside and does not reach the vagina.

Trichomoniasis can also cause unbearable itching, which lasts for long. At the same time from the vagina are allocated pussy masses, which have an unpleasant fishy smell. Sometimes the secretions can have a foamy or watery consistency. The cause of the disease is casual sexual contact without a condom.

Many patients who complain of severe itching are diagnosed as thrush (candidiasis).

It is not surprising, because itching can be its only sign. In the presence of this disease, itching persists the woman constantly, can intensify at night, down to insomnia. Diagnosis of candidiasis is a simple and common process in medical practice. External signs – thick white discharge with particles in the form of flakes, plaque on the walls of the vagina and vulva. If the disease is in a neglected state, then when you try to remove the plaque, blood appears mechanically. Candidiasis also has a chronic form. As a rule, at first it practically does not manifest itself. The probability of relapse is great.

How to treat the vaginal itching?

Vaginal itching is not an independent disease. It is a symptom. This is why isolated itch treatment is ineffective, because its focus is completely different. If the root cause is not eliminated, then it is fraught with relapses.

Of course, itching is not always a sign of pathology and in many cases can disappear without additional therapy. This can be a simple reaction to a new hygiene product and its components: if you feel uncomfortable after use, you just have to stop using it. Itching may appear before menstruation, but to solve a problem it is sometimes simple to wash it. To avoid this unpleasant phenomenon after sex, you need to apply additional lubricant.

Sometimes vaginal itching can be effective and folk methods of treatment. To those rank sedentary baths, syringing with herbal decoctions – it helps calm the skin and remove irritation. Chamomile and calendula are especially good for these purposes. If the provoking factor is stress, then it is necessary to fight the root cause of itching: you should drink a decoction of valerian or motherwort, after which the itch should disappear.

In the event that the symptoms do not disappear after 3-4 days, you need to see a doctor to find out the causes and get treatment. Therapy is individual for each patient, and is made after a comprehensive examination.

If inflammation was detected, general and local treatment is necessary. Mature women, as a rule, are prescribed not only anti-inflammatory drugs, but also hormonal preparations. If the infection is fungal in nature, then antifungal medicines are prescribed. Local treatment involves the use of creams, ointments, suppositories, and solutions. General therapy is based on taking medication. If the itching arose on the basis of the disease associated with the non-sexual system, then you should consult a therapist.

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