Does your itchy vagina have you worried?
One of the most embarrassing things for a woman is developing a mystery itch “down there.” While more often than not, the cause may be something non-serious and simply fixed, it's worth getting it checked out to ensure everything’s working OK in your lady parts. We review possible culprits for that itch down below.
Several STIs may be responsible for an itch down below, says Family Planning NSW. They include trichomoniasis, also known as Trike, which can produce smelly discharge, soreness and itchiness in females parts. It's treated with antibiotics.
Genital herpes produces painful, itchy sores on the penis, vagina or anus that come and go, and genital warts are similar, though they may produce no symptoms at all, particularly if they grow inside instead of outside the vagina. Warts may disappear after application of a gel or through surgeries that burn or freeze them off. They are commonly associated with HPV.
Pubic lice are another extremely itchy STI in which tiny insects live in pubic hair. [Yes, we are not kidding!] This condition is very easily transmitted and can be treated by washing yourself with a special lotion and cleaning all bedding and clothes you came in contact with.
A yeast infection
There's always yeast in the vagina, but when it gets out of control through pregnancy or taking certain antibiotics or birth control pills, it can produce an itchy infection. About 10 to 20 percent of women with a yeast infection show no symptoms, says Family Planning NSW, but the most common signs are thick discharge and itchiness or soreness around the vagina. Vaginal creams and sometimes antibiotics can remedy the condition.
A scary thought, we know, but one of the signs of vulvar cancer is an itchy lump on the vagina, says Better Health Victoria. It normally occurs in the labia majora and accounts for about 3 per cent of all gynaecological cancers.
While it's most commonly diagnosed in women aged 70 years or older, more and more women aged 35 to 45 are experiencing this type of cancer. Risk factors include having an STI, multiple sex partners, never having children, chronic vulval itching and genital warts.
After developing an itchy lump, many women experience ulcerated sores that don't heal and grow bigger. Unusual bleeding or vaginal discharge can occur, and the lymph glands in the groin may swell. Treatment involves a surgical procedure called a vulvectomy, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
An ingrown hair
Next time you're about to schedule a waxing appointment, consider this: ingrown hairs can develop in the vulva especially after shaving or waxing, says Women's Health Queensland Wide. Going completely bare ups your chances of the itchy, irritating issue, where the hair can cause a pimple or cyst on the skin's surface. Prevent ingrown hairs by gently exfoliating the skin.
You may have heard of this skin condition before, but never knew you could get it in your map of Tassie. Dermatitis is a common source of itching in this area, and severe scratching can cause skin tearing which can lead to stinging as well.
The condition stems from anything that irritates the sensitive skin around the vagina, from certain shower gels to the laundry powder you use. Allergies can also produce dermatitis, particularly if you react badly to things like rubber in condoms. Many sufferers also have a history of other allergies or conditions like asthma and eczema. Treatment involves cortisone creams.
Natural cures for a yeast infection