Vaginal itching is a tingling or uneasy irritation of the skin of the vagina and the surrounding area (vulva). The itching may cause a desire to scratch the affected area. Many women will experience vaginal itching at some point during their lives. It’s an unpleasant condition that needs proper care.
Common causes of vaginal itching include:
.Chemical irritants -- such as detergents, fabric softeners, feminine sprays, ointments, creams, douches, and contraceptive foams or jellies.
.Menopause -- the drop in estrogen causes thinning of the vaginal wall and less lubrication.
.Stress -- may increase vaginal itching and make you more susceptible to infections.
.Vaginal yeast infection -- often includes a discharge that is white and curd-like. Vaginal yeast infections can be brought on by antibiotics, birth control pills, pregnancy, menstruation, condom use, sexual intercourse, diabetes, and a weakened immune system.
.Vaginitis -- inflammation, itching, discharge, and odor caused by other infections (including sexually transmitted diseases). Vaginitis in girls before puberty is common. If a young girl has a sexually transmitted vaginal infection, however, sexual abuse must be considered and addressed.
Other possible, but less common, causes of vaginal or vulvar itching include the presence of other skin conditions that may or may not be precancerous, and pinworms -- a condition that primarily infects children.
The following are some commonly used home remedies are proven in most patients with vaginal itching. These home remedies have worked for many women with vaginal itching but the results can vary from person to person.
. Mix three tablespoons of the apple cider vinegar, in one quart of warm water and fill your douche bag. You can safely do this twice a day to make the itching go away.
. Regular consumption of ginseng may act as a replacement for lowered estrogen levels, and eliminate the dryness, itching and burning associated with menopause.
. Apply ice or a cold compress for immediate relief from the itching. This is especially effective at night when the itching is most intense.
. Fill a shallow tub or sitz bath with warm water and a half cup of salt. Stir until the salt dissolves, then sit in the water for 10 to 15 minutes.
. Eat 1 cup of yogurt a day. Make sure the yogurt doesn't contain any sugar and that it has live acidophilus cultures in it. Acidophilus helps control the fungus that causes yeast infections.
. Apply yogurt to the vulva to help relieve external itching.
. Rinse your vagina with warm water mixed with 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar twice a day for two days.
. Increase your intake of foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, strawberries and broccoli.
. Apply aloe vera gel liberally to the affected area. Repeat process until you get relief from itching.
. Drink 1-2 cups of nettle tea daily to get relief from this problem. Add 1 tabelspoon of dried nettle leaves to a cup of boiling water
. Apple cider vinegar mixed with yogurt and water can be dabbed on the irritated area with a washcloth. Wash with cool water if there is a stinging sensation.
. Buttermilk provides good results in stopping the growth of bacteria, which may cause the itching. Apply it to the vaginal area or drink it everyday.
. Garlic is also used for feminine itching due to its antifungal properties. Create a drink made from crushed whole garlic and water, and consume until itching is gone.
. Herbal extracts are ideal for home remedies, specifically extracts of olive leaves, grapefruit seed and slippery elm.
. Boil a tablespoon of the dried rind of pomegranate in 2 cups of water, strain and use as vaginal douche for the fishy smell and irritation.
. Boil 150 gm of lady finger in two cups of water, for about 15-20 minutes. Strain the water and add little sugar to taste. Take 50-100 ml of the decoction at frequent intervals to treat vaginal itching or vaginitis.
. Extract juice from fresh henna leaves and take a tablespoon twice a day. Take one on empty stomach in the morning, and another, 4-6 hours after lunch. Take this for ten days to cure symptoms of vaginitis.
. Add a sliced banana to a tablespoon each of honey and gooseberry juice, and eat it daily for a few days to get relief from vaginal itching.
. Juice some asparagus roots and take a tablespoon of it two times in a day for 2 weeks to treat vaginal itching.
. Boil a tablespoon of the dried rind of pomegranate in 2 cups of water, strain and use as vaginal douche for the fishy smell and itching.
. Boil 1 thread of saffron in ½ cup of water with a teaspoon of milk added to it. Boil until ¼ of the solution remains, and drink it daily to cure vaginal itching, discharges, burning, and irritations.
Once your genital itching is relieved and remedied, you’ll want to take the proper steps to keep it from happening again. Assuming you’ve had a pelvic exam and have ruled out any sexually transmitted disease itching or symptoms (which may require antibiotics), you can follow these steps to prevent vaginal itching from occurring in the future.
- Use well washed under garments.
- Maintain good toilet hygiene.
- Always take a warm bath.
- Avoid irritants like scented tampons.
- Use condoms during sexual intercourse.
- Always keep vaginal area clean.
- Clean your vagina area thoroughly after having sex.
- Avoid tight clothes and wear cotton panties.
- Avoid douching as it disturbs the balance of the microorganisms within the vagina.
- Be sure to clean diaphragms, cervical caps and spermicide applicators after each use.
- Take care to clean the anal area from front to back to prevent the intestinal bacteria from spreading into the vagina.