Vaginal Itching - Possible Causes of Vaginal Itching (Itchy Vagina)

Vaginal Itching

Vaginal itchiness is often described as an irritation inside the vagina affecting the vaginal lining or mucosal tissues. Vaginal itchiness and discomfort may be accompanied with vulvar itchiness and a sense of irritation or tingling. See the section on vulvar symptoms. Women may confuse internal vagina itchiness with vulvar itchiness. However, it is not uncommon to have one area irritated while the other area is normal and without a problem. Women may also feel the desire to scratch the affected area which may, in fact, exacerbate the sensations of itchiness.

A common cause of vaginal itchiness is Candida or yeast infection. This can cause intense vaginal and vulvar itchiness and are often associated with a thick white cottage cheese-like discharge (see vaginitis).

Chronic diabetics who have poorly controlled sugar levels may also present with yeast infections. A weakened immune system due to autoimmune diseases, like HIV, may also predispose a woman to candidal infections.

The menopause and perimenopausal transition is associated with a drop of estradiol levels, which can cause both vulvar and vaginal atrophy or thinning of the tissues. Less lubrication is present and the tissues become less elastic. Many women may complain of vaginal dryness and itchiness as a result of this hormonal drop. 

Perhaps the most common cause of vaginal itchiness can be attributed to caustic chemical irritants, which can irritate the sensitive vulvar and vaginal tissues. Chemicals found in laundry detergent, fabric softeners, spermicidal foams/jelly, feminine hygiene sprays, douches and even condom materials, like latex, can be irritating for some women.

There are other causes of itchiness that occur less frequently. These include everything from pinworms, (primarily occurring in children) to more serious medical onditions.



Read more about symptoms affecting the vulva and vagina that may be causing discomfort or pain.

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Read more about vulvar and vaginal disorders that affect women and their quality of life.

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