What is going on "down there"?
Some everyday feminine itching is not related to an infection at all. That’s why it’s important to determine the cause of the symptoms — and in case it’s an infection, be seen by a doctor right away for treatment.
Vaginal itching, burning, and irritation due to an infection may be caused by:
- Bacterial vaginosis. Occurs when the balance of healthy bacteria in the vagina shifts and an infection occurs.
- Sexually transmitted disease (STDs). Chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, trichomoniasis, and gonorrhea all can cause vaginal itching and irritation.
- Yeast infection (vaginal candidiasis). Occurs when the yeast, candida, grows excessively in the vagina and vulva.
Everyday vaginal itching, burning, and irritation may be caused by:
- Tight clothes. Wearing too-tight items of clothing, such as jeans, underwear and pantyhose, can cause moisture to be trapped and cause itching.
- Menopause. When estrogen production is decreased, the vaginal walls can begin to thin and dry out, sometimes leading to itching and irritation.
- Chemical irritants. Everything from douches, condoms and contraceptive foams to laundry detergent, and scented toilet paper can cause irritation and itching.
- Exercise/sweating. As with tight clothing, anything that restricts the flow of air and allows moisture from sweat to accumulate may trigger vaginal itching and irritation (Even a bathing suit can cause trouble if you leave it on too long.)
- Stress. Feeling overworked or rundown can cause reactions like itching and irritation.
- Sexual activity. Watch for signs like dryness or discomfort during sexual activity. Even the slightest irritation can lead to itching.