Vaginal Itching

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Although vaginal itching is the hallmark of yeast infections and other vaginal infections (including sexually transmitted diseases [STDs]), itching in the vagina and vulvar areas has multiple causes. Vaginal itching can also arise due to chemical irritants that may be found in detergents or soaps, douches and vaginal creams, toilet paper, bath products, feminine hygiene products, and vaginal contraceptive products.

Women in the menopausal transition may experience vaginal itching due to fluctuations in estrogen levels. As estrogen levels decline in the perimenopause, the vaginal wall becomes thinner and drier, and itching may result.

Some studies have shown a link between psychological stress and vaginal yeast infections. This is likely due to the fact that stress is known to have a negative effect on the immune system and could possibly increase the likelihood of getting a yeast infection in women and men.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/14/2014

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REFERENCE:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

Causes of Vaginal Itching
    • Bacterial Vaginosis Bacterial vaginosis is an imbalance or overgrowth of certain types of bacteria within the vagina. Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis...learn more »
      In This Article
      Bacterial Vaginosis Article
      • What is bacterial vaginosis?
      • What is the cause of bacterial vaginosis?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?
      • What are the complications of bacterial vaginosis?
      • How is bacterial vaginosis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for bacterial vaginosis?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) for bacterial vaginosis?
      • Can bacterial vaginosis be prevented?
    • Chlamydia in Women Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the U.S. Signs and symptoms of chlamydia, a bacterial infection,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Chlamydia in Women Article
      • What is chlamydia?
      • What causes chlamydia?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of chlamydia?
      • How is chlamydia diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for chlamydia?
      • What is the prognosis for chlamydia?
      • Can chlamydia be prevented?
    • Genital Herpes in Women Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Symptoms of genital herpes...learn more »
      In This Article
      Genital Herpes in Women Article
      • Genital herpes in women facts
      • What is genital herpes?
      • What causes genital herpes?
      • How is genital herpes transmitted?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of genital herpes?
      • How is genital herpes diagnosed?
      • Can genital herpes be cured?
      • What is the treatment for genital herpes?
      • Are home remedies or natural treatments effective for genital herpes?
      • How is genital herpes managed in pregnancy?
      • What is the prognosis for genital herpes?
      • Can genital herpes be prevented?
    • Genital Warts (HPV) Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. HPV is primarily transmitted...learn more »
      In This Article
      Genital Warts (HPV) Article
      • Genital warts (HPV) facts
      • What are human papillomaviruses (HPVs)?
      • How common is HPV infection?
      • What are the symptoms of genital warts?
      • How is HPV infection diagnosed?
      • Is there a DNA test for types of HPV infection?
      • How are genital warts diagnosed?
      • External genital warts
      • Precancerous changes (dysplasia) of the uterine cervix
      • Can HPV infection be prevented?
      • What should one do if exposed to a person with genital warts?
    • Gonorrhea In Women Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection transmitted during sexual contact. In women, symptoms include a yellow vaginal discharge,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Gonorrhea In Women Article
      • Gonorrhea facts
      • What are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?
      • What is gonorrhea?
      • What are the symptoms of gonorrhea?
      • How is gonorrhea diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for gonorrhea?
    • Itching Itching can be a common problem. Itches can be localized or generalized. There are many causes of itching to include: infection...learn more »
      In This Article
      Itching Article
      • Itch facts
      • What is an itch?
      • What are associated symptoms and signs of itching?
      • What causes itching?
      • How is the cause of itching diagnosed?
      • Should I scratch the itch?
      • What are topical itch treatments? Are there any home remedies for itching?
      • What are oral itch treatments?
      • Can itching be prevented?
      • When should the doctor be consulted for itching?
      • What are possible complications of itching?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) for itching?
    • Menopause Menopause is the time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop, also called the "change of life." Menopause...learn more »
      In This Article
      Menopause Article
      • Menopause facts
      • What is menopause?
      • At what age does a woman typically reach menopause?
      • What conditions can affect the timing of menopause?
      • What are the symptoms of menopause?
      • What are the complications and effects of menopause on chronic medical conditions?
      • Are hormone levels or other blood tests helpful in detecting menopause?
      • What are the treatment options for the symptoms of menopause?
      • Hormone therapy for menopause
      • Other medical therapies for menopause
      • Alternative therapies for menopause
      • Non-hormone therapies for menopause
      • Lifestyle factors in managing menopause symptoms
    • Pinworms Pinworm infection is an intestinal infection caused by a pinworm, seatworm, or threadworm. Female pinworms leave the intestine...learn more »
      In This Article
      Pinworms Article
      • Pinworms facts
      • What is pinworm infection?
      • Who is at risk for getting pinworms?
      • Pinworms in children
      • Pinworms in adults
      • What do pinworms look like (pinworm pictures)?
      • What is the lifecycle of pinworms?
      • How is pinworm infection spread?
      • What are the symptoms of pinworms?
      • How is pinworm infection diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment of pinworms; is there a home treatment?
      • What are the consequences of untreated pinworm infections?
      • How are pinworm infections prevented?
    • Psoriasis Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition that may cause large plaques of red, raised skin, flakes of dry skin, and skin scales....learn more »
    • Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Women (STDs) Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are infections that are transmitted during any type of sexual exposure, including...learn more »
      In This Article
      Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Women (STDs) Article
      • What are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs, formerly referred to as sexually transmitted infections or STIs)?
      • Gonorrhea
      • Chlamydia
      • Syphilis
      • Genital Herpes
      • Human Papillomaviruses (HPVs) and Genital Warts
      • Chancroid
      • Ectoparasitic Infections
      • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
      • Hepatitis B
      • Hepatitis C
      • Conclusions
    • Trichomoniasis (Vaginal Infection) Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a parasite passed from person to person. Trichomoniasis can be...learn more »
      In This Article
      Trichomoniasis (Vaginal Infection) Article
      • Trichomoniasis facts*
      • What is trichomoniasis and how do you get it?
      • What are the symptoms of trichomoniasis?
      • Is there a test for trichomoniasis?
      • How is trichomoniasis treated?
      • What happens if I don't get treated?
      • Should I tell my partner if I have trichomoniasis?
      • Does trichomoniasis cause problems during pregnancy?
      • How is trichomoniasis prevented?
    • Vaginitis Vaginitis refers to inflammation of the vagina. Vaginitis can be caused by infections, menopause, or poor hygiene. Symptoms of...learn more »
      In This Article
      Vaginitis Article
      • Vaginitis facts
      • What is vaginitis?
      • What causes vaginitis?
      • What are the risk factors for vaginitis?
      • What are the symptoms of vaginitis?
      • How is vaginitis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for vaginitis?
      • Medications to treat vaginitis
      • Can vaginitis be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis for vaginitis?
    • Yeast Infection (in Women and Men) Vaginal yeast infections in women are caused by an organism called Candida albicans. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection...learn more »
      In This Article
      Yeast Infection (in Women and Men) Article
      • Vaginal yeast infection facts
      • What is a vaginal yeast infection?
      • What causes a vaginal yeast infection?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection?
      • How is a vaginal yeast infection diagnosed?
      • Are there home remedies to treat a vaginal yeast infection?
      • What over-the-counter medications are available to treat a vaginal yeast infection?
      • When are oral prescription medications used to treat a vaginal yeast infection?
      • Can a man get a yeast infection from his sexual partner?
      • What are the symptoms of a yeast infection in men?
      • What is the treatment for yeast infection in men?
      • How can vaginal yeast infections be prevented?
      • How can a man protect himself from contracting a yeast infection from his partner?
Other Causes of Vaginal Itching
  • Chemical Irritants
  • Perimenopause
Examples of Medications for Vaginal Itching



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