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.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
STD Diagnosis, Images, Symptoms, Treatment
Learn about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including symptoms, signs, diagnosis, and treatment options. Get more...
STD Quiz: Symptoms, Testing & List
There are more sexually transmitted diseases than just the ones you've heard of. Find out what you've been missing with the STD...
Yeast Infection Quiz: Symptoms & Treatment
How much do you know about vaginal yeast infections? Learn the causes, symptoms, and treatments of a yeast infection with the...
Causes of Vaginal Itching
Bacterial vaginosis is an abnormal vaginal condition with signs and symptoms of vaginal discharge, vaginal odor, and...
Chlamydia in Women (Symptoms and Cures)
Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the U.S. Signs and symptoms of chlamydia, a bacterial infection,...
Genital Herpes in Women (Symptoms, Signs, Treatment)
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Symptoms of genital herpes...
Genital Warts in Women (HPV) Pictures, Symptoms, Signs, and Treatment
Genital warts is a sexually transmitted infection (STI, STD) caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). It is the most common STD...
Gonorrhea In Women
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection transmitted during sexual contact. In women, symptoms include a yellow vaginal discharge,...
Is a Yeast Infection Contagious?
Yeast are a fungi that has many types. A type of yeast that can cause infection in humans is called Candida. Candida can infect...
Itch (Itching or Pruritus)
Itching can be a common problem. Itches can be localized or generalized. There are many causes of itching to include: infection...
Menopause is the time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop, also called the "change of life." Menopause...
Pinworms (Infection in Children and Adults, Enterobiasis)
Pinworm infection is an intestinal infection caused by a pinworm, seatworm, or threadworm. Female pinworms leave the intestine...
Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition that may cause large plaques of red, raised skin, flakes of dry skin, and skin scales....
Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Women (STD)
Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are infections that are transmitted during any type of sexual exposure, including...
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a parasite passed from person to person. Trichomoniasis can be...
Vaginitis refers to inflammation of the vagina. Vaginitis can be caused by infections, menopause, or poor hygiene. Symptoms of...
Vulvodynia (Vaginal Pain)
Vulvodynia or vaginal pain, genital pain is a condition in which women have chronic vulvar pain with no known cause. There are...
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...
Other Causes of Vaginal Itching
- Chemical Irritants
Examples of Medications for Vaginal Itching
- clotrimazole, Lotrimin AF, Gyne-Lotrimin, Alevazol, Desenex, Pro-Ex Antifungal
- Diflucan (fluconazole)
- Metronidazole: Topical (Metrogel, Metrocream, Metrogel Vaginal, and Others)
- miconazole, Monistat, M-Zole, Micatin
- nystatin (oral tablet and capsule)
- pramoxine (Itch-X, PrameGel, Orax, Sarna Sensitive, and Others)
- terconazole, Terazol, Zazole
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter