1. Why does vaginal itching occur?
Vaginal itching is a bothersome symptom that often occurs due to infections, irritating substances or menopause (the stage when women stop having periods). Sexually transmitted diseases, certain skin disorders, stress and some medications can also cause vaginal itching.
2. What are the therapies for the treatment of vaginal itching?
The treatment for vaginal itching depends on the cause. It may include topical antibacterial or antifungal creams, steroid creams, oral antibiotics, antifungals or antivirals. Other options include oestrogen cream or tablets (for menopause), antihistamines (for allergies), vaginal moisturisers and water-based lubricants.
3. Is vaginal itching a sign of infection?
Vaginal itching can be a sign of infection. Besides the itching, vaginal infections may also cause unusual vaginal discharge; vaginal burning and pain; redness, swelling or blisters in the genital area; vaginal bleeding; discomfort when urinating; and pain during sexual intercourse.
4. What are the complications associated with vaginal itching?
Vaginal itching is usually harmless. However, if the itching is set off by an infection and is left untreated, it can lead to sexual dysfunction, pelvic inflammatory disease that can harm the reproductive organs and cause infertility, pregnancy-related complications, recurrent infections and an increased risk of getting other infections such as HIV.
5. What are the self-care measures for the management of vaginal itching?
Soaking in oatmeal, apple cider vinegar or baking soda baths can reduce itching. Using a cool compress can provide relief. Avoid scented pads or toilet paper, creams, feminine sprays and bubble baths. Avoid scratching. Use an unscented soap and warm water to clean the vagina and pat dry. Wear cotton underwear. Probiotic supplements and foods such as yoghurt can help maintain vaginal health.