One of the most common sexual health problems that women face is vaginal dryness and itching. Burning or pricking sensation or pins and needle sensation accompanied with itching is a very common complaint in females of all age group and a large fraction feel shy of it in reporting. It's better to consult your health care provider at the earliest than piling up the problem.
Queries which come in minds of patients are-
1) What could be reason of itching and Burning ?
2) Has my periods anything to do with it ?
3) Will it affect my fertility in future ?
4) How it can be prevented ?
5) How it can be treated ?
Cause can be organic or inorganic which may act as irritant or allergen or can be an infective agent causing inflammation changes locally and releasing chemicals which triggers itch sensation. This happens more so in humid climates and in lack of air circulation
1. Candida Infection - Yeast, bacterial vaginosis. Patient often gives history of smelly discharge from vagina.
2. Urinary infection - may present with burning and frequent micturition.
3. Other infections like - Chlamydia, Herpes, Genital warts, STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases).
5. Sexual encounters with multiple partners
6. Antibiotic resistance or drug interactions as by mixing different ones
7. Menopause or breast feeding
8. Immune disorders
9. Diabetes mellitus
10. Chemical irritants- A number of chemical substances, including creams, condoms, douches (can alter PH of vagina destroying useful bacteria causing proliferation of harmful ones), contraceptive foams, laundry detergents, soaps, scented toilet paper, and fabric softeners can irritate the vagina and vulva.
11. Skin disorders like Lichen sclerosis
12. Sexual abuse especially in young girls
13. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
How to prevent vaginal burning and itching?
Prevention is better than cure. Here are a few tips for preventing and treating vaginal irritation at home:
1. Avoid scented pads or toilet paper, creams, bubble bath, feminine sprays, and douches.
2. Use water and a plain, unscented soap to regularly clean your external genital area. But don't wash more than once a day. Doing so can increase dryness.
3. Always wipe from front to back after having motion.
4. Wear cotton panties (no synthetic fabrics), and change your underwear every day.
5. Do not douche.
6. Keep pubic hairs trimmed. Excessive growth with add on sweating and lack of hygiene can invite an infection.
7. Change the diapers of young girls regularly.
8. Use condoms during sexual intercourse to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
9. For menopausal women, your doctor may advise you certain hormonal remedies.
10. Don't scratch as you can further irritate the area.
Affect on future fertility
If its infection like STDs, then it may impact your genital organs and fallopian tubes so impairing chances for natural pregnancy may occur.
In conclusion, don’t let this problem lower the quality of your life; seek professional medical help for timely and right treatment.