Tuesday, January 31, 2017

7 Common Reasons Your Vagina Is Itchy Beyond Belief

Though it may not be easy to talk about, vaginal itching can be a major annoyance. In some cases, vaginal itching can be a symptom of a more serious issue. What causes this itch? As a part of Women's Health Awareness, here are 7 common reasons:

1. Bacterial Vaginosis- The most common reason for vaginal itching. It is caused by an imbalance in healthy bacteria and a change in vaginal pH, resulting in an increased vaginal discharge that often smells like fish. The discharge is usally while or gray in color, and burning with urination may occur. According to the CDC, 30% of those between the ages of 14 and 49 are affected in the United States.

2. Yeast Infections- Similiar to bacterial vaginosis, a yeast infection is the result of an abnormal pH. This can occur at random or following antibiotic use, sex, stress, or a change in diet. Itchiness and burning are common symptoms. A curdled, white, or thick discharge is also common. Yeast infections are fungal infections, due to any type of Candida (a type of yeast).

3. Contact Dermatitis- This is a skin irritation caused by allergies or irritants in certain products, like perfumes or the additives (including the ones in condoms and lubricants). Aside from itching, you may notice redness, swelling, and skin thickening.

4. Eczema or Psoriasis- These genetic skin disorders can cause redness, itching, and a patchy or rash-like appearance. Also known as dermatitis, it is unknown what causes eczema, though this skin inflammation is believed to be caused by an interaction between the immune system and the skin.  Psoriasis is similar to eczema and displays itself by skin lesions with red, scaly patches, papules, and plaques.

5. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)- Abstinence is the best method to avoid contracting an STD, but it is important to practice safe sex if you chose to engage in sexual behavior.  Chlamydia, Herpes, Trichomoniasis, and Gonorrhea can all infections that can cause itching, which can later progress to pain and burning.

6. Lichen sclerosus- This disease has an unknown cause, but results in white patches on the skin. This can scarring on and around genital skin. There are several risk factors, including autoimmune diseases, infections, and genetic predisposition. It might be associated with thyroid disease.

7. Hormones-When hormone levels fluctuate (like during a period, pregnancy, menopause, or birth control), one can experience vaginal itching. Dryness is one indicator to blame for pain. There are many products, particularly topical creams, that a doctor can prescribe to treat this type of itching.

If you're feeling an itch, do not hesistate to consult your physician today.

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