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Common Causes of Vaginal Itching

Updated on June 16, 2012

Despite all those silly commercials which imply otherwise, vaginal itching is not something most of us girls chat about over coffee. Nor is it something most mothers sit down and explain to their daughters; it’s just too embarrassing for most women to bring up, even if only with their gynecologists. Nevertheless, at some point in time, a woman is likely to experience some degree of internal or external vaginal itching, and it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the possible causes of vaginitis. Read on for the most common culprits behind feminine itching and / or burning.

Yeast Infections / Vaginal Thrush (Candida)

Most women are pre-programmed to automatically assume vaginal itching is the direct result of a yeast infection. And this may be true, but that isn’t always the case. If it is the case, please realize that your tampons may be the cause, and you may want to switch to Organic Tampons as they are free of chemical irritants which can lead to yeast infecitons. If over the counter treatments don't resolve your vaginal itching, or if it only resolves the itching and burning for a temporary period of time, your vaginal issues may be the result of something else, and you ought to schedule an appointment with your gynecologist to rule out one of the following infections. You may also want to see my article on Natural Yeast Infection Cures.

Bacterial Vaginosis

Gardnerella vaginalis causes this rather funky, foul smelling bacterial infection of the vagina. It’s not an STD, but it is more prevalent in women who are sexually active. That said, one can still be a virgin and acquire it, as it’s more or less simply an overgrowth of vaginal bacteria. BV doesn’t necessarily produce itching or burning sensations, but it could. The main hallmark of this vaginal infection is the accompanying fishy odor. This condition can be treated easily with a Metronidazole prescription from your gynecologist. To learn more, see my article on Bacterial Vaginosis.


Trichomoniasis is an itchy vaginal infection which is caused by a parasite. It's is spread by sexual contact, as well as possibly via contaminated clothing or towels. Vaginal itching and burning can present themselves within as few as 5 days of exposure and these symptoms can include frothy, awful smelling discharge that may be yellow-green in color. To stop vaginal itching from this infection, you'll medication prescribed by your gynecologist.

Vaginal dryness

Sometimes women simply don’t produce enough lubrication down there, and vaginal itching can be the result. This may happen at a particular time during your menstrual cycle, or may occur for other reasons. Purchasing a personal lubricant like K-Y Jelly may be all you need to alleviate this type of issue.

Allergic Dermatitis

Are you using scented tampons or scented toilet paper? Are you using intimate perfumes designed to make your vagina smell like something it’s not meant to smell like? Have you just changed your laundry detergent? Are you perhaps using too much laundry detergent? Are you maybe allergic to your new sheets? Have you altered your diet recently? There are many things which may lead to skin irritation, and the vaginal area is quite sensitive. If you’ve just started to experience vaginal itching or irritation, make sure something as innocent as a new bubble bath isn’t the cause.

Latex Allergies

I could have included this in the above section, but I don't want anyone to overlook it. If you've got a latex allergy, latex condoms can lead to a burning, itching sensation during or following intimacy. (The same goes for some spermicides.) This can also happen when you have a gynecological exam, as most doctors still use latex gloves. If you suspect this may be the cause of your vaginal itching or burning, try using Latex-Free Condoms and ask your physician to use polyurethane gloves.


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