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Itchy Vagina and The Causes of Vaginal Discharge

Updated on August 22, 2010

An itchy vagina is probably more common than you might think, and the itch may be accompanied by a vaginal discharge that gives a clue to the cause of the itch.


No one likes to visit their doctor or nurse with intimate problems such as these, and people often leave well alone and hope that things will go away, only asking for help when the itch or discharge becomes unbearable, but your health care team has seen it all before and isn’t fazed by an itchy muff or two.


 There are several causes for an itchy discharging vagina, ranging from infection to allergy, so it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis, and therefore the right treatment.  Different vaginal discharges (with or without itch) point towards different problems:

Bacterial Vaginosis

 This causes a thin, white or greyish smooth discharge that coats the vaginal walls, and is the most common infectious cause of vaginal discharge.  The discharge is usually copious (lots of it) and smells fishy.  It doesn’t usually cause soreness or an itchy vagina.  The smell often appears worse during sex or during a woman’s period.  The cause is an increase in anaerobic bacteria (those that don’t need oxygen to survive) that overwhelm the healthy vaginal bacteria.  Your doctor or nurse should confirm this by taking a swab, and then may give antibiotics.


 This is a less common cause of an itchy vagina, with discharge; however, around half of the women who have the infection don’t know they have it.  In this case, the discharge is yellow-green and frothy and the vagina and vulva may be sore and itchy.  The cervix takes on a bright red ‘strawberry’ appearance, although you are unlikely to know this unless you are very clever with mirrors, particularly double jointed, or have a very obliging partner.  Your doctor or nurse should take a swab from high in the vagina and treat both you and your partner, as the disease is spread sexually

Itchy vagina and the Causes of Vaginal Discharge


This infection is much more common in young people, and many women do not know that they have it, however, symptoms could include a pus-filled discharge, pain on peeing, spotting after sex or between periods.  When taking a pap smear, the nurse may notice some bleeding.  Chlamydia is confirmed by taking a swab from the opening of the cervix, or by offering the person a kit to swab the vagina herself.  All sexual partners will need to be traced and treated with antibiotics if possible, as chlamydia can go on to cause pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in women.



Candida causes a thick, white, curdy discharge, often with itchy, sore vagina. The vagina may become red, split or swollen, and there may be pain on peeing or during sex. Many women treat themselves with over the counter medication, but some seek treatment from their doctor. Around 75% of women report having an itchy vagina due to thrush at some point and around 50% will have more than one episode. If episodes are severe or frequent, it may be worth treating both partners

Other causes

Other causes of itchy vagina include:

Allergy to soaps, washing powders, condoms, lubes etc

Pinworm infestation from the rectum

Dermatophyte infection

Foreign body, the most common of which is forgotten/lost tampon

Strep or staph (skin bacteria) infection



 It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment if you have an itchy vagina with discharge, but there are some things you can do for yourself:

Use gentle soap, or no soap when washing

Wear natural fiber panties, such as cotton

Protect yourself when having sex by using a condom or dental dam

Let the air circulate, at least at night in bed.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      This kind of game gives a real experience of building a farm and planting trees. fbdkaeekagbf

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      An absolute correct lot of information on itchy vagina, you certainly know what the problems are and to the point.

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      6 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thank You! People tell me it has helped them.

    • Aiden  Hill profile image

      Aiden Hill 

      6 years ago from San Diego, CA

      I don't know how I got here, but good information. Very informative.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very good info. I just recently got bumps down there and they become very itchy :( idk what to do im kinda scared to go to the doc so im asking do anyone on here kno what i can do about this problem here at home?

    • profile image

      blu j 

      6 years ago

      I have question I'm really itchy but have no discharge or bad odor what could it be

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I just want to ask if is there any possibilities that we could still have a baby? Because I'm afraid that I couldn't have a baby.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Does this make less chance of a person to get pregnant???

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi, i have the same problem, but i cant afford to go to the doctor, its nt 3 days & this thing is itchy & painfull.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      thank you so much for this well set up information..... i was diagnised with some urinart track infection, by than my vagina was itch at times and sometimes i scratch it soo much that it becomes painful.... than i was prescribed with nitrofurantoin if i am spelling it correctly, just to loose the pill because it made me dizzy and week.... but now i have noticed that i am experiencing vaginal discharges which is smelly.... i am however too ashamed to see a doctor as i only go to public hospitals.....

      atleast i got motivated to go ill try to cee a doctor this week

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow that's very helpful thank you indeed! I have been going throw candida for more then 7 months now and now it's gone real worse that I have to stop doing whatever I'm doing because it's so itchy :-( so you think I should just go see a doctor? And plus my period haven't been regular anymore last time I had it 3 months late and now it's been 2 months and I still haunt got it yet And I am not sexual active so I'm not sure what's happening with my body

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 

      7 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Great hub! a very informative article...thank you.

    • profile image


      7 years ago from TH

      Thank you for your sharing

    • profile image

      Itchy Vagina 

      7 years ago

      Most itchy vagina conditions are a sign of either hormonal imbalance or infection. If there are discharges especially pus, then it is an infection which may be due to STD or compromised immune system.

    • fadibody profile image


      7 years ago

      Great hub! Very informative and very well researched. Thanks for sharing.

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      7 years ago from Dartmoor

      Renes, yes it's quite possible to catch candida from your partner. Men need to ensure they pull back the foreskin and wash carefully to reduce candida numbers.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Dear Georgina, I just found this post and am very grateful to find real info without a sales pitch. I love the women for women feeling I get from reading the comments also.

      I do have a question though... is it really true that the reason I MIGHT keep getting candida (vaginally) is from my partner? I am so healthy, and he is too, but he eats a lot of sugar!! Thanks. Renes

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Hi smallperson - Diabetes causes sugar levels to rise in the blood and tissues. Bacteria and yeasts feed on the sugar and can cause infection and inflammation. Sugar in the tissues can also cause itching. Many women experience dryness and itching/soreness post menopause when oestrogen levels drop, so it could be a number of different things. you should make an appointment with your Dr or nurse.

    • smallperson profile image


      8 years ago from Seabrook,Texas

      Women with Diabetes II seem to have similar problems with itching and dryness? Why?

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thanks ruperi - you go girl.

    • ruperi profile image


      8 years ago from India

      Hi Georgina, your subject selection is awesome. I never dare to touch these subjects. Hey GOD give me Power, to come out from bud.

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thanks Doreen. It's such a common problem, but one that women feel bad about.

    • Doreen Beech profile image

      Doreen Beech 

      8 years ago from London

      Great Hub! Your Information is very helpful.

      Thank you

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thanks ladyjane - always keen to share the medical info

    • ladyjane1 profile image


      8 years ago from Texas

      Very informative hub. Thanks for sharing this. Cheers.

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thanks JannyC. I'm all for women being empowered, and part of that is to understand your body and what to do when it goes wrong.

    • JannyC profile image


      8 years ago

      Excellent topic. Women should be more aware of their bodies and articles like these help to hopefully get themselves checked out and treated.

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thanks all, as a nurse I see lots of women with these sorts of problems. Yep, Candida is a real pain (literally for some)and I'm a big fan of live yoghurt and probiotics too.

    • She-rah profile image


      8 years ago from Springfield, IL

      Great hub! I suffered systemic candida from my autoimmunity, years ago. EVERY MONTH I had the horrible vaginal symptoms and the infection became resistant to OTC and most prescription treatments. They even prescribed 2 full weeks of Diflucan and still never cleared it. Had to avoid sugar and carbs completely for a period of time. It's a nasty infection, once systemic/intestinal and can affect everything from brain function to weight problems, tons of symptoms. Probiotics, Probiotics, and more probiotics was my cure along with a few natural supplements like coconut oil and oil of oregano. Wow, I'm so glad I'm past that phase! It was horrible. Many women don't know that simply avoiding sugar,eating lots of yogurt, and taking probiotics regularly will prevent and cure most itchy vaginal problems like vaginosis and candida. Thanks for the info here!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for an informative read.

    • HealthyHanna profile image


      8 years ago from Utah

      Diagonising the problem is half the battle. If you are the one with the problem, you are the only one who can figure out what it is caused from...and this may take a little trial and error to figure it out. But, don't think just because your sister has candidia you do, but don't rule it out either.

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      8 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Thank you for a well organized and well researched hub. Candida is the worse...thanks again for sharing...

    • jite profile image


      8 years ago from delhi

      informative hub


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