To tell the truth “Itching” is a symptom that causes a lot of discomfort & “genital itching” is the worst of all, as it involves a very sensitive area. In case of females it can involve vagina (inner tube) and vulva ( the outside part- outer lips and clitoris).
What are the other possible symptoms?
- Burning sensation in the area.
- Redness in the skin surrounding it / skin changes specially on vulva.
- Discharge from vagina (may have a smell, change in consistency / colour.)
What could be possible causes?
- Irritants / allergy from use of perfumed products( washes, douches, talc, cream, soaps, condoms) or from shaving or waxing pubic hair.
- Bacterial vaginosis(BV) – a bacterial infection in vagina, there is discharge with fishy odour.
- Sexually transmitted infection – chlamydia, gonorrhoea, warts, herpes, etc.
- Yeast or thrush – a fungal infection usually due to reduced immunity, pregnancy, corticosteriod therapy, there is cottage cheese like discharge.
- Menopause – low oestrogen causes thinning of vaginal mucosa and vulval atrophy.
- Lichen sclerosis – rare vulval skin disorder presents with white patches on skin, common in post menopausal women.
- Eczema and psoriasis in the genital area.
- Vulval cancer- rare but there is itching accompanied by bleeding and pain.
When to see the doctor?
- Ulcers/ blisters/redness / swelling in genital area
- Foul smelling discharge / change in color & character of discharge.
- Discomfort during sex / passing urine.
- Itching persisting or recurring from time to time.
- Pain and fever as concurrent symptoms.
- If sexual partner also develops symptoms.
What changes can be made to prevent furthur episodes?
- Maintain good hygiene – gently cleanse the outer genital area with water(warm) regularly, don`t overclean.
- Avoid cleaning the vagina.
- Avoid perfume products – lotion, bubble bath, soaps, sprays etc.
- Wear clean cotton underwear & change it daily.
- Use condoms( unperfumed)
- Wipe from front to back.
- Avoid staying in wet clothes for long &keep the area dry.
- Avoid products that you are allergic to.
- Avoid excessive shaving & scratching.
Some of you may know from experience that genital itching can be bothersome and will affect quality of life if it is persistant or recurring. Need to see a doctor to get treated should be at the top of the list. Please follow simple list of measures that can prevent recurrence.
Dear readers there was a long gap between posts, but i will strive to bring interesting topics soon for you, thanks.