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Vaginal itching

Contents of this page:


Female reproductive anatomy
Female reproductive anatomy
Causes of vaginal itching
Causes of vaginal itching

Alternative Names    Return to top

Pruritus vulvae; Itching - vaginal area; Vulvar itching

Definition    Return to top

Vaginal itching is a tingling or uneasy irritation of the skin of the vagina and the surrounding area (vulva). The itching may cause a desire to scratch the affected area.

Causes    Return to top

Common causes of vaginal itching include:

Other possible, but less common, causes of vaginal or vulvar itching include:

Home Care    Return to top

To prevent and treat vaginal itching:

It is also helpful to:

If you know that you have a yeast infection because your symptoms are exactly the same as those you've had in the past, try over-the-counter creams or vaginal suppositories.

Yeast infections are not considered sexually transmitted. However, sometimes men also develop itching and redness following sexual contact. If this is the case, or you get recurrent infections for unclear reasons, both you and your partner may require treatment. Talk to your doctor.

For itching related to menopause, your doctor may consider estrogen cream or tablets to insert vaginally.

Teach children to resist and report any attempted sexual contact by another person. Don't try to remove any foreign object from a child's vagina. Take the child to a doctor right away for removal.

When to Contact a Medical Professional    Return to top

Call your doctor right away if:

Call your doctor if:

What to Expect at Your Office Visit    Return to top

Your doctor will examine you, including doing a pelvic exam, and ask questions to help diagnose the cause of your vaginal itching. These questions may include:

Diagnostic tests that may be performed include:

The health care provider may prescribe drugs, such as:

References    Return to top

Clark LR, Atendido M. Group B streptococcal vaginitis in postpubertal adolescent girls. J Adolesc Health. 2005;36(5):437-440.

Edwards L. The diagnosis and treatment of infectious vaginitis. Dermatol Ther. 2004;17(1):102-110.

Reid G, Bruce AW. Urogenital infections in women: can probiotics help? Postgrad Med J. 2003;79:428-432.

Katz VL, Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier; 2007.

Update Date: 11/9/2007

Updated by: Peter Chen, M.D., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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