One moment, you’re living your best life, and the next, you’re searching up home remedies for itching in private parts: female.
Curse you, vaginal itching!
It could be that the outer part of your vaginal area (the vulva) is itching, or it could be the inside part (the vagina itself).
That’s why you may have heard it referred to as vulvovaginal itching.
Its scientific name? Vulvar pruritus.
But by any name it feels equally itchy — and finding relief is a matter of urgency.
Breathe. We’ve got you covered.
In this article: 📝
- Causes of vaginal itching
- How to stop vaginal itching
- What are home remedies for vaginal itching?
- Preventing vaginal itch
Causes of vaginal itching
To soothe vaginal itching, the first port of call is to find out why it has started.
There are a few different reasons why your vagina could be itching.
In many cases, itching may be caused by an infection that requires treatment from a healthcare professional.
So finding natural remedies for vaginal itching is not always effective.
If you’re struggling with your symptoms, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor so you can get to the root cause.
The sooner you can figure that out, the sooner you can find relief.
Here are some possibilities:
Bacterial vaginosis (BV)
BV is an overgrowth of bacteria that causes this infection in the vagina.
Our vaginas have an ecosystem of bacteria in them.
When all is peaceful in the land, there’s a balance between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria.
But sometimes, there’s an overgrowth of certain bacteria, resulting in inflammation.
Symptoms include a white or gray discharge, pain, itching or burning, and a strong fishy odor.
This fungal infection can cause a sometimes intense itch.
It can also cause redness and swelling, a rash, and a thick, white, odorless discharge.
Experts estimate that about 75% of women will experience at least one symptomatic yeast infection a year.
Cytolytic vaginosis (CV)
Like BV, CV is caused by an overgrowth of a kind of bacteria.
But that’s where the similarities end.
Bacterial (Lactobacillus overgrowth) build-up from CV spurs an excess of lactic acid, which causes the lining of the vagina to break down.
Because it’s less common than BV and yeast infections, it is often misdiagnosed.
Gonorrhea, chlamydia, and a parasitic infection called trichomoniasis (or trich) can all be at the root of an itch.
In the time leading up to menopause (perimenopause), your estrogen levels drop.
This shift can cause a range of symptoms, including vaginal dryness, which can lead to itching.
There are other reasons for declining estrogen levels, like thyroid issues and genetic conditions.
This skin condition has to do with the outer vulva rather than the inside of the vagina.
It can cause the skin around the vagina to become red, sore, and itchy.
Scented soaps, creams, and spermicides can all cause this reaction.
But it can also be the result of eczema.
More common in older adults, vulvar cancer can cause constant and sometimes severe itching, burning, and pain.
You may notice an open sore that doesn’t heal and unusual bleeding and discharge.
Because there is no one cause for vaginal itching, there’s no one treatment.
How to stop vaginal itching
So now we know the causes of that vaginal itch, how do we treat it?
Well, it depends on the cause, so if it’s…
- A bacterial infection: It might clear on its own. In some cases, you’ll need an antibiotic prescribed to you by your doctor.
- An STI: This will have to be treated based on type. Antibiotics and antivirals are the usual treatment option.
- A yeast infection: An antifungal medication taken for up to a week can do the trick.
- A result of vaginal dryness due to hormone changes, one option is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Speak to your doctor about estrogen creams, tablets, and rings. Lube is also a must-have if you’re having sex.
- CV: There is some evidence that specific treatments can help restore the balance. These include douching with a sodium bicarbonate solution and taking oral medication. But it’s very important to do this under the guidance of a healthcare professional so that it doesn’t get worse.
- A skin condition like vaginal dermatitis: It can usually be treated by keeping the area clean and dry, and applying anti-itch creams. If it’s an allergic reaction, an OTC antihistamine can help.
What are home remedies for vaginal itching?
Then there are also some home remedies that can help soothe the itch:
Nothing like a solid vaginal moisturizer to relieve itching.
Simply put, they help ease dryness by trapping and holding moisture in your delicate vaginal tissue.
Just make sure you pick one that’s scent-free and non-irritating.
Vitamin E oils
Using vitamin E oil to lubricate your vaginal area can help bring relief.
There’s a small batch of evidence to support using oatmeal to treat dry and irritated skin.
There isn’t much research to confirm its use for vaginal itchiness specifically—but it does show promise.
However, since the research is still limited we would suggest using it on or around your vagina.
Luke warm water baths
Sounds soothing, no?
Better yet, you can opt for a Sitz Bath by keeping the water level just low to soak your perineal, anal, and genital area.
It’s even been known to aid postpartum recovery—no salts necessary (unless recommended).
A great option for helping to reduce inflammation.
Simply wet a cloth with cold water, wring it out, and use it against your skin.
Another option is to wrap some ice cubes in a cloth and gently apply it to the area.
Preventing vaginal itch
Here are our top tips for cleaning your vagina and keeping vaginal itch at bay:
- Steer clear of douching as this can upset the bacterial balance in your vagina.
- Avoid irritants like perfumed soaps, bubble baths, and detergents.
- Pat, rather than rub your vaginal area dry.
- Opt for cotton underwear.
- Wipe from front to back.
- Use barrier methods of contraception like condoms.
- Embrace the power of lube.
- Clean sex toys, and if you’re already itching, it might be best to wait.
- Choose loose-fitting clothes while you’re experiencing the itch.
- Some people find it useful to use pads instead of tampons. We love the super-thin, super-absorbent, organic bamboo pads by Daye, give them a go.
And don’t feel like you’re alone in this.
It’s more common than you might think.
We’re having the conversation.
Hope you feel better soon.