Vaginal itching: a common problem of the young and old

A woman smilesIf you are experiencing itching or irritation at your private parts, your body is trying to tell you something.

Itching of the vulva and vagina are one of the common complaints in many women, varying from as young as 5 years old to some who are more than 60 years old. It can be really disturbing and stressful when it persists for numerous days. Severe itching can lead to pain, ugly scratch marks and darkening of the vulval skin.

Vulva Itching

Let us start from the vulva. Persistent itching of this site may be caused by infection, allergy, or a reason as simple as poor personal hygiene.The latter is common in most children, the poor, the elderly and from individuals who may be suffering from psychological illness. In short, personal hygiene is poor when one is unable to look after themselves well.

Itching can also appear when one’s private areas are warm and moist, which is a favourable condition for bacterial and fungal growth.

In the elderly, vulval and vaginal itching can be due to dryness of the skin and vaginal lining. This is a normal condition of aging caused by low level of female hormones. But sometimes, it may be caused by cancer.

Common causes are infections, allergies and poor hygiene

lichen sclerosis

Skin Conditions and Allergies

Skin diseases and allergies are not to be missed. Eczema may spread to the private parts and cause irritation. Other skin conditions such as psoriasis, lichen simplex chronicus or lichen sclerosus may also be considered.

candida

Infections

In younger women who are more likely to be sexually active, infections which are mainly sexually transmitted is a more probable cause of vaginal itching. Infections such as genital warts, herpes, trichomoniasis, yeast infections (candida) and bacterial vaginosis are some causes to be named.

Click here for Info on STD Symptoms in Women

Pubic lice (also called ‘crabs’) may also be included.

Scabies and tinea cruris (a fungal infection also known as ‘ringworm’) are also some underlying causes. Though, they are not limited to the private parts. They cause itching of various parts of the body including the private parts. They are not transmitted by sexual contact, but rather normal contact with close people such as relatives and friends.

Click here for details on STD Screening for Women

Tips, Tricks and Treatments

You may be confused to what is the cause of the itching and irritation you are experiencing. You could drop by the pharmacy and get some over-the-counter medications first. However, if the itching is not better and it is driving you nuts, you may want to consult a doctor.

In the elderly or pregnant ladies where hormonal levels are most probably the main causes, baking soda baths and pastes can help.

Changes in hormonal levels causes increased pH of the vaginal lining which can cause itching. Sexual intercourse may help in these cases as male semen has a lower pH level which can then reduce the pH level of the vaginal lining.

Another tip is after defecating, it is better to wash and then wipe from front to back to avoid any bacteria from entering the vagina.

In general, always keep your private parts clean, dry and airy. Also, try and avoid wearing tight undergarments.

Be sure to see Our Doctors if your itching persists.

Most causes of vaginal itching are not serious, however, if your symptoms are persistent, you should see a doctor to rule out any possibilities of infection including STDs and also cancer.

If you are pregnant, always seek a doctor’s advice before trying out any over the counter remedies.

If you are not sure or worried about your vaginal itching, it is better to consult a doctor for further advice. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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For lady patients who prefer female doctors, we have 2 professional certified female Doctors to attend to your medical needs.

We have 4 locations conveniently located at Robertson Walk, Bencoolen Street, Novena and Scotts (Pacific Plaza).

Robertson Walk            6238 7810

Bencoolen Street          6884 4119

Novena                           63972095

Scotts                              66942348 (Opening April 2015)

All prices quoted below excludes prevailing GST

We are Open on Saturdays and Sundays.Click Here for Contact Details, Address and Opening Times.

Feel free to visit our clinics.We have Lady Doctors on standby.We are Open on Weekends.Contact us.Where to find us.Related topics.More on vaginal discharge.Vaginal bleeding.Candida (Yeast/vaginal thrush)Bacterial vaginosisTrichomoniasisChlamydiaGonorrhoeaIf you have any questions, visit our free online forum on sexual health, HIV and STDs.Dr (Ms) De SouzaMD (Russia), MMed (Obs&Gyn)

Consultation $20.00-80.00
Rapid test only $20.00
(not inclusive of test)
8am – 5pm $60.00
5pm – 9pm $80.00
STD screening
Standard HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B/C, Herpes Simplex Virus Type I and II $ 200.00
Male
Urethritis
Urine – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas, NSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Urine Culture, Candida $ 280.00
Female
Urethritis and Vaginitis
Vaginal Swab – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas PCR, Gardnerella PCR, Candida PCR, Group B StrepNSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Direct Microscopy, Candida, Vaginal swab culture $ 345.00
Comprehensive (Male) Blood – Syphilis, Hepatitis B/C, Herpes Simplex Virus Type I and IIUrine – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas, NSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Urine Culture, Candida $ 390.00
Comprehensive (Female) Blood – Syphilis, Hepatitis B/C, Herpes Simplex Virus Type I and IIVaginal Swab – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas PCR, Gardnerella PCR, Candida PCR, Group B StrepNSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Direct Microscopy, Candida, Vaginal swab culture $ 525.00
Individual STD Tests
Determine Syphilis test Rapid Syphilis Test $ 50.00
Determine Hepatitis B Test Rapid Hepatitis B Test $ 50.00
Herpes Simplex Virus PCR Herpes Simplex Virus Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test $ 190.00
Chlamydia and Gonoccocal PCR Chlamydia and Gonorrhea
Herpes Simplex Virus Type I IgG Antibody Herpes Type 1 $ 40.00
Herpes Simplex Virus Type II IgG Antibody Herpes Type 2 $ 40.00
Non-Specific Urethritis (NSU) Culture Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma $ 118.00
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HIV RNA/DNA Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test $600
Add $100 for expedited results
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PEP $2000 – $2200

676 Comments

  1. Me an my gf had oral sex not knowing she had carmax on she wentdown there, now i have a little irritation no chuncky discharge jus a little uncomfortable when i whipe myself only time it feel strange

  2. On January 29th I had sex again for the first time in months. On January 30th my vagina became itchy and irritated. when I checked my discharge it appeared to be cottage cheese like like a yeast infection. I am no stranger to yeast infections and I get them quite often, but I haven’t had one in a long time and was kind of scared that I got one right after having sex. I went ahead and started to treat myself for yeast infection January 30th. it’s now February 4th and since I started treatment I haven’t had any itching or irritating symptoms while taking the yeast infection cream. I was wondering is it possible that it could have been chlamydia or any other STD and if it was would it have gotten better or have gotten worse? someone once told me that they thought they had a yeast infection but it turns out that it was chlamydia and when they tried to treat themselves for the yeast infection the yeast infection cream actually burned when they put it on and in because they had chlamydia. I already have a doctors appointment set up so I’m going regardless but I was just trying to see what the odds of it being a cleared yeast infection when I go or if it was an STD.

    • Hi Shontia, it is more likely to be a yeast infection given your symptoms and it cleared after using yeast infection creams. However, please go ahead with your appointment and get tested as you can get STDs without having any symptoms.

  3. Will the itraconazole cause me to be bloated/fat? Is there any food or drinks I should avoid while taking it? And when I opened the pill, there’s actually smaller ‘beads’ in it, do I need to break open or just consume the whole thing?

  4. Hi doc, Ive been having vagina itch for a very long time, at the side of the walls and there’s swelling. I went for my check up, still waiting for the results currently. Have been given Itrconazole pill. I went to google about its sideeffects and etc, and I’m actually quite worried of the side effects. If just taking the pills for a few days will it cause any harm?

    • Itraconazole is a very safe medicine which I have prescribed countless times for my patients. It is really safe. As with all drugs, the drug companies will give you a double laundry list of possible side effects. That is their way of legally covering themselves. If you go by that, trust me, there is no medicine in this world you want to take. That is why doctors still have a job. We weight the risk and benefits of treatment.

      • Will the itraconazole cause me to be bloated/fat? Is there any food or drinks I should avoid while taking it? And when I opened the pill, there’s actually smaller ‘beads’ in it, do I need to break open or just consume the whole thing?

  5. Hello,
    I was diagnosed with genital herpes and I have had an outbreak which are Very painful but what bothers me Most is the vulva Chronic itching All the time. I have not found anything to subside the itching and now my vagina is wrinkled dark and ugly. Please help me find something either over the counter or prescribe to help with my issue.

    • First of all this site is not for medical consultations. So please see your doctor for treatment. Chronic Vulva itching can be caused by post-herpetic neuropathy. This is usually treated by a nerve membrane stabilizer like Gabapentin or Pre-Gabalin. Please talk to your doctor and discuss treatment options. You can ask him/her what he/she thinks of the usefulness of either of these medicines for you. I do not think the fact that your vagina looks “wrinkled dark and ugly” has anything to do with the herpes. There are vaginoplasty procedures that can fix this. Some by laser. Again you can discuss with your doctor if this treatment can benefit you or not.

  6. Sabrina B

    Hay Doc,
    I’m 15 and sexually active , I’m the only girl my boyfriend has had sex with since we’ve been together and I started to get this annoying itching on my private part and its really itches I can’t stop . Also I find this white/cream clumps of i don’t know

  7. Hi doctor,

    For the past two years I have experienced chronic vulval itching and burning. It began after a course of Macrobid to clear a UTI. My doctor at that time assumed I’m “sensitive” to bacteria and kept me on Macrobid for a YEAR. During that year she dodged my calls and refused to see me always stating she’s “over booked” or the office would be closed for vacation or my call simply wouldn’t be answered. All tests for yeast and STDs are negative. I have fibromyalgia and asked her once about vulvodynia and she basically laughed me out of the office saying that vulvodynia doesn’t exist.

    Through a lot of research I found that Macrobid shouldn’t be given to anyone with a chronic illness and carries a high risk of nerve damage. I am now under the care of a rheumatologist and new family doctor. The rheumatologist started me on Gabapentin which has helped my vulva pain somewhat.

    Last month I had a UTI and went on amoxicillin. My vulva burning increased and took weeks to resolve. I’m back on amoxicillin now for an ear infection and have the same issue. I also get little sores, like pimples, when I am on antibiotics on my vulva. My family doctor agreed they’re not STDs but didn’t have much advice to offer. I have the little sores again too. I’m married and have no history of STDs.

    I’ve been suffering with chronic vulva burning for two years now with no answers. Any ideas?

    • Some more information. The sores are not large or raised up or in clusters. They’re extremely small, like a poppyseed. They don’t ooze, blister or scab over. I’ve had them in the past, also while treating a UTI, and an organic almond oil ointment helped heal them. My doctor agreed they’re not STDs but didn’t have any thoughts past that. I still battle genital burning on and off nearly every day. I can get remissions for days, even weeks, but it never truly goes away.

      • Obviously a very complicated problem. It sounds to me very much like it is a skin reaction to the anti-biotics you are taking. You can conduct a little experiment. Next time you have the bumps and burning, try putting on a steroid cream (a strong one). The symptoms should resolve or at least calm down rather quickly. If it was an infection like an STD, it will get worse. Obviously this is not a long term treatment plan as chronic use of steroids will thin the skin and make things worse. For the skin, you can try soap free cleansers and good moisturizers. I have been told pure coconut oil works very well. As for the systemic side of things, well, stay away from antibiotics as much as you can. Try some high dose pro-biotics. Sometimes that works.

  8. Hi doc, I have a lump at the side of my vagina for more than 3 month, it hurt and is itchy. I am still a virgin. If I would to go to the clinic roughly how much is the cost?

    • It is probably a cyst. Our consult rates range from $35 to $80. This does not include medication, investigations (eg you might need an ultrasound) or any other treatment (eg removal of the cyst).

  9. Hi doc,I ask something about my vigina something grows I think 1month already andsometimes itche I dont know what kind of sick,can u hepl me,thanks

    • I’m sorry this forum is not for medical consultations. Please see your ObGyn.

  10. faith buyakane

    thanks at least
    i hav an idea i will visit da doctor coz am worried

  11. Hi doctor..
    I have this problem of vagina itch every month before 1 week of my menses. There’s white discharge coming together too. I am quite worried if it’s any illness or something. I had sex before. And are your charges high if I visit ur clinic ?

    • It sounds like a yeast infection. Charges as follows: Consultation $60 Tests for vaginal infections including all STDs $345 (all prices before GST).

  12. Gozie Ezenwa

    Dear Dr,
    I have been having itches around my private parts (Vagina) for a very long time now and its driving me nuts. Sometimes I see yellow discharge and I urinate regularly.
    Please doctor, Is there any drug I need to take to stop the itching? Help me because the problem is giving me sleepless night.

    • When you say you “urinate regularly” I assume you mean you urinate frequently. All your symptoms suggest that you have a vaginal infection. Before you know what medicine to take you need to find out what exactly you are infected with. For this, you must see your doctor and get some swab tests done. If you wish to see us you can use the contact form on the right to make an appointment.

  13. hi Doc,
    I am a 14 year old virgin and I have masturbated(not fingering). It hurts to pee sometimes and there is an odor, also it’s swollen. I use a fragranced body wash of that matters. Do you have any advice or could help me on this?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  2. STD Symptoms in Women | STD - […] here to learn about Contraception. Click here to learn about Vaginal Discharge. Click here to learn about Vaginal Itching …
  3. Women’s Health Clinic Singapore | Women's Health - […] here to learn about Contraception. Click here to learn about Vaginal Discharge. Click here to learn about Vaginal Itching …
  4. STD General Info | STD - […] 9. *Syphillis 10. Candidia 11. *Herpes simplex type I/II 12. Molluscum contagiosm 13. Crab lice 14. Scabies 15. Chancroid …

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