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Itching in the vagina

 After menstruation, during pregnancy or menopause, a woman may complain of itching in the vagina. It may be accompanied by unusual discharge, burning and other symptoms. Why does it occur and is it always associated with any disease of the genitourinary system?

Itching in the vaginal area is one of the most common delicate problems with which women turn to a gynecologist. This non-specific symptom can indicate various diseases and conditions, from completely harmless vaginosis to genital herpes or urethritis.

How to recognize the disease and get rid of the unpleasant sensation on your own? Are the antifungal suppositories and pills that many women prescribe themselves as soon as they feel vaginal itching always effective?

When does vaginal itching occur?

The main mechanism of occurrence is a change in the microflora of the vagina: “bad” bacteria defeat the “good” ones and turn everything upside down. It itches, hurts, there is an unpleasant smell or unusual discharge.

But what are the reasons? Why suddenly lactobacilli, always standing behind us as a mountain, give in to fungi, viruses or pathogenic bacteria. The reason for this may be hormonal changes, completely natural for different periods of a woman's life.

During pregnancy

On the one hand, during gestation, the body turns on an additional protective mechanism against ascending sexual infections. The number of connective and muscular tissues of the vagina increases, glycogen is deposited in the stratified squamous epithelium - a carbohydrate that creates comfortable conditions for lactobacilli. The lactic acid they secrete keeps the vagina acid.

But on the other hand, it is during this period that the body's immune defenses are most vulnerable. Any stress or even SARS disrupts the microflora of the vagina. The most common causes of severe itching during this period are thrush and bacterial vaginosis. In the first case, lactobacilli replaced fungi of the genus Candida, in the second - Gardnerella bacteria.

Symptoms are similar - itching in the vagina, burning, white discharge. But the methods of treatment do not coincide due to the fact that the pathogens are different in nature. Therefore, it is not necessary to take popular remedies against thrush immediately after the appearance of unpleasant symptoms. Contact your gynecologist and take a microscopic smear test.

During the menopause

Vulvar itching, vaginal dryness, and pain during intercourse occur during menopause because estrogen, the female sex hormone, naturally decreases at this time. Gradually, their deficiency can lead to serious urogenital disorders: frequent cystitis, urinary incontinence, atrophic cystourethritis. But thanks to hormone replacement therapy, these complications can be easily avoided and significantly improve the quality of life.

Before and after menstruation

Itching near the vagina associated with the period of menstruation may be due to personal hygiene factors:

  • components of pads, tampons, and detergents can cause an allergic reaction and discomfort in the genital area;
  • insufficient or excessive intimate hygiene adversely affects the microflora of the vagina;
  • prolonged wearing of synthetic underwear impedes air circulation and creates a favorable environment for pathogenic microflora.

The immune system weakens during menstruation, so at this time the symptoms of chronic conditions may worsen, the signs of ureaplasmosis and mycoplasmosis are more pronounced.

Itching in the vagina

More serious disorders may be indicated by itching in the vagina after or during physical intimacy, as well as urination. Most often it is a symptom of infectious diseases.

Itching after intercourse

Its "harmless" cause may be an allergic reaction to the components of a condom or lubricant. However, most often it is caused by sexually transmitted infections: chlamydia , genital herpes , trichomoniasis, gonorrhea. They are dangerous because they lead to inflammation of the fallopian tubes and appendages, endometritis and infertility. Diagnosis and antibiotic treatment is necessary for both partners. And until the tests become “clean”, you should refrain from sexual relations.

When urinating

Itching in the vagina while going to the toilet can occur due to the STDs listed above, as well as due to diseases of the genitourinary system: urethritis, cystitis, or urolithiasis. But in this case, in addition to itching, a woman will notice other accompanying symptoms:

  • frequent urge to go to the toilet;
  • pain during urination;
  • pain in the lower abdomen and lower back;
  • cloudy urine, possibly with blood impurities;
  • increase in body temperature.

If not only itches - accompanying symptoms

Itching in the vagina rarely occurs on its own, more often the patient experiences a range of various unpleasant sensations. Report them to your doctor so that he can make the most complete clinical picture and correctly diagnose. Since it is the combination of signs that makes it possible to judge the disease and understand how to treat itching in the vagina.

The nature of the dischargeSmellOther symptoms
CandidiasisWhite, abundant, curdledLacticBurning, swelling of the mucosa and vulva, pain during intercourse.
VaginosisWatery, white or grey.The smell of fish, worse after intercourse and before menstruation.Rarely - pain after intercourse and when urinating.
GardnerelleGrey, green or white dischargeFishRedness of the vaginal mucosa, pain in the lower abdomen
ChlamydiaMucous, mucopurulent, with a yellowish tingeUnpleasant, putridPain in the lower abdomen, aggravated before menstruation, as well as intermenstrual bleeding
Genital herpesNo specific releasesMissingUlcers and erosions in the genital area, swelling and burning, general fever.
TrichomoniasisFoamy, yellowish greenNone or littleDryness and burning after intercourse.
UrethritisMucopurulent or purulentUnpleasantDiscomfort when urinating, frequent urination

If you are concerned about itching in the vaginal area and other unpleasant symptoms, do not delay contacting a doctor. At the Women's Medical Center, you can take tests and consult with a gynecologist at a convenient time for you.