Ask the doctor: What causes itching of a woman’s private parts?

Ask the doctor: What causes itching of a woman’s private parts?

Ask the doctor: What causes itching of a woman’s private parts?

Ask the doctor: What causes itching of a woman’s private parts?

You would be lucky if you are a woman and have never had your private parts itching at any one time in your life. Itching of private parts usually causes a lot of discomfort in a woman and once in a while you may see a lady scratching their private parts in public. On top of the discomfort, the condition also causes worry as the person wonders what’s wrong with their parts.

Itching of the private parts is itself not a disease but rather a sign of disease that could be occurring at that time in the lady. The cause of the disease that can manifest with itching can be different for both men and women and here we explore those causes that affect the women:

  • Vaginal candidiasis:This is an infection caused by a yeast(fungus) called candida albicans. Presence of this infection often causes severe itching of the private parts with a burning feeling. In this condition, the woman may also have a milky discharge from the vagina that is thick, white and curdlike; like spoilt milk. Occasionally your vagina may also get a bit swollen and you may feel some pain while having sex. Vaginal candidiasis is usually common in women who are pregnant, have diabetes or have HIV/AIDS and those who use antibiotics and birth control pills excessively. It also affects commonly women who are after their menopause. To keep away from candidiasis; avoid douching or using scented cosmetic products for your vagina, put on loose clothing and use cotton underwear.
  • bacterial vaginosis:this is a condition caused by an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina; in which there are more bad than good bacteria in that environment. A woman will have itching with a burning feeling or pain in and around the vagina. Occasionally, you may feeel pain while urinating and may have a vaginal discharge with a foul smelling fish-like odor. You can avoid this bacterial vaginosis by avoiding douching, limiting the number of sexual partners or by abstinence.
  • Trichomoniasis: This is a sexually transmitted disease(STD) that can also cause itching of the woman’s private parts.There could also be a foul smelling discharge sometimes with a fishy odor and you could also feel pain while urinating. The condition is common in older women than in younger women. Since it’s an STD; it can be avoided by being in a long term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and has negative STD results; or by using condoms correctly everytime you have sex. Abstinence can also be helpful.
  • Contact dermatitis: This is an itchy rash that you can acquire when an irritant substance is exposed to your private parts. The substance can be soap; cosmetic fragrances, jewelry, plants,etc. The rash can be red with a burning itchy feeling making you feel very uncomfortable. The labia could also swell and even get some small wounds. You can avoid this condition by being selective of the substances you expose to your private parts. Don’t just use any soap or cosmetic just because it looks good; read about its indications lest it affects you in this way.
  • Genital herpes: This is a sexually transmitted disease caused by HPV virus. In the affected woman; it can cause severe itching with a burning feeling around the vagina and even anal area, resulting in so much discomfort. It also comes with painful urinating and occasionally fever and headache, with some pain in the vagina. You can avoid this by staying in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has tested negative for STD results; using condoms correctly every time you have sex, or by abstaining.
  • Menopause: This refers to that period when a woman ceases to have menstrual periods due to age. It usually starts from about 45 years of age. During this period, vaginal walls thin out; and dry which often results in instances of itching or irritation. Such changes are due to reduced estrogen production in the woman. You could take some hormone pills to reduce these effects.
  • Lichen sclerosus: This condition causes white patches to form around the vulva of a woman, which are very itchy, with a burning feeling. These patches can even scar the vagina. This disease is of unknown cause but mostly affects older women 60 years and above. Factors that could predispose you to catching sclerosus are infections and genetic predisposition.

You can also read:painful menstrual periods and how to deal with them

In conclusion,there could be a number of other diseases that can cause itching of a woman’s private parts but the ones above are the commonest culprits. In any case, if you see signs and symptoms as explained above, please contact your doctor or reach out to our online African doctors here at for expert advice on these conditions. Our doctors are always ready to help. Reluctance to manage these conditions usually leads to disturbance of a woman’s sexual life and could also affect her general productivity.

About the author

Samuel Kagamba is a medical doctor,computer programmer and entrepreneur; very passionate about developing technologies to improve healthcare delivery in Africa.Off duty, he loves soccer and making new friends.Follow him on twitter
@samuelkagamba or email him at facebook account: Samuel Kagamba.

Samuel Kagamba – who has written posts on Aferdoc Blog.

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