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Vaginal Itching


The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Jun 2021| Content last modified Jun 2021
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What is vaginal itching?

Vaginal itching is when your vagina (birth canal) or the area outside the opening to the vagina (called your vulva) feels scratchy and itchy.

Most women have a little vaginal itching every once in a while that goes away on its own.

Vaginal itching is a problem when it doesn’t go away or keeps coming back. Vaginal itching can be serious if you also have:

What causes vaginal itching?

When should I see a doctor?

See a doctor right away if you have vaginal itching with pelvic pain or abnormal vaginal discharge. See a doctor when you can if your itching lasts more than a few days but you don't have pain or abnormal discharge.

What will happen when I go to the doctor?

Doctors will ask questions about your vaginal itching and any other symptoms.

Doctors typically do a pelvic exam. During a pelvic exam, your doctor looks inside your vagina, holding it open with a small instrument called a speculum. Doctors may use a cotton swab to take a sample of any vaginal discharge (fluid) for testing.

How do doctors treat vaginal itching?

They may also suggest you:

  • Keep your vulva as clean as possible

  • Put ice packs on your vulva

  • Soak in a warm bathtub

  • Stop using creams, powders, soaps, or other items that irritate your vulva

If your itching doesn't get better, doctors may suggest medicines (such as a corticosteroid cream).

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