Is Vaginal Itching a Sign of an STD? 5 STDs That Can Make You Itch

Is Vaginal Itching a Sign of an STD? 5 STDs That Can Make You Itch

Vaginal itching has many different causes. In most cases, the sensation is common and can resolve on its own. But sometimes, it could indicate a more serious condition like an STD. In fact, persistent vaginal itching is one of the first signs that women notice when they have an STD. If you experience this symptom within 10 to 90 days after you’ve had sex, ask your doctor to get tested for STDs.

What STDs Cause Vaginal Itching?

1. Chlamydia

Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs in the US. It is caused by bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. Like most STDs, chlamydia usually has no symptoms. But if you do have symptoms, they may show up several weeks after you’re infected. Some of the most common symptoms of chlamydia include:

  • Painful intercourse
  • Pain or burning while peeing
  • Discharge from the penis, vagina or anus
  • Pain or swelling in the genital and anal region

For most women, chlamydia can cause itching or burning in or around the vagina. Some may also have pain in the belly or lower back or abnormal bleeding between periods or after vaginal sex.

Chlamydia can be treated easily with oral antibiotics. If you don’t treat it, the symptoms can get worse and even lead to infertility.

Chlamydia can cause vaginal itching

2. Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is the second most common STD in the US. It’s caused by the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), and sometimes by the herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1). Usually, HSV-1 causes oral herpes or cold sores.

Genital herpes is so common and it can be passed on by sexual contact. Most patients have no symptoms and spread the virus to others without knowing it. For most women, vaginal itching is the first noticeable symptom of genital herpes. It only occurs if an outbreak is present. And this sensation can go along with some other symptoms, like:

  • Redness and cracking skin around the genitals
  • Tingling, itching or burning around the genital or anal region
  • Small, painful blisters that break open and become open sores
  • Burning or painful urination
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Flu-like symptoms: fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes

Genital herpes is not curable. But the symptoms can be managed with treatment. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs to ease the pain and prevent an outbreak. ProsurX is one of the most common herpes treatments right now. Apply this cream 2-3 times daily and you can get rid of irritating symptoms quite soon.

Genital herpes can cause vaginal itching

3. Genital Warts

If you have vaginal itching along with abnormal bumps, genital warts could be to blame. The human papillomavirus (HPV) types 6 and 11 can cause genital warts. They rarely cause cervical cancer. HPV is contagious. The warts can spread by skin-to-skin contact, including oral, vaginal and anal sex.

Common signs and symptoms of genital warts in women include:

  • Tenderness, itching or burning in or around the vagina
  • Whitish or skin-colored bumps that grow on the vagina, cervix, vulva, or anus. They can resemble cauliflowers. Also, they can appear singly or are clustered in a group of multiple warts. Genital warts are not painful, but sometimes they can itch.
  • Discomfort or irritation at the location of the warts
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse

In men, genital warts can show up on the penis, scrotum, thigh, groin or anus.

No mediations can cure HPV. But you can remove genital warts with removal treatments. Topical creams include VidaroX, Aldara, Veregen, TCA or Condylox. You can also ask a doctor for surgeries such as excision, laser or loop electrosurgical excision (LEEP).

Genital warts can cause vaginal itching

4. Trichomoniasis

Vaginal itching. A foul-smelling discharge. Painful urination. These are common symptoms of trichomoniasis in women. The infection is caused by a parasite and can spread easily during sex. Men with trichomoniasis may have itching or irritation inside the penis. Also, they may have a burning sensation when urinating, or ejaculating and discharge from the penis.

Trichomoniasis can be cured with antibiotics. Avoid sexual intercourse until the symptoms disappear. Do not drink alcohol. And avoid sharing sex toys.

trichomoniasis can cause vaginal itching

5. Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a bacterial STD that can affect many parts of the body. These include the genital tract, the rectum, the urethra, the joints, the eyes and the throat. Symptoms of gonorrhea include:

  • Painful urination
  • Discharge from the penis or vagina
  • Pain or swelling in the affected areas

Women with gonorrhea may also experience some other symptoms like:

  • Vaginal itching
  • Abnormal bleeding between periods, or after sex
  • Painful intercourse
  • Pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic area

Gonorrhea can be treated with antibiotics. To prevent the infection, say no to unprotected sex. Avoid anal sexual intercourse.

Gonorrhea can cause vaginal itching

Is It Normal to Itch Down There?

If you have a slight vaginal itch without a change in your discharge, it is normal. But if you have abnormal discharge, or your vagina smells bad, you need to talk to your doctor.

Some of the following hygiene tips can help eliminate the itch:

  • Wash the vagina daily with warm water
  • Say no to douching
  • Eat a healthy diet with probiotics
  • Practice safe sex
  • Use enough lubricant during sex
  • Wear loose- fitting underwear

What Else Could It Be?

Itching on the skin of the vagina is a warning sign of an STD. But it can also be something completely different and not serious.

Vaginal itching (not due to an STD) can be caused by:

  • Pubic lice
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Hormonal changes
  • Lichen sclerosus
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Yeast infections
  • Certain medications

vaginal itching can be caused by a number of things, not only an STD

Most STDs are serious and can be deadly. But since they show up no symptoms, people leave them untreated and overlooked. If you’re sexually active and have itching in the vagina along with any changes, it’s a good idea to get tested for STDs.

Read more: Can You Catch Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) From Masturbating?


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