What Causes Vaginal Itching and How to Stop It

Vaginal itching is an uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptom that can affect any woman.​ It can range in severity and the causes can be difficult to diagnose.​ Fortunately, there are several ways to help soothe the itch and reduce its effects moving forward.​

The most common cause of vaginal itching is yeast infection.​ Yeast overgrowth can be brought on by hormonal changes, diabetes, weakened immune systems, and even certain medications.​ In addition to itchiness, other symptoms of yeast infection may include burning sensations while urinating, abnormal discharge and discomfort during sex.​

Sometimes, vaginal itching can also be caused by irritation or physical contact, such as with skin irritation, specific fabrics, laundry detergent, soap, spermicides, and so on.​ Allergies to certain products can cause discomfort and itchiness as well.​

Fortunately, there are various remedies to help ease the problem of vaginal itching.​ For yeast infection, a course of antifungal medication prescribed by a doctor can help get rid of the underlying issue.​ To reduce irritation when it is caused by skin contact, opt for products that are specifically designed for sensitive skin and wear loose clothing.​

Another great way to ease vaginal itching is to make sure to keep the area clean and dry.​ Wiping with moist toilet tissue after urinating can help and try leaving the area uncovered when you sleep.​ Avoid using sprays or feminine hygiene products, as their fragrances can be irritants.​

Finally, incorporating natural remedies into one's daily routine can help reduce the discomfort of vaginal itching.​ Replacing traditional soaps with mild, natural alternatives such as honey, coconut oil, and aloe vera can help soothe and hydrate the skin.​ Applying warm compresses to the area can offer relief, and adding yogurt with live cultures to your diet can help restore the balance of bacteria in your body.​

Home Remedies

In addition to medical treatments, there are several home remedies one can use to reduce vaginal itching and other associated symptoms.​ Many doctors recommend avoiding douching, as it can make the itching worse.​ However, rinsing the area with lukewarm water and mild soap may be beneficial.​ Probiotic supplements such as yogurt or acidophilus can help restore vaginal pH.​

Similarly, various natural products such as baking soda and apple cider vinegar are thought to be effective in restoring balance in the vagina.​ Adding garlic to your diet or applying it directly in the form of a paste can provide relief from itching, as can using tea tree oil and neem oil topically.​ Finally, certain herbs including chamomile, sage, calendula, and bergamot have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, as well as soothing effects.​


It's important to see your doctor if you think you have vaginal itching, as a diagnosis is necessary to determine the underlying cause.​ While the itching alone may be disturbing enough, it can be a sign of something more serious such as a sexually transmitted infection, bacterial infection, or certain types of cancer.​ A specialist may be needed to diagnose and treat more serious condition.​

Your doctor will ask you questions about the symptoms, and may take a sample of your vaginal discharge to analyze.​ Based on this, they can prescribe the most appropriate treatment.​ Most cases of vaginal itching will clear up with time and the right medication.​


Prevention is often the best cure when it comes to vaginal itching.​ It's important to practice good hygiene habits, such as wearing cotton underwear, changing out of sweaty or wet clothes as soon as possible, and washing the area once a day with a mild soap.​ Douching should not be done regularly, and scented feminine hygiene products should be avoided.​

It's also important to be aware of any foods that could be causing a reaction, as well as any medications that could be irritating the area.​ These should be avoided or discussed with your doctor.​ Finally, maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and managing stress levels can all have a positive effect on itching and other symptoms.​

Cotton Clothing

When it comes to preventing and minimizing vaginal itching, wearing clothing made of breathable materials is key.​ Cotton is the best option as it allows air to circulate, which in turn reduces moisture and helps keep the area dry.​ Wearing tight-fitting and synthetic materials like nylon, rayon, and spandex can worsen irritation and itching.​ Therefore, these materials should be avoided when possible.​

It is also beneficial to avoid excessive heat, since sweaty clothing can exacerbate the itching sensation.​ Choose lighter, airier fabrics in lighter colors for summer days and try to keep cool by decreasing your overall activity level or wearing lighter clothing when possible.​ Finally, make sure to avoid wearing thongs or other tight-fitting undergarments.​

Natural Remedies

When it comes to relieving and preventing vaginal itching, some people opt to use natural remedies.​ While many of these are evidence-based, it's important to remember that these home remedies cannot cure underlying medical conditions.​ If symptoms persist, seek professional medical care.​

Herbal teas can be very helpful for temporary relief, as can elderberry, probiotics, slippery elm, and cranberry juice.​ Applying aloe vera gel to the vagina can also provide relief, as can rubbing lavender oil on the affected area.​ Finally, some people swear by natural yogurt, which contains probiotics and helps fight off bacteria that can cause vaginal itching.​

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