While vaginal burning and itching can be a clear sign of a vaginal infection, there are other things that may cause the stubborn irritation. In this V-Luxe blog post, we’ll talk about what else can irritate the vagina and how you can easily resolve any uncomfortable feelings that you get.
As always, if you think you have a vaginal infection, for example, if the burning/itching is accompanied with abnormal vaginal discharge or odor, or if the irritation is simply unbearable, please consult with your doctor/OB to make sure you are getting a correct diagnosis and treatment.
The skin in the vaginal area is very sensitive and there are numerous things that can cause irritation. Here’s a list of what could cause vaginal discomfort:
1) Anything sex related: condom, lube, sex toys:
Basically, anything that has not been tested to be “vagina friendly” can cause some discomfort for some women. For example, think about condoms – most condoms are pre-lubed with mystery (usually cheap) lube that is then marketed to us by claiming it will “increase the sensations” or make for an “easier penetration”. However, if you think about it, wouldn’t you rather know exactly what ingredients go into that 'mystery lube', make sure it's safe for the vaginal pH level, and that it wouldn't be attributed to any unnecessary burning/itching? Our best recommendation is to use lube-free condoms and add a lube that is vaginal pH friendly and contains good ingredients. If one type of lube doesn’t work for you, try a different one.
Pro tip: when choosing a lube, make sure glycerin is not in the ingredient list. Glycerin can turn into sugar in the vagina and we all know who loves to eat sugar: bad bacteria and yeast! You can unintentionally cause recurring bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections by simply using a lubricant that isn’t the right fit for your vagina.
Sex toys: it’s extremely important to use high-quality sex toys that are not made out of harmful components. Do your own research on what materials were used to create the toy and if you feel like it causes an irritation/burning feeling, stop using it right away. (Also make sure you clean any/all sex toys extremely well, with soap!)
2) Period hygiene products: tampons, pads, menstrual cups, and even panty liners:
If you always feel vaginal burning or itching during your period, it might be time to change the hygiene product you’re using. Don’t worry, you don’t have to immediately switch from tampons to pads if you don’t want to, you can simply try a product that has organic ingredients or even try changing the tampon more often than you’re used to. Unfortunately, many tampons and pads contain harmful components that are not great for sensitive vaginas. Luckily, there are a lot of organic, natural, and vaginal-friendly options on the market nowadays so you can pick and choose what works best for you!
Menstrual cups are advertised as a product that you don’t need to change very often. However, we always recommend that you make an effort to empty the menstrual cup every few hours because stagnant blood can create a very friendly environment for bad bacteria to develop, and that can contribute to bacterial vaginosis.
Note about panty liners: that’s another item that is being advertised to women so often! However, a lot of panty liners contain harmful ingredients and can actually irritate the vagina and cause burning. Panty liners may be causing vaginal infections like BV and yeast infections which in turn causes abnormal discharge that makes us women go through even more panty liners every single day. We recommend trying to stop using panty liners and see how that makes you feel! The first few days might be hard, but let your vajayjay handle its discharge and you’ll be amazed at the results!
3) Any product used to “clean” the vagina: douches, vaginal washes, vaginal deodorants, etc:
We always talk about the delicate vaginal pH level and how important it is to keep it balanced and healthy, between 3.5 – 4.5. Unfortunately, there are many “vaginal cleaners” that are being advertised to women as helpful, when in reality, they are doing more harm than good, like causing vaginal itching and/or burning and may even cause a vaginal infection like BV. Remember – the vagina is self-cleaning, there is no need to wash it with anything other than water (even with water, you should only wash the outer labia. If you have an abnormal discharge or smell, please do not try to get rid of it by using a scented product, but instead, go see your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis of why it’s happening. Scented products only 'mask' or cover up a smell, they don't actually help the root of the problem. You can check your pH level (you can buy our V-Luxe pH tester here), and do your best to see if there might be an underlying condition that may be causing the bad odor like bacterial vaginosis or another vaginal infection.
4) That time of the month: vaginal itching/burning during ovulation or right before your period:
Even though it may not feel that way, your body goes through many hormonal changes during every menstrual cycle. These hormonal changes can cause the vaginal wall to get thicker, thinner, or even be more dry or moist by creating more or less vaginal discharge. These changes can be attributed to some vaginal itching/burning. Many women experience mild itching/burning on days leading to their periods because of this. If you didn’t get a chance to hydrate as much as you’re used to, or if you just had sex, this can make the itching/burning even worse. Sometimes it’s best to leave the vajayjay alone, hydrate as much as you can, and see if that burning feeling goes away within a few days. If the itching/burning is absolutely unbearable please go see your doctor though, the same advice goes if you are having abnormal discharge and/or odor. Once you start to pay attention to how your vagina feels during your menstrual cycle, it’ll be easier for you to take cues on how your body is doing and what’s coming next. For example, you may start noticing a thicker, clearer discharge during ovulation time, and you will then know that a tiny itch means your period is coming soon.
Getting to know the way your unique body works is powerful and fun! It will make you the best advocate for your own vaginal health and wellness.
Any Questions About What Might Cause Vaginal Burning/Itching?
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