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Date of last update: 10/14/2017.

Forum Name: Gynecology

Question: Vaginal itching/burning/irritation

 lchip - Fri Oct 15, 2004 1:40 am

Starting last month right before my period, I began to have some vaginal itching and pain. I've had a yeast infection before that cleared up with treatment, so I figured that's what it was. I didn't try any cream or anything, and it got somewhat better.

However, for the next 2-3 weeks or so, it was still itchy and irritated. It hurts slightly more during sex, but I have no unusual discharge whatsoever, and there is no foul/fishy smell.

I am right before my period again, and the itching and irritation are worse than ever. I have a "raw" burning feeling. I tried some anti-fungal cream, but it's done nothing.

Could I have bacterial vaginosis, even though there is no odor/discharge? Is that why this never "cleared up"?
 Dr. Russell M - Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:14 am

User avatar Hi!

Do you have lower abdominal pain/fever/vomiting? Since you have already tried antifungals, and since discharge is not there, it could be some vaginal irritant even. Is there history of diabetes in your family and has blood been tested for glucose ever?

Tips to home care for vaginal itching include:

1. Keep your genital area clean and dry. Use plain, unscented soap.
2. Avoid colored or perfumed toilet tissue and bubble bath.
3. Wear cotton panties or pantyhose with a cotton crotch. Avoid panties made from synthetic materials. For infants and toddlers, change diapers often.
4. Change out of wet clothing, especially wet bathing suits or exercise clothing, as soon as possible.
5. Avoid feminine hygiene sprays and douches.
6. Eat yogurt with live cultures or take lactobacillus acidophilus tablets when using antibiotics. Check with your doctor.
7. Cleanse by wiping or washing from front to back (vagina to anus) after urinating or having a bowel movement.
8. Lose weight if you are over weight.
9. Keep your blood sugars under good control if you have diabetes.

It is also helpful to:

1. Avoid scratching, which will only aggravate the problem.
2. Avoid overexertion, heat, and excessive sweating.
3. Delay sexual activity until your symptoms get better or at least use a lubricant during intercourse.
4. Use condoms to avoid catching or spreading sexually transmitted diseases.


Hope this helps.

 lchip - Sun Oct 17, 2004 2:52 am

I have no abdominal pain or anything else but the vaginal irritation and itch. Also, no history of diabetes in the family, nor am I overweight.

Each time I used the anitfungal cream, I was even more irritated and itchy than before. However, after taking it for three days, I seem like I am a bit better. Why would the Monistat cause me to be even MORE irritated?

Also, why does this seem like a recurring problem?

I take extra special care to do/not do the things on your list, to avoid problems such as this. Could the itching and burning be related to an irritation caused by spermicide? I have used the kind that's inserted with a tube, and had sex without a condom, and noticed that the itching/burning were a lot more severe after that. (But still, it seems a bit better after the anti-fungal..)

Also, I'm sure it's not an STD, as I am in a committed long-term relationship and we've both been tested...
 Dr. Russell M - Sun Oct 17, 2004 5:30 pm

User avatar Hi!

Basically, anything that our body does not recognize as its own can be a potential allergen, and that includes drugs (or its components) like antifungals or spermicide. Trial and error may be the only way that show us as to what to avoid. And if sex is exacerbating the condition, it is best to refrain until the body normalizes. Home care using saline bath or vinegar bath to vagina help some.

 Hollie Rohloff - Sat Oct 01, 2005 12:20 pm

I have had that probllem before and was told it was related to the hormones before your period. I have just recently become pregnant and it is getting even worse. You might have an allergy to something that is causeing it.

 Domino - Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:52 am

one morning i woke up and all of a sudden my vagina has a burning, itchy, irratated feel to it .. the last time i had sex was before my boyfriend had left which was new years eve because of his job and i didnt have this problem after we had sex before .. this is a new thing for me .. although i do have a family history of diabetes but i don't know why that would have an effect on it .. i have no idea what this could be .. i have been sexually active for years now and nothing like this ever had happend . and all of sudden i get it .. what could this be?? my period is coming up i didnt get it yet but i will towards the ending of the month .. could u please help me find the answer to my problem .. Thanks so much ..
 aehrpickles - Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:13 am

Hi dr. russell,

i hope u can help with my problem also, i suffer from burning, itching, irritated and swelling vaginaas well.

i used to shave my pubic hair and suddenly after one incident after shaving, it get so itchy, i thought its only normal cos hair might be growing back, but it has been 3 weeks and the itch is still there and got some discharge. so i decided to see a doctor for diagnosis and i was told it was yeast infection, i was given a anti yeast cream and antibiotic, i applied the cream oustide my vagina and felt relieved after 2 days, but the consecutive days became worsts, i went back after a week to my OB and i under went for a swab and the result was normal. i was advised to stop the cream and to just continue the antibiotic but still i havent got any relief.

i changed my OB and was advised to wash with 2 tablespoon of applecider and take diflucan for 6 weeks and apply claritimzole, the itchiness was lessen but it is recurring now and i know i don't have to scratch cuz it will aggrevate it. i only scratch it if i cant really stand the itch which is almost everyday of my life.

i havent shaved since then and im afraid to even trim the hair cuz it might get worse, i stopped using the claritimazole and apple cider (these 2 gave me releif but for few days only) and finished taking diflucan. if i have discharge thats also the time itll become itchy. my vagina sometime swelling because i scratched it and even the sides near the anus are also reddish and itchy.

sometimes i see my vagina with some white flakes on the upper part, it is like dandruff and when the skin is dry i get a small cut as well even if i not scratching.

what could be this one? and what kind of treament or diagnosis should be done? please help i have this for like 5 months now and i cant really bare having this itchy burning feeling..

i am not diabetec, im allergic to aspirin and penicilin medicines, i take zyrtec anti allergy when im having rhinitis, i use 100% cotton panty and some not, i wear panty liners and change twice and remove it 2 hours before my 8 hour shift ends.

thank you!
 kbird916 - Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:05 am

I need some help for an embarrassing program. On friday my fiance and I decided to try something new and play with 'toys' during intercourse. During this time he used a banana on me...and once I looked and realized what it was I had him stop. (but I did not go and clean myself right away, but cont. on).

I wake up on saturday morning to find my vagina red and irritated. My vaginal lips where swollen and red with a few red bumps on each side. There was no pain with urinating...and I have not had sex since then because I don't WANT to find out if it is painful or not. It got worst on sunday, so I decided to go to the ER on monday...the doctor said it was a rash/reaction so he had me go buy 1% Hydrochordison to put on it...and said if it does not clear up to go see my gyno.

Well, the swelling is gone, but it has been replaced by a moderate to severe itching and more bumps and appeared in the same area...and the worst of my discomfort is around and a little inside the entrance of my vagina. I have stopped using the Hydrochordison, and have started to use Eucerin Aquaphor.

Is there anything over the counter I can do? I am a fulltime college student who does not make enough money to be able to make multiple doctor visits in a short amount of time. PLEASE help me! This is so mordifying and embarrassing I couldnt handle seeing a doctor face to face again.
 topaz09 - Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:15 pm

Here are the results of recent tests:
Lactobacillus (+),
Escherichia coli - increased
Staphylococcus epidermidis - increased
leucocytes 1-2
Detected: LeptotriÑ… bacteria

I have had extreme vaginal itching for a month now (especially when I walk). My gynecologist prescribed me an immune stimulator drug and some antibiotics as well and told me to go to a dermatologist. I have taken these drugs for a month now but this itch does not stop. Do you have any suggestions as to any further actions I can take? Thank you.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:01 am

User avatar Hello kbird,
Itching is often caused by allergic sensitivity for which the cortisone would probably help, or infection such as bacteria or yeast. You have not yet tried an antifungal cream. This might help, especially if you notice any white "cheesy" discharge with an odor.

Does your school have a student health center or is there a community clinic where fees might be lower? ERs are the most expensive way to see a doctor. It is best to be sure you are getting the right diagnosis and treatment. In the absence of infection, irritation may just need time to heal. Giving it a rest is a wise idea.

Be on the lookout for other irritants and offenders such as soaps, bathing products, detergents and softeners. It may be coincidental and not related to the sex toys.

Best wishes.

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