Many people experience genital itching after masturbation or partner sex. Dry skin, insufficient lubrication, or too much friction can all cause temporary itching that often resolves without treatment. Itching that occurs alongside other symptoms typically requires medical attention.

Mild itching and irritation may be temporary and resolve on its own. Common causes include irritation from condoms, lubricants, or spermicides, as well as allergic reactions to these products.

Persistent or severe itching could be a sign of an underlying condition that requires treatment. For example, itching may be a symptom of a yeast infection, sexually transmitted disease (STD) such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, or other skin conditions.

It’s important to seek medical attention if itching occurs alongside a rash, unusual discharge, pain, or other unusual symptoms. A healthcare professional can help determine the underlying cause and recommend treatment.

Vaginal itching that only happens on occasion is probably nothing to worry about.

Not enough lubrication or too much friction could cause vaginal itching. If this is the case, symptoms will probably improve by avoiding masturbation or sex for a few days.

If itching persists or you experience other symptoms, it could indicate an allergic reaction or infection.


Dryness is a common cause of itching after sex. It may be due to dry skin on the external genitalia (vulva) or inside the vaginal canal.

Dry skin can flake and itch, increasing your risk for irritation and chafing during sex.

Some people are naturally prone to dry skin or have a skin condition such as eczema. Overwashing or using so-called “feminine hygiene” products can also dry out the skin.

The most common cause of vaginal dryness is hormonal changes, such as those experienced during menopause and childbirth.

Other causes of vaginal dryness include:

In addition to itching, symptoms of vaginal dryness include:

Latex allergy

A latex allergy is a reaction to proteins found in latex. You may experience a reaction after coming into contact with any product containing latex, including condoms.

Latex allergies typically cause a localized reaction or symptoms only in the area that touched the material. In addition to itching, symptoms may include:

People with female anatomy are more likely to experience a systemic or full-body reaction. This is because the mucus membranes in the vagina absorb the proteins found in latex more quickly than the membranes on the penis.

Systemic symptoms may include:

  • hives or swelling in other areas of the body
  • flushed skin
  • nasal congestion
  • runny nose
  • scratchy throat
  • watery eyes

A severe, acute allergic reaction called anaphylaxis is possible in people who are highly sensitive to latex.

Medical emergency

Get emergency care if you experience symptoms of anaphylaxis, including:

  • blue skin
  • difficulty breathing
  • facial or throat swelling
  • mental confusion
  • nausea and vomiting
  • rapid or abnormal heart rate
  • weakness or dizziness

If you’re allergic to latex, there are non-latex condoms available. Options include polyurethane and lambskin condoms.

Semen allergy

Seminal plasma hypersensitivity — commonly known as semen allergy — is a rare allergic reaction to the proteins in semen.

It’s possible to have an allergic reaction with one partner and not another or have a reaction appear suddenly after sex with a long-time partner.

Symptoms of a semen allergy can affect any part of the body that comes in contact with ejaculate, including your vulva, vagina, anus, and mouth.

Symptoms usually start within 10 to 30 minutes after exposure. They’re similar to those of vaginitis and some STDs.

In addition to itching, semen allergy symptoms include:

  • pain
  • burning
  • swelling
  • redness

pH imbalance

pH measures how acid or alkaline (basic) a substance is. It’s measured on a scale of 0 to 14.

Your vaginal pH balance should be between 3.8 and 4.2. This level of acidity creates a protective barrier that prevents the overgrowth of harmful bacteria and yeast.

Solo or partner sexual activity can affect your vaginal pH, regardless of whether penetration was involved or whether you used a barrier method.

Exchanging bodily fluids through genital-to-genital and oral-genital contact can encourage the growth of bacteria. Fingering can also introduce bacteria. So can shared or improperly cleaned sex toys.

In addition to itching, an imbalanced vaginal pH can cause the following symptoms:


Infections can develop when something disrupts the vagina’s natural balance of bacteria (bacterial vaginosis) or fungus (yeast infection).

When it comes to sexual activity, this disruption could result from hand-to-genital, oral, or penetrative vaginal sex.

In addition to itching, bacterial vaginosis symptoms include:

  • foul or fishy odor, especially after vaginal sex
  • thin, watery, or foamy discharge
  • gray or green discharge

In addition to itching, yeast infection symptoms include:

  • thick or clumpy discharge
  • white discharge
  • white coating around the vaginal opening
  • vulvar discoloration
  • burning or pain during urination


All STDs start out as sexually transmitted infections (STIs). STIs occur when bacteria, viruses, or parasites infiltrate the body. STIs are asymptomatic.

STIs become STDs if these invaders begin to disrupt your body’s typical functions — this usually means symptoms start appearing.


Trichomoniasis, sometimes called “trich,” is caused by a one-celled protozoan organism called Trichomonas vaginalis. If symptoms occur, they typically develop within 5 to 28 days of infection.

In addition to itching, trich symptoms may include:

  • white, gray, yellow, or green discharge
  • frothy discharge
  • spotting or bleeding between menstrual periods
  • vulvar redness or swelling
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • pain during penetration or urination


Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. It’s often called the “silent infection.” It may take several weeks for symptoms to appear, if at all.

In addition to itching, chlamydia symptoms may include:

  • pain during penetration
  • unusual discharge
  • burning during urination
  • lower abdominal pain
  • bleeding between menstrual periods


Gonorrhea is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhea. If symptoms occur, they typically appear within two weeks of infection.

In addition to itching, gonorrhea symptoms may include:

  • watery, creamy, or green discharge
  • pain or burning during urination
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • bleeding between menstrual periods
  • pain during penetration
  • lower abdominal pain

You’re more likely to notice gonorrhea symptoms in the morning, according to Planned Parenthood.

Genital herpes

Genital herpes is caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2).

Many people who have contracted genital herpes do not experience symptoms. When symptoms occur, the affected often begins to itch or tingle before one or more blisters appear. The blisters can be itchy and painful.

Other genital herpes symptoms may include:

Genital warts

Genital warts are caused by “low risk” strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), such as HPV 6 and HPV 11. Warts may not appear for weeks or months after infection.

Genital warts can range in size and color and be smooth or bumpy. You may have one wart or a cluster. Even if you can’t see the warts, they may still cause itching and other symptoms, such as:

  • burning
  • changes in vaginal discharge color, texture, or amount
  • bleeding between menstrual periods

Dry skin, rough sex, or sex without enough lubrication could cause friction burn and result in an itchy penis. If this is the case, your symptoms should improve within a couple of days of abstaining from sex.

Persistent itching or itching alongside other symptoms could indicate an allergic reaction or infection.

Latex allergy

If you’re allergic to latex, using latex condoms can cause a reaction. The severity of your reaction depends on how sensitive you are to latex and the amount of exposure.

In addition to itching, localized symptoms may include:

People with male anatomy are less likely to experience a systemic or full-body reaction. In rare cases, anaphylaxis is possible.

Post-orgasmic illness syndrome

Semen allergies, though rare, can affect anyone. Seminal plasma hypersensitivity occurs when you’re allergic to a sexual partner’s ejaculate, and post-orgasmic illness syndrome occurs when you’re allergic to your own ejaculate.

In addition to itching, post-orgasmic illness syndrome symptoms may include:

  • fatigue
  • headache
  • fever
  • nasal congestion
  • sore throat


Yeast infections and balanitis can develop when something disrupts the natural balance of penile bacteria or fungus. When it comes to sexual activity, this disruption could result from hand-to-genital, oral, or penetrative sex.

In addition to itching, yeast infection symptoms may include:

Although yeast infections can cause balanitis — inflammation of the head of the penis (glans) — the condition can also result from bacterial infections and other underlying conditions.

In addition to itching, balanitis symptoms may include:

Balanitis more frequently occurs in people with an uncircumcised penis.


Remember, all STDs start out as STIs. STIs do not cause symptoms. When symptoms occur, it’s considered an STD. To learn more about the following conditions, scroll up to the section on STDs under “vaginal itching after sex.”


In addition to itching, people with male anatomy may experience the following trichomoniasis symptoms:


In addition to itching, people with male anatomy may experience the following chlamydia symptoms:

  • burning during urination
  • green or yellow discharge
  • lower abdominal pain
  • testicle pain


In addition to itching, people with male anatomy may experience the following gonorrhea symptoms:

  • burning or pain during urination
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • yellow, white, beige, or green discharge
  • discoloration or swelling at the urethral opening
  • testicle pain or swelling

Genital herpes

Genital herpes symptoms are usually the same, regardless of your genitalia. People with male anatomy may develop blisters in the following areas:

Genital warts

Genital warts symptoms are usually the same, regardless of your genitalia. People with male anatomy may develop warts in the following areas:

  • penis
  • scrotum
  • groin
  • thighs
  • inside or around the anus

Treatment for itching after sex depends on the cause. Mild irritation can usually be treated at home, but itching caused by an infection or STD will require medical treatment.

Tips for at-home relief

People of any anatomy may benefit from the following lifestyle changes and home remedies:

  • Abstain from masturbation and partner sex until your symptoms improve.
  • Keep the affected area clean and completely dry off after washing.
  • Wash with products made for sensitive skin.
  • Soak in an oatmeal bath.
  • Apply an over-the-counter (OTC) topical corticosteroid cream such as hydrocortisone to areas of external irritation.
  • Take an OTC oral antihistamine to help with severe itching.

Medical treatments

Infections and STDs need to be treated with medication. Depending on the cause, treatment may include:

  • oral, topical, or injectable antibiotics
  • topical or oral corticosteroids
  • topical wart treatment
  • antiviral medication
  • antifungal medication
  • wart removal procedures, such as cryosurgery or surgical laser removal

Mild itching after sex that only lasts a couple of days is usually not serious. If your symptoms persist or are severe, consult a healthcare professional. You may have an allergy, infection, or STD that requires treatment.