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Yes, anal itching can be a symptom of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). It’s one of the most common (and irritating) symptoms of:

  • anal herpes
  • gonorrhea
  • anal warts
  • pubic lice

But it can also be the result of numerous other causes, such as hemorrhoids, skin conditions, or just contact with irritants in your hygiene products or toilet paper.

In fact, there are two types of anal itching:

  • Primary (idiopathic) pruritis ani: There’s no diagnosable cause to your itching. This is much more common than itching caused by a condition.
  • Secondary pruritis ani: There’s a diagnosable cause to your itching, such as an STD, skin condition, or immune system condition.

Let’s examine what STD symptoms you should look out for when your anus is itching, what other causes are possible, and what you can do if you suspect that you have an STD, or if you just can’t stand the itching anymore.

Several STDs can cause anal itching along with various other telltale symptoms.

Anal herpes

Anal herpes is caused by a virus known as the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Herpes, caused by two types called HSV1 and HSV2, can be spread by sexual contact with someone infected by the virus, especially if they have an active outbreak of herpes sores on their skin.

Reddish sores and whitish blisters that appear when you’re having an outbreak can be itchy and ooze discharge or pus. Other common symptoms of anal herpes can include:

  • pain in your anal area
  • lesions and ulcers that appear near healed blisters
  • scab development near ulcers that you’ve picked or scratched until they bleed
  • abnormal changes in your pooping habits

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is an STD caused by infection of bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It can be spread through almost any kind of sexual contact, including anal sex.

Many people with gonorrhea do not exhibit any symptoms. When symptoms are present, they differ slightly between men and women. Common symptoms for males include:

  • having to pee more often or more urgently
  • whitish, yellowish, or greenish pus or discharge leaking from your penis
  • redness, irritation, or swelling at the tip of your penis
  • testicle pain or swelling
  • throat soreness

Common symptoms for females, when they are present, include:

Anal warts

Anal warts are a type of genital warts that can appear both in and out of your anus. It’s also known as condyloma acuminata, and it’s caused by being infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) during oral, genital, or anal sex with someone who carries the virus.

They may not cause you any pain or discomfort at first, but they can grow and become increasingly itchy. They can also spread from your anus to areas nearby, including your genitals.

Anal warts may occur only in one spot, or may spread to different parts of the genitals and anus over time.

Other, more serious symptoms of anal warts include:

  • bleeding
  • discharge from your anus
  • feeling like there’s a lump in your anus
  • new warts on your genitals, thighs, or groin area

Pubic lice

Pubic lice, or phthirus pubis, are better known as crabs. They’re tiny bugs spread through sex that can colonize your genitals and, in some cases, your anus, especially the hair around these areas.

They live off your blood, and the tiny holes and burrows they make to consume it and to live in your skin can cause irritating itching.

Other common symptoms of a pubic lice infestation include:

  • low-grade fever
  • feeling irritated
  • exhaustion
  • dark-colored spots where you’ve been bit

Here are some other possible causes of an itchy anus:

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids happen when veins in or around your anus and rectum swell. It’s common, occurring in about 75 percent adults at some point in their lives.

External hemorrhoids on the outside of your anus are the most common type, and they can cause irritating itching along with pain, especially when you sit or poop.

Other symptoms include:

  • lumps or swelling around your anus
  • poop leaking out
  • pain when you poop, especially when you strain
  • blood on toilet paper after you poop

Pinworm

Pinworms are tiny intestinal worms that can infect your digestive tract. They’re tiny, smaller than half an inch, and among the most common type of worm infection in humans.

Common pinworm infection symptoms include:

  • intense anal itching
  • not being able to sleep from the itching
  • rash or irritation near your anus
  • seeing pinworms near your anus or in poop

Yeast infection

A yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida. Your body normally has Candida on it — particularly in your gastrointestinal tract and other places on your body that are warm, dark, and moist — but it can grow out of control and cause an infection.

Yeast infections can happen to people of any gender. They occur when the normal balance of bacteria and yeast in your genital area or anus is disrupted. This could happen when you’re taking antibiotics, or can happen to women during pregnancy when hormonal changes occur.

Yeast infections can cause intense itching until the overgrowth is treated.

Skin conditions

Many skin conditions cause itchy rashes, bumps, or sores that can sometimes ooze fluid, pus, or discharge.

Some are caused by autoimmune conditions, such as psoriasis. Others may be caused simply by coming into contact with an allergen, such as a soap or detergent, that may trigger contact dermatitis.

Treatment for an itchy anus depends on the condition. Here are some possibilities:

  • Anal herpes: Antiviral therapy.
  • Gonorrhea: Antibiotics, such as azithromycin (Zithromax) and ceftriaxone (Rocephin).
  • Anal warts: Topical ointments, cryotherapy to freeze warts off, and lasers or electrical currents to remove them.
  • Pubic lice: Specialized shampoos and removing lice with tweezers.
  • Hemorrhoids: Soaking in a warm bath, eating more fiber, or getting a rubber band ligation to remove them.
  • Pinworm: Antibiotics.
  • Yeast infection: Antifungal oral medications, creams, or ointments, and oral probiotics

Here are some home remedies to try to combat the itching:

  • Keep your skin moisturized.
  • Avoid scratching to prevent injuries or skin damage
  • Don’t use any laundry or hygiene products with artificial fragrances or coloring
  • Immerse yourself in an oatmeal or baking soda bath.
  • Try anti-itch creams.
  • Take antihistamines to reduce itching and other symptoms.

Shop for fragrance-free laundry detergent, oatmeal bath products, and anti-itch cream.

See your doctor as soon as you can if you notice any other abnormal and disruptive symptoms along with an itchy anus.

Get emergency medical treatment right away if you experience symptoms like penile or vaginal discharge, bleeding from your anus, or intense anal pain or soreness. The sooner you treat most STDs, the less severe your symptoms.

In most cases, you don’t need to worry. An itchy anus can be caused by an STD, but there are plenty of other non-STD causes, too.

Talk to your doctor if:

  • the itching is intense and disruptive to your life
  • it happens alongside other common STD symptoms
  • doesn’t go away with home remedies or over-the-counter treatments