Baking soda, probiotics, and antifungal creams are just a few of the home remedies that can help relieve your vaginal itching. Douches and feminine hygiene sprays, however, are not.
Vaginal itching can be a symptom of many conditions. It could be caused by something like vaginal dryness or chemical irritants, such as the ones found in scented soaps. Itching can also be the result of a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, a sexually transmitted infection (STI), or something else.
There are many home remedies for an itchy vagina, but the remedy you choose will depend on the cause of the itch.
A note on language
Vaginal itchiness is often due to one of the following common causes.
If you have a vagina, there’s a chance that you’ll get a yeast infection at some point in your life.
Healthy vaginas naturally have Candida in them, but when this microorganism overgrows, it can cause a yeast infection. This can cause an itching or burning sensation in the vagina.
Other than itching, yeast infections can cause you to have a thick, white, cottage cheese-like discharge.
Bacteria naturally grow in your vagina to keep it healthy. But when the bacterial makeup is unbalanced, certain kinds of bacteria may become overgrown, most commonly Gardnerella vaginalis. Douching, not using condoms, and having multiple sex partners can
Bacterial vaginosis is often accompanied by a fishy odor, burning during urination, and discharge that’s gray, white, or green.
This is a symptom of many conditions. It can cause your vagina to feel itchy inside. It can also cause discomfort during sex or masturbation, as there will be more friction during penetration, which can irritate your skin.
Water-based lubricants can help with vaginal dryness. Estrogen creams were also found to improve vaginal dryness and itching in a
Exposure to irritants
The skin near your vulva and vagina is sensitive. Irritating chemicals in pads, intimate washes, sprays, and more can irritate the skin and cause an itchy vagina. This is why it’s recommended that you avoid using anything other than water to wash your vulva.
It’s also possible to have an allergic reaction to the contents of intimate washes and menstrual products.
If you suspect your pad is irritating your skin, try a different brand, or switch to tampons or a menstrual cup.
Skin conditions can affect your pubic area and the skin around your vulva, leading to itchiness.
Some skin conditions that may cause vaginal itching may include:
If you suspect you have a skin condition, speak with your doctor or dermatologist.
Low estrogen levels
Although more common in young and perimenopausal females, low estrogen levels can be experienced at any age.
Estrogen plays a major role in maintaining vaginal secretions. These vaginal secretions lubricate the vaginal wall, reducing friction during sexual intercourse. Low estrogen levels can reduce the natural lubrication in the vagina. This can lead to vaginal dryness, which can result in irritation and itching, especially during sex.
Other symptoms of low estrogen can include irregular or absent periods, fatigue, and hot flashes.
A number of STIs could cause vaginal itching. These include:
The above conditions require medical attention, so speak with your doctor if you think you have an STI.
Baking soda bath
Baking soda baths can potentially treat yeast infections as well as certain itchy skin conditions.
The National Eczema Foundation recommends adding 1/4 cup of baking soda to your bath, or making it into a paste and applying it to your skin to treat eczema.
Try this: Baking soda bath
- Add between 1/4 cup and 2 cups of baking soda to your bath, and allow it to dissolve.
- Soak in the bath for 10 to 40 minutes.
Greek yogurt is a common home remedy for yeast infections.
A probiotic yogurt promotes the growth of “good” bacteria in the vagina. This bacteria can kill off some yeast and keep your vagina healthy.
A 2015 study involving 70 nonpregnant women reached the same conclusion: Yogurt and honey were more effective than commercial antifungal cream.
Try this: Greek yogurt
- You can insert some yogurt into your vagina to soothe the itching.
- You can also coat a tampon in Greek yogurt and insert it.
- If you try either method, wear a pad, so the yogurt doesn’t get on your clothes.
- Use plain Greek yogurt with no added flavors or sugar.
Cotton underwear is helpful if you have any sort of vaginal or vulvar discomfort. Cotton underwear is breathable, which means that it can help reduce itchy skin conditions.
Wearing 100% cotton underwear might prevent yeast infections, as yeast thrives in areas that aren’t well ventilated.
Apple cider vinegar bath
If you’re searching the internet for how to relieve vaginal itching, chances are you’ll find apple cider vinegar listed as a cure-all.
Many people believe that adding apple cider vinegar to your bath can soothe a yeast infection. It’s also a common home remedy for itchy skin.
There’s little evidence to support this claim, though. Nevertheless, it’s a cheap remedy to try, and one that has no known side effects.
Try this: Apple cider vinegar bath
- Add a half cup of apple cider vinegar to your bath water.
- Soak in the bath for 10 to 40 minutes.
Bacteria is essential for vaginal health, and probiotics can increase the “good” bacteria in your vagina.
You can find probiotic supplements, such as capsules and tonics, at your local drugstore, health store, or online. These promote the growth of healthy and helpful bacteria in your vagina and gut.
These can be taken as a preventative measure too. Your doctor might recommend taking probiotics when they prescribe antibiotics.
A 2016 study demonstrated that coconut oil can kill Candida albicans, which causes yeast infections. However, this study was done in a lab, and there’s not enough evidence to confirm whether it works in humans.
Try this: Coconut oil
- You can insert coconut oil directly into your vagina.
- Be sure to use high quality, pure coconut oil.
- Wear a pad if you try this remedy, as it could otherwise stain your clothing.
If a yeast infection is causing you discomfort, there are many over-the-counter antifungal creams that can bring you relief. They kill off the yeast, which soothes the itch. They can also come in the form of vaginal suppositories, which are inserted into the vagina.
If you use an antifungal cream or suppository in your vagina, it’s best to wear a pantyliner.
If you’re itchy after shaving pubic hair, cortisone cream might be your best bet. This can also be used to treat eczema, allergic skin conditions, and some rashes. It reduces the itch and soothes it.
Cortisone cream should never be applied inside your vagina but can be applied to the skin outside it where pubic hair grows.
Similar to taking probiotic supplements, eating food that contains probiotics can promote the growth of “healthy” bacteria in your vagina and gut. This is important for your vagina and your gut health.
Probiotic foods include:
If you have a yeast infection, eating the above foods can help your body fight it.
Practicing good vaginal hygiene can prevent and soothe an itchy vagina.
Sometimes, less is more when it comes to washing your vagina and vulva. Your vagina cleans itself, so all you need to do is wash the outside of your vagina — your vulva — with some warm water.
Don’ use scented soaps, gels, or cleansers. You should also avoid products that are marketed as feminine hygiene or intimate cleansers. Vaginal douching should only be done if your doctor prescribes it.
Douching and over-washing your vagina and vulva can actually cause itchiness. Soaps and scents can irritate the vagina and cause allergic reactions and infections.
While an itchy vagina can often be treated by home remedies, you might have to see a doctor if you have certain symptoms. These symptoms include:
- pain or burning during sex or urination
- pain in the genital area or pelvic region
- genital redness or swelling
- blisters or strange spots on your vulva
- unusual vaginal discharge, especially discharge that’s green, yellow, or gray
- discharge that looks frothy or has a cottage cheese–like texture
- a foul odor
Typically, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and take a look at your medical history. They might perform a pelvic exam, which involves examining your vulva and vagina.
If you don’t already have an OB-GYN, the Healthline FindCare tool can help you connect to physicians in your area.
There’s a lot of unreliable information on the internet when it comes to treating vaginal itch. Some remedies are worse than others. Here are three you should always avoid.
Douches and feminine hygiene sprays
Lots of feminine hygiene sprays contain perfumes and ingredients that can worsen itch and inflame the delicate skin around the vagina and genital area.
Most doctors also recommend that you don’t douche. Douching can change the necessary balance of vaginal flora (bacteria that live in the vagina) and natural acidity in a healthy vagina.
Scented clothing detergents
Perfumes and synthetic ingredients are a common cause of genital itching. Look at the ingredients in your laundry soap or any soap in the bath. If it has ingredients you don’t recognize, ditch that brand.
A good resource is the Environmental Working Group, which lists allergens and other chemicals in specific brands of soap (among many other consumer products).
There was a time in the not-too-distant past when it was believed talcum powder was a wonder product for moisture in hard-to-reach places.
It was used to diaper babies and for vaginal itch. After years of use, it was discovered to have a link to ovarian cancer, as
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STIs, bacterial infections, and yeast infections can all lead to vaginal itchiness. In order to prevent these infections, you can do the following:
You can lower your risk of developing STIs by:
- getting tested with a new partner before engaging in sex
- using barrier methods (like condoms or dental dams) every time you have sex
- using condom-safe lubricant and avoiding oil-based lubes with latex condoms
- ensuring that you’re using condoms properly
- cleaning sex toys before and after sex, especially if you’re sharing them with a partner
You can prevent bacterial infections and yeast infections by:
- eating probiotic-rich foods
- taking a probiotic supplement
- wearing cotton underwear
- washing underwear in hot water
- replacing menstrual products frequently
- avoiding douches, scented tampons or pads, and fragranced vaginal washes
- immediately changing out of wet clothes or bathing suits
- avoid spending extended amounts of time in hot tubs or hot baths
Probiotic-rich foods can promote vaginal health by maintaining the “good bacteria” present in your vagina. These bacteria help prevent the overgrowth of yeast, which can cause a yeast infection.
Probiotic-rich foods include:
Other foods that are good for your vagina include:
Can you put itching cream on your vagina?
You shouldn’t put itching cream, known as hydrocortisone creams, inside your vagina. It can increase inflammation or cause atrophy since the skin on this part of the body is sensitive.
You can, however, use these creams on the outside of the genital area for relief.
Can you put Vaseline on your vagina to stop itching?
No. Vaseline, or petroleum jelly, is an oil-based ointment. There have been some studies that link Vaseline with an increased risk of vaginal health issues, such as bacterial vaginosis.
How can you stop itching down there at night?
Vaginal itching may seem worse at night because there are fewer distractions, and we tend to be relaxing before bed. Take a bath and change into cotton clothing. If you’re taking an over-the-counter medication, know that these treatments can make symptoms worse.
Scratching the area, or excessive bathing might make itching worse, according to a
There are many effective home remedies for an itchy vagina, from Greek yogurt to coconut oil. Some of these remedies may work better than others. Be sure to avoid methods like douching and using talcum powder.
If you have any unusual or unexplained symptoms, or if you’re simply wondering how to stop vaginal itching, see your doctor.