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Vaginal itching can be a symptom of many different 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.
For example, if there’s an itch inside your vagina, it could be a yeast infection. If the itch is on the skin around the vagina, it could be caused by eczema or another skin condition.
It’s important to know when to see a doctor, too, but here are 10 home remedies you can try first.
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. A
try this: Baking Soda Bath
- Add anywhere between 1/4 cup to 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 of the yeast and keep your vagina healthy.
A 2015 study involving 70 non-pregnant women reached the same conclusion: yogurt and honey was 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 that 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 percent cotton underwear might prevent yeast infections, as yeast thrives in areas that aren’t well ventilated.
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.
Unfortunately, there’s little evidence to support this claim. 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 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 or health store, or shop 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 isn’t 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 leave a mark on your clothing.
If a yeast infection is causing your 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 on your vagina, it’s best to wear a pantyliner to stop it from seeping into your pants.
If you have an itchy crotch 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 of it where pubic hair grows.
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 washes itself, so all you need to do is wash the outside of your vagina — your vulva — with some warm water.
Do not use scented soaps, gels, or cleansers. Avoid even those 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.
Vaginal itchiness is often due to one of these common causes:
If you have a vagina, there’s a 75 percent chance that you’ll get a yeast infection at some point in your life, according to Mayo Clinic. Other than itching, yeast infections can cause you to have a thick, white, cottage cheese-like discharge.
This happens when a certain kind of bacteria overgrows in the vagina, most commonly Gardnerella vaginalis. Bacterial vaginosis is often accompanied by a fishy odor; discharge that is gray, white, or green; and burning during urination.
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. Water-based lubricants can help with vaginal dryness. You can visit your doctor if it seems to be a consistent problem for you.
Exposure to irritants
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. If you suspect your pad is irritating your skin, try a different brand, or switch to tampons or a menstrual cup.
Eczema, psoriasis, and dry skin can often lead to itchiness — and can affect your pubic area and the skin around your vulva.
A number of STIs could cause vaginal itching. These include:
The above conditions require medical attention, so speak to your doctor if you think you have an STI.
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 is 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 OBGYN, our Healthline FindCare tool can help you connect to physicians in your area.