There are three basic reasons for vaginal itching and irritation.
- external causes
- flora imbalances
- hormonal influences, such as lack of estrogen in menopause
The first two reasons; external causes and flora imbalances are often remedied by a woman herself.
External Causes Can Be From Daily Habits
Vaginal irritation can be caused from clothing that is too tight. If your spandex pants or jeans are hugging you as tight as they can, it’s possible that vaginal irritation will result because of the friction from repeated rubbing.
Laundry detergent may also be a factor. Many laundry detergents have chemicals added to them that can cause irritation in people prone to allergies. Once the clothes are washed and clean, they can still contain residues of these chemicals that will potentially cause irritation to the vagina, especially if tight clothing is worn. Similarly, sanitary pads and tampons can contain chemicals such as bleaching agents, dioxins and deodorants that can cause vaginal irritation. Doctors have reported actual cases where women developed serious reactions to sanitary pads or laundry chemicals so it’s not as far-fetched as you may think.
Allergies to douche ingredients or latex in condoms can also cause vaginal irritations.
If you’re a cyclist, it’s possible that while riding, the material that lines the crotch can rub up against the vagina causing irritation. Many cyclists have repeated urinary tract infections because of this reason. Riding may also increase the risk of infections by introducing bacteria from the rectum into the vagina.
The easiest way to eliminate vaginal irritations caused by external factors is simply by not wearing tight clothing, using a bicycle seat that conforms to your body, avoiding harsh laundry detergents, and not using sanitary pads and tampons that are chemically treated.
The second cause of vaginal irritations is flora imbalances. This can occur because your diet is too high in acid-creating foods such as sugar, processed foods, meat that isn’t grass-fed, or not having enough vegetables in the diet. Stress also produces the stress hormones and acid in the body. When this occurs, there’s an accumulation of hydrogen ions, making the body too acidic. Once the body is acidic, all its secretions become acidic which changes the flora. When the normal flora is subjected to an acidic environment, the sensitive and helpful bacteria begin dying. That’s when the disease-causing bacteria that are normally found in small numbers can become established in the vagina, and as you can imagine, these bacteria start causing disease.
If you have a flora imbalance, it can be the result of working too hard for too long or simply indulging in the wrong foods for too long of a period of time.
Flora imbalance can also mean that you have contracted a sexually-transmitted disease. There are two STDs that are linked with vaginal irritation:
- Human papilloma virus (HPV)
There are other factors that can cause flora imbalance with vaginal irritation. For example, antibiotics will kill the normal flora in the vaginal tract even when they are taken orally. This can result in a yeast infection because the yeast proliferate in high amounts when their competition – other microbes are killed off. When a woman has a yeast infection after antibiotic usage, she will soon have vaginal irritation and itching.
In this category of vaginal irritation causes, the solution is to change the flora back to how it should be. This can be accomplished by obtaining treatment for a sexually-transmitted disease, eating yogurt, soaking a tampon with yogurt and then inserting it in the vagina for a few hours, or inserting a probiotic capsule in the vagina where the Lactobacillus bacteria then escape and feed the tissues of the vagina.
Vaginal irritation can be an open invitation to bacterial invasion. Don’t postpone its healing.