Some of the effective tips for treating vaginal itching during pregnancy includes wearing comfortable clothes, vaginal wash, consuming yogurt, avoiding perfumed products, applying honey, drinking lot of water, to name a few.
Pregnancy definitely brings a bundle of joy to you but also comes along with unwanted hormone imbalances and infections. Vaginal itching is one such unwanted symptom that needs your attention and treatment. Vaginal itching can happen due to many reasons.
Bacterial Vaginosis is one of the primary causes of vaginal itching. It occurs when the naturally occurring bacteria in the vagina increase in number. Yeast infection is also responsible for vaginal itching. It causes itching and redness that can lead to discomfort all day long. Vaginal itching comes with uncomfortable discharges. The wetness from these discharges makes the condition more irritating for pregnant women. Here are few tips to combat vaginal itching with ease.
Read More: 11 Home Remedies for Treating Vaginal Tearing
Why Does Your Vagina Itch in Pregnancy?
Vaginal itching during pregnancy is a common condition caused by the changes in the vagina during pregnancy. Vaginal itching during pregnancy usually occurs because of the following reasons:
1. Stretchmark because the skin stretches too much (in the last few months of pregnancy)
This condition causes itching (rash in some areas) in almost 20 percent of pregnant women. Vaginal itching during pregnancy occurs because of this reason. A pregnant woman also faces itching at the groin, vulva areas and other areas such as the abdomen, breasts, legs, arms, thighs and buttocks.
2. Increasing of basic transformation and blood vessels in the skin during pregnancy
It increases the secretion of sweat and hence makes the skin more sensitive to the outside irritation like hot weather, rub with rough clothes, skin-diseases etc. This causes vaginal itching during pregnancy especially at the groin and vulva areas.
3. Sweating a lot
Excessive sweat collected around the vulva, vagina and creases of the legs can also lead to itching. Warm and moist areas can thus get irritated easily and lead to itching.
4. Changes of pH at the vulva and vaginal areas
These areas become too alkaline during pregnancy and are easy to be infected.
5. Have folliculitis during pregnancy (not because of microbe)
It appears from the fourth to ninth months and causes vaginal itching during pregnancy at hairy areas of genital organ.
6. Have haemorrhoids
Swollen veins in the rectum can lead to bleeding, itching, pain or even burning. These are pretty common during pregnancy and especially in the third trimester.
This silent killer is dangerous for pregnant women in every sense. Due to stress, the immune system weakens and this leaves one prone to minor infections that cause vaginal itching during pregnancy. In situations like this, it is best to drink a lot of water and other fluids to control the stress level.
Irritants like soaps, bubble baths, feminine sprays, detergents, and fabric softeners are some of the things which have certain chemicals that cause the skin to itch when used. If you witness this problem after using any of these irritants, it is best to ditch the product.
This infection is caused by a parasite, and is typically spread through sexual intercourse. You will witness a yellow or a green discharge when infected. This can cause vaginal itching during pregnancy and its best to visit a doctor to get yourself treated.
Causes of vaginal itching during pregnancy:
There can be a number of causes of vaginal itching during pregnancy. Some of them are given below:
10. Increased discharge
Vaginal discharge is mainly caused due to change in hormones, thickening of the vaginal walls and pH levels. This can further lead to vaginal itching. In such a case, wipe off the discharge from front to back and stay as clean as possible. You can also make use of cold compress or just wash the area with water containing baking soda in order to reduce the discomfort.
11. Urinary tract infection
Vaginal itching is a common symptom of urinary tract infection (UTI). The bacteria lodged inside the vagina can cause itching, burning sensation or pain while urinating. You may also experience chills, vomiting or even fever.
12. Certain products
Harsh soaps, condoms, lotions, douches and detergents used on the underwear can lead to irritation in the vagina. In such cases, you should avoid using perfumed soaps and rather make use of fragrance-free soaps and lotions.
13. Bacterial vaginosis
An overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina during pregnancy can lead to bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy. Itching, soreness, foul-smelling discharge and inflammation are some of the symptoms. you should consult your doctor in case you notice any of these symptoms.
14. Yeast infections
The increased blood flow to the pelvic area during pregnancy can make it more susceptible to infections. The overgrowth of yeast in the vaginal area can cause itching as well as discharge and pain. However, the treatment procedure is pretty simple with over the counter medications.
15. Pediculosis (Crab Lice)
Crab lice are small insects that feed on human blood and can be easily transmitted during sexual intercourse or public toilets. You should always seek help of your doctor in order to treat pediculosis and highly avoid making use of any chemicals without consulting your doctor.
16. Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)
Syphilis, Chlamydia, Herpes, Trichomoniasis, Gonorrhoea are some of the examples of STDs. This can also lead to itching and irritation in the vaginal area and you should seek immediate medical help in such conditions. You can prevent an STD by avoiding to have sex with multiple partners, or with ones who are not monogamous and most importantly, by always making use of condoms.
What can be done to prevent vaginal itching during pregnancy?
- Wear cotton panties and highly avoid to wear the nylon ones.
- Do not wear tight fitted clothes as this will not let the air pass through.
- You can avoid to wear the underwear at night as this will increase the airflow to the vagina.
- Do not take bubble baths or use any fragrant products on your crotch. This will irritate the vagina and urinary tract. You can take warm baths instead of this.
- Make use of fragrance free soaps and laundry detergents.
- More importantly, good hygiene. Always keep your vaginal area clean and dry so as to remain free from vaginal problems.
- Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement. This will prevent bacteria from getting into the vagina.
12 Remedies for Treating Vaginal Itching During Pregnancy
1. Comfortable clothing
It is very important to wear comfortable clothes while you’re dealing with vaginal itching. Pregnancy comes with numerous unwanted symptoms and the last thing u want is an itchy vagina. Wear comfortable clothes to make sure your vagina feels free. Avoid synthetic panties and tight denim pants or shorts. Wear cotton breathable bottoms like skirts, culottes etc .
2. Vaginal wash
Use a vaginal wash regularly to keep your vagina clean and dry. Vaginal washes contain lactic acid and tea tree oil which fight infections effectively. It is recommended to use an unscented vaginal wash. Replace your underwear everyday. Use pantyliners if required and keep changing them every couple of hours.
Read More: Home Remedies for Yeast Infection During Pregnancy
Yogurt is an age-old remedy for itchy vagina. It contains healthy bacteria that restore the natural balance of your vagina and allows the good bacteria to flourish. Antibiotics are effective treatment for vaginal itching but they kill the good bacteria along with the menacing ones. If you’re already consuming antibiotics to fight the infection in your vagina, consuming yogurt can make the treatment more effective as it maintains the count of good bacteria. Apart from that yogurt is a real treat for your palate when pregnant!
4. Avoid perfumed products
If you use scented shower gels or soaps for bath, avoid using them near your groin area. Do not scrub your vagina in an attempt to clean it. Our vagina cleans itself on its own and any attempt to clean it with scented soaps or scrub can irritate the condition further.
Read More: 11 Must Know Side Effects of a Vaginal Delivery
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the most effective treatment for an itchy vagina. Add half cup of apple cider vinegar to the water in your bath tub and soak yourself with your legs apart. Make sure your vaginal area is completely soaked in the water. The apple cider vinegar effectively kills the bacteria and provides quick relief from the itching.
Honey is a popular anti-fungal and antibacterial agent. Consuming and topical application of honey can help fight infections effectively. To cure vaginal itching, all you have to do it is apply some honey to the affected area. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes and wash it off. You can do this right before your bath as it gets easier to clean the honey which may get sticky and messy.
Read More: Health Benefits of Manuka Honey for Kids and Nursing Mothers
7. Going commando during sleep
While sleeping your vagina experiences sweat and friction with your underwears. It is best to skip the underwear at night. If you want to wear underwears at night, avoid lacy panties and thongs as they sit tight at your crotch and prevent air movement.
8. Drink lot of water
Drinking water is essential for healthy functioning of your body. During pregnancy it is important to drink more water for proper functioning of the body, to beat the heat flushes and also to keep off dry and itchy vagina. If your vagina is itchy due to infection and not dryness, water is still a useful element. Water helps in flushing out the harmful bacteria out of the body. The more water your drink, sooner you get rid of your itchy vagina.
9. Avoid sugar
If your vaginal itching is due to yeast infection, avoid sugar in your diet. Sugar consumption aggravates yeast infections. Pregnancy brings in sugar cravings but in this case you have to strictly avoid any sugar including sugar-rich fruits like apples, grapes etc.
10. Cranberry juice
Cranberries are not just tasty but also treat your vaginal itching faster than most foods. To cure your vaginal itching, you need to drink two glasses of cranberry juice religiously till your infection is gone. Consuming cranberry juice helps in creating an acidic environment in your vagina that kills the infection.
Chamomile is known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. Soak a bag of chamomile tea in hot water. Let the concoction cool down and use it to clean your vaginal area. It calms the redness and itchiness. Regular use clears the infection completely.
12. Cold compress
Cold compress is one of the best ways to sooth an itchy vagina. Use an ice pack to cool down the inflamed skin or soak a towel in cold water and place it on the affected area. Cold compress doesn’t cure the infection but definitely gives a temporary relief.
You may be tempted to scratch an itchy groin but doing that will make things worse. See a doctor and take proper medications along with the above home remedies. Check with a gynecologist so that you know if the itchy vagina is due to any of the new medications you’re taking due to pregnancy.