Vaginal itching is itching of the vagina and/or the vulvar skin that surrounds the vagina. Almost all females experience vaginal itching at some point in their lives.Vaginal itching is an uncomfortable condition that has many causes. While this condition can indicate only minor irritation or easily treated conditions, it can also be a symptom of more serious gynecologic conditions, such as sexually transmitted diseases.
The causes of vaginal itching can vary. Here are a few other common ones:
How Stress Causes Vaginal Discomfort
Vaginal discomfort is never the only symptom of anxiety, and that can make it complicated to look at anxiety as the diagnosis for your vaginal problems. Always see a doctor regardless of your anxiety, because in some cases you may need additional treatments. Also, take my anxiety test to see how all of the symptoms of anxiety come together.
Even though you are suffering from anxiety, the main issue here is stress. Anxiety causes stress to be placed on the body, and that stress has a way of altering your body’s internal chemistry – including hormones, healthy bacteria, and more.
Vaginal infections, also known as vaginitis, are actually fairly common from stress (as well as poor sleep, which may be related to anxiety). The vagina is filled with healthy and unhealthy bacteria, and generally these are in the perfect balance to maintain vaginal health.
But when you have anxiety, your stress may reduce your body’s ability to maintain this balance, and a vaginal infection may be the result. Although it is caused by stress, it may require antibiotics to treat, because the bacterial overgrowth may be hard to contain even if you reduce your anxiety.
Vaginal discharge may also increase as a result of emotional stress (ie, anxiety). Vaginal discharge doesn’t necessarily cause “discomfort” within the vaginal walls, but it can cause discomfort, humiliation, and fear for women that find their discharge is making them uncomfortable while out and about.
Though the cause is not entirely clear, it has been found that high amounts of stress can cause itching, burning, and dryness within the vaginal wall. These can all cause significant amount of discomfort, and may be due to the way that anxiety affects hormonal regulation within the body.
Cramping and Pain
Anxiety can occasionally cause excess cramping and pain. Again, this pain may not be centered directly within the genitals, nor is it necessarily related to the muscles in the genital wall, but for many women cramping in the area surrounding the vagina causes increased pressure and pain in the vaginal area as well.
The National Institutes of Health lists several chemical irritants that can contribute to vaginal itching. They include fabric softeners, feminine deodorants, laundry detergents, soaps, vaginal creams, douches and spermicide. Stopping the use of these irritants is often enough to relieve vaginal itching completely.
Skin disorders that affect the vulva can result in vaginal itching. Lichen sclerosus is the most common type of vulvar skin condition. This condition causes shiny patches of parchment-like skin to develop on or around the labia. While some women have no symptoms, this condition can cause intense itching. Squamous hyperplasia may also cause external vaginal itching. This condition results in the growth of thick, white skin elevations on the vulva.