Vaginal itching: a common problem of the young and old

A woman smilesIf you are experiencing itching or irritation at your private parts, your body is trying to tell you something.

Itching of the vulva and vagina are one of the common complaints in many women, varying from as young as 5 years old to some who are more than 60 years old. It can be really disturbing and stressful when it persists for numerous days. Severe itching can lead to pain, ugly scratch marks and darkening of the vulval skin.

Vulva Itching

Let us start from the vulva. Persistent itching of this site may be caused by infection, allergy, or a reason as simple as poor personal hygiene.The latter is common in most children, the poor, the elderly and from individuals who may be suffering from psychological illness. In short, personal hygiene is poor when one is unable to look after themselves well.

Itching can also appear when one’s private areas are warm and moist, which is a favourable condition for bacterial and fungal growth.

In the elderly, vulval and vaginal itching can be due to dryness of the skin and vaginal lining. This is a normal condition of aging caused by low level of female hormones. But sometimes, it may be caused by cancer.

Common causes are infections, allergies and poor hygiene

lichen sclerosis

Skin Conditions and Allergies

Skin diseases and allergies are not to be missed. Eczema may spread to the private parts and cause irritation. Other skin conditions such as psoriasis, lichen simplex chronicus or lichen sclerosus may also be considered.



In younger women who are more likely to be sexually active, infections which are mainly sexually transmitted is a more probable cause of vaginal itching. Infections such as genital warts, herpes, trichomoniasis, yeast infections (candida) and bacterial vaginosis are some causes to be named.

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Pubic lice (also called ‘crabs’) may also be included.

Scabies and tinea cruris (a fungal infection also known as ‘ringworm’) are also some underlying causes. Though, they are not limited to the private parts. They cause itching of various parts of the body including the private parts. They are not transmitted by sexual contact, but rather normal contact with close people such as relatives and friends.

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Tips, Tricks and Treatments

You may be confused to what is the cause of the itching and irritation you are experiencing. You could drop by the pharmacy and get some over-the-counter medications first. However, if the itching is not better and it is driving you nuts, you may want to consult a doctor.

In the elderly or pregnant ladies where hormonal levels are most probably the main causes, baking soda baths and pastes can help.

Changes in hormonal levels causes increased pH of the vaginal lining which can cause itching. Sexual intercourse may help in these cases as male semen has a lower pH level which can then reduce the pH level of the vaginal lining.

Another tip is after defecating, it is better to wash and then wipe from front to back to avoid any bacteria from entering the vagina.

In general, always keep your private parts clean, dry and airy. Also, try and avoid wearing tight undergarments.

Be sure to see Our Doctors if your itching persists.

Most causes of vaginal itching are not serious, however, if your symptoms are persistent, you should see a doctor to rule out any possibilities of infection including STDs and also cancer.

If you are pregnant, always seek a doctor’s advice before trying out any over the counter remedies.

If you are not sure or worried about your vaginal itching, it is better to consult a doctor for further advice. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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Feel free to visit our clinics.We have Lady Doctors on standby.We are Open on Weekends.Contact us.Where to find us.Related topics.More on vaginal discharge.Vaginal bleeding.Candida (Yeast/vaginal thrush)Bacterial vaginosisTrichomoniasisChlamydiaGonorrhoeaIf you have any questions, visit our free online forum on sexual health, HIV and STDs.Dr (Ms) De SouzaMD (Russia), MMed (Obs&Gyn)

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  1. heyyyyy doc. i hav itch in my nae nae a lot latly. i hav whit stuf cumin out from my nae nae nd my booty hole, i do sex a lot, i dontt shave oftn, it also has fishy skunk smell not good….. plz help

  2. hi
    I’m 18 and have been facing embarrassing vaginal problems. A foul odor comes out during the day,and my vagina is covered with sores that come out puss,the lips are swollen and very itchy,i dnt use any chemicals or soap when bathing…have irregular periods and painful period pains please help…still a virgin

    • You may be having an infection. Please see a doctor to get yourself assessed properly.

      • Brookelyn

        Hi I’m 11 years old and I have witnessed itching and a red pimple like bump on my vaginal area and it is bothering me could you help me figure out what it could be???iknow its odd because I can smell orders that come from me (down below) and I’m just praying that nobody else smells it… I’m still virgin and I have still not had my period so I know something led is going on I have talked to my mom and she said we should get the doctor involved but I’m not comfterbull with !y doc looking at my vagina please help…to contact me my female is Brooke? THANKS SOOOO MUCH😐

  3. Krystal

    Hi doctor. I’m 14 going to be 15 this year. I suspect that I have vaginal infection. But based on the symptoms I do not experience itching. The area down there is not so red but there is a pungent smell. And when I lifted up the skin I noticed some white substance which can be removed under the folds of it . What do I do ? I am afraid of showing the doctor down there and I would like to know how can I clear this up by myself. If you recommend that I should take OTC medi , able to give the name of the medi ? Thank yoj

    • I suggest you consult a doctor to get a proper assessment and testing. You may be having an infection. Unfortunately, we cannot give medical advice over the internet.
      If you wish to see a female doctor, we have 3 female doctors who can attend to you.

  4. i hv itching problems on nd at sides of vagina nd got one side completely black dvd to itching can u help pls nd tell me wat ahould b done

  5. i hv itching problems on nd at sides of vagina nd got one side completely black dvd to itching can u help pls

    • It sounds like you may have a yeast infection. Please consult a doctor to get a proper consultation and treatment. You are welcomed to visit us at any of our clinics.

  6. Hello there,
    I was in the shower earlier and I was washing her out when big clumps of white stuff came out with my finger after being in my vagina. I did however put some sudocrem on the opening of my vagina the other day as there was a little split and it was stinging. I don’t think I put so much on it though and there is a lot of white stuff now. It has a wee bit of a smell to it ( not a nice smell ) I don’t know what to do as I don’t like showing my private parts to my doctor. But obviously if needs be I am going to have to. What do you think is wrong with me. I can’t sleep now as I am starting to get a bit worried about it.
    Many Regards

  7. Rhenz Monterey

    Good day! I hope you can help me also. Im experiencing right now the 2nd picture situation in your article. Im scared and confused why i feel pain,itchy from the lip my private part and theres white something surroundings. What i can do for self treatment? Thanks and Godbless.

    • Hi Rhenz,
      The second picture in the article is vulvovaginal candidiasis, more commonly known as thrush. You can try buying over the counter creams (ask the pharmacist for thrush treatment), but if symptoms don’t improve, best to come in to one of our clinics – we can give you anti-fungal medications to quickly and effectively relieve your symptoms.

  8. How can I get rid of inf tection and whatbcan I do or take

    • You need to consult a doctor to get yourself assessed and tested to find out what infection you have. From there, an appropriate treatment and advice can be given.
      You are welcomed to visit us at any of our clinics.

  9. louise

    i have small particle on private part. pls advise.

  10. Louise

    Dear Doctor,

    I have small particle on my private part. what issue is that? i checked with my insurance agent and found only “im inward then can claim insurance”. please advise is consultation fee+medical can claim under insurance? Thank you.

    • Dr Justin Sim

      This would entirely depend on what the actual issue is. A small particle on your private part is not very specific and could be many things. If it is just something simple then your insurance may pay for it. If it is anything sexual health related then insurance will not cover. Best to come in and get it checked.

  11. Chloe

    Hi Doc,
    I’m 12 and I’m turning 13 in November. I have an itchy virgina and I have not got my period yet and my mum got hers when she was 13, my discharge is still whit but sometimes a cheese cottage sort of colour. I don’t know what to do, please help

  12. colour

    am having serous itching in my private. I can’t sleep at nite

  13. Hi I have these white pimples in a line
    all around my vagina they not icky or
    bother at all I do have sex often what
    cud this be

    • It is not possible to comment based on your description. Please consult a doctor to get it assessed visually. You are welcomed to visit any of our clinics.

  14. Hi Dr. Tan I have something going on in my private area there’s white stuff coming out exactly like the one in the picture. It’s itchy and its white stuff coming out I’ve only had a yeast infection once in my whole life I cured that and got pregnant but I had abortion now I been having this white stuff come out my private area but it goes away and comes back and it’s itchy should I see a gynecologist or should I change my soap I don’t know what to do?

    • Hi Anna, there are many different reasons for vaginal discharge, and a yeast infection is just one of them. The best way to sort this out is to come in and talk to a doctor and let her perform a full examination. We have 3 friendly female doctors at our clinic that you can see about women’s health issues. Do drop into anyone of our centers to get this properly evaluated and treated.

  15. Hi doctor.

    I’m 21 this year and not sexually active.. the lip of my vaginal(around the hair growth) have been itching for quite some time accompanied with thick creamy white discharge some time yellowish and slight smell(not fishy). I remember once the itch was really bad and i scratched it and i know i shouldn’t scratch it.. Just today i check my vaginal in the mirror, one side of my vaginal look swollen – lump like and i’m really worried about it..what do i do now? But i’m also worried about the cost for consultation and treatment if needed.

    On a side note, there is no pain or whatever so just itch.

    • It could possibly be a yeast infection. It is best to come in so we can assess you properly and recommend the best treatment for you. Our consultation is $35-45. Treatment cost varies, depending on what treatment you need.
      You are welcomed to visit us at any of our clinics.

      • Hi Doc,

        Recently my menes ended and after a few days it start to itch and my discharge are stain with blood(pinkish brown) for few days. Why is that so? Also i notices that when i’m on my period my vaginal doesn’t itch but after a few days it will itch. Is it anything serious? This is my first time that i’m having vaginal itch..sometime it itch quite bad sometime it doesn’t itch

        If i were to make an appointment for consultation what would be aspected? Will your be running any test (checking of vaginal)?

        Thanks in advance!

  16. Doctor I have had sex last year in November when I broke my virginity I was 17 years old and this I haven’t had sex…….I have itches next to virgin and I think usually inside …..and when it itches it gets wet …..please doctor help me to solve my problem

    • I do not really understand your question. However, based on your description, I would suggest you consult a doctor. You may have be having a fungal infection.

  17. sumbal

    Dr. I have a serious issue. I gets viginal itching n yeast infection before my periods n specially when I take antibiotics for fever. I’m married. Plz recommend me a medicine.thank u . I have a scratch near vigina n its a red scratch.plz reply soon to my id thanks

  18. Kayla

    My vagina where my pubic hairs grow has been itching. I haven’t had sexual inter ores at all and I’m only 17. I haven’t shaved in a week or two. When it does itch still but I think it’s just cause I shave them.

    • You may want to consult a doctor. It is impossible to tell based on your description. You are welcomed to visit any of our clinics for a consultation.

  19. Jacklyn

    Hi doc, for my first. Time I had a sex with a man who is older than me about 57years,, afterwards I got a lot of itching ad a burning.sensition when urinating,, av tried it a second time and the same have happened,, again these is accompanied by a creamy discharge with a foul smell,,, it takes two weeks to heal,, please doctor tell me the solution

    • drtan

      Burning sensation when urinating after sex could be due to just a bladder infection and that is common. However, a creamy foul smelling discharge sounds a lot more sinister. In the best scenario it is either BV or a yeast infection. You should however definitely exclude possible STDs. i.e. see a doctor.

  20. Crystal

    Hey doc im 15 i never had sex but i dont itch alot on my private part the middle sometimes it itch sometimes it dont i think its because of my soap i use i do not finger myself but i saw on a website it was normal for it to itch just checking because i do not have any colored yeast or anything its just clear if i do masterbate not fingering or sex or sex toys nothing that has to stick something in it really doesnt bother me after i finish i do shower an clean myself shave or what ever but when i use a soap it itch sometimes an sometimes it dont itch but not every day like just if i use that soap or dont shave i know i cant have a infection cause i stay clean i just need to know do i change my soap out

    • Hi Crystal, sounds like it could be your soap causing the itch as it occurs when you use the soap. You could try and change your soap and see if your itch stops. If it does, then you know it is the soap.

  21. Me an my gf had oral sex not knowing she had carmax on she wentdown there, now i have a little irritation no chuncky discharge jus a little uncomfortable when i whipe myself only time it feel strange

  22. On January 29th I had sex again for the first time in months. On January 30th my vagina became itchy and irritated. when I checked my discharge it appeared to be cottage cheese like like a yeast infection. I am no stranger to yeast infections and I get them quite often, but I haven’t had one in a long time and was kind of scared that I got one right after having sex. I went ahead and started to treat myself for yeast infection January 30th. it’s now February 4th and since I started treatment I haven’t had any itching or irritating symptoms while taking the yeast infection cream. I was wondering is it possible that it could have been chlamydia or any other STD and if it was would it have gotten better or have gotten worse? someone once told me that they thought they had a yeast infection but it turns out that it was chlamydia and when they tried to treat themselves for the yeast infection the yeast infection cream actually burned when they put it on and in because they had chlamydia. I already have a doctors appointment set up so I’m going regardless but I was just trying to see what the odds of it being a cleared yeast infection when I go or if it was an STD.

    • Hi Shontia, it is more likely to be a yeast infection given your symptoms and it cleared after using yeast infection creams. However, please go ahead with your appointment and get tested as you can get STDs without having any symptoms.

  23. Will the itraconazole cause me to be bloated/fat? Is there any food or drinks I should avoid while taking it? And when I opened the pill, there’s actually smaller ‘beads’ in it, do I need to break open or just consume the whole thing?

  24. Hi doc, Ive been having vagina itch for a very long time, at the side of the walls and there’s swelling. I went for my check up, still waiting for the results currently. Have been given Itrconazole pill. I went to google about its sideeffects and etc, and I’m actually quite worried of the side effects. If just taking the pills for a few days will it cause any harm?

    • Itraconazole is a very safe medicine which I have prescribed countless times for my patients. It is really safe. As with all drugs, the drug companies will give you a double laundry list of possible side effects. That is their way of legally covering themselves. If you go by that, trust me, there is no medicine in this world you want to take. That is why doctors still have a job. We weight the risk and benefits of treatment.

      • Will the itraconazole cause me to be bloated/fat? Is there any food or drinks I should avoid while taking it? And when I opened the pill, there’s actually smaller ‘beads’ in it, do I need to break open or just consume the whole thing?

  25. Hello,
    I was diagnosed with genital herpes and I have had an outbreak which are Very painful but what bothers me Most is the vulva Chronic itching All the time. I have not found anything to subside the itching and now my vagina is wrinkled dark and ugly. Please help me find something either over the counter or prescribe to help with my issue.

    • First of all this site is not for medical consultations. So please see your doctor for treatment. Chronic Vulva itching can be caused by post-herpetic neuropathy. This is usually treated by a nerve membrane stabilizer like Gabapentin or Pre-Gabalin. Please talk to your doctor and discuss treatment options. You can ask him/her what he/she thinks of the usefulness of either of these medicines for you. I do not think the fact that your vagina looks “wrinkled dark and ugly” has anything to do with the herpes. There are vaginoplasty procedures that can fix this. Some by laser. Again you can discuss with your doctor if this treatment can benefit you or not.

  26. Sabrina B

    Hay Doc,
    I’m 15 and sexually active , I’m the only girl my boyfriend has had sex with since we’ve been together and I started to get this annoying itching on my private part and its really itches I can’t stop . Also I find this white/cream clumps of i don’t know

  27. Hi doctor,

    For the past two years I have experienced chronic vulval itching and burning. It began after a course of Macrobid to clear a UTI. My doctor at that time assumed I’m “sensitive” to bacteria and kept me on Macrobid for a YEAR. During that year she dodged my calls and refused to see me always stating she’s “over booked” or the office would be closed for vacation or my call simply wouldn’t be answered. All tests for yeast and STDs are negative. I have fibromyalgia and asked her once about vulvodynia and she basically laughed me out of the office saying that vulvodynia doesn’t exist.

    Through a lot of research I found that Macrobid shouldn’t be given to anyone with a chronic illness and carries a high risk of nerve damage. I am now under the care of a rheumatologist and new family doctor. The rheumatologist started me on Gabapentin which has helped my vulva pain somewhat.

    Last month I had a UTI and went on amoxicillin. My vulva burning increased and took weeks to resolve. I’m back on amoxicillin now for an ear infection and have the same issue. I also get little sores, like pimples, when I am on antibiotics on my vulva. My family doctor agreed they’re not STDs but didn’t have much advice to offer. I have the little sores again too. I’m married and have no history of STDs.

    I’ve been suffering with chronic vulva burning for two years now with no answers. Any ideas?

    • Some more information. The sores are not large or raised up or in clusters. They’re extremely small, like a poppyseed. They don’t ooze, blister or scab over. I’ve had them in the past, also while treating a UTI, and an organic almond oil ointment helped heal them. My doctor agreed they’re not STDs but didn’t have any thoughts past that. I still battle genital burning on and off nearly every day. I can get remissions for days, even weeks, but it never truly goes away.

      • Obviously a very complicated problem. It sounds to me very much like it is a skin reaction to the anti-biotics you are taking. You can conduct a little experiment. Next time you have the bumps and burning, try putting on a steroid cream (a strong one). The symptoms should resolve or at least calm down rather quickly. If it was an infection like an STD, it will get worse. Obviously this is not a long term treatment plan as chronic use of steroids will thin the skin and make things worse. For the skin, you can try soap free cleansers and good moisturizers. I have been told pure coconut oil works very well. As for the systemic side of things, well, stay away from antibiotics as much as you can. Try some high dose pro-biotics. Sometimes that works.

  28. Hi doc, I have a lump at the side of my vagina for more than 3 month, it hurt and is itchy. I am still a virgin. If I would to go to the clinic roughly how much is the cost?

    • It is probably a cyst. Our consult rates range from $35 to $80. This does not include medication, investigations (eg you might need an ultrasound) or any other treatment (eg removal of the cyst).

  29. Hi doc,I ask something about my vigina something grows I think 1month already andsometimes itche I dont know what kind of sick,can u hepl me,thanks

    • I’m sorry this forum is not for medical consultations. Please see your ObGyn.

  30. faith buyakane

    thanks at least
    i hav an idea i will visit da doctor coz am worried

  31. Hi doctor..
    I have this problem of vagina itch every month before 1 week of my menses. There’s white discharge coming together too. I am quite worried if it’s any illness or something. I had sex before. And are your charges high if I visit ur clinic ?

    • It sounds like a yeast infection. Charges as follows: Consultation $60 Tests for vaginal infections including all STDs $345 (all prices before GST).

  32. Gozie Ezenwa

    Dear Dr,
    I have been having itches around my private parts (Vagina) for a very long time now and its driving me nuts. Sometimes I see yellow discharge and I urinate regularly.
    Please doctor, Is there any drug I need to take to stop the itching? Help me because the problem is giving me sleepless night.

    • When you say you “urinate regularly” I assume you mean you urinate frequently. All your symptoms suggest that you have a vaginal infection. Before you know what medicine to take you need to find out what exactly you are infected with. For this, you must see your doctor and get some swab tests done. If you wish to see us you can use the contact form on the right to make an appointment.

  33. hi Doc,
    I am a 14 year old virgin and I have masturbated(not fingering). It hurts to pee sometimes and there is an odor, also it’s swollen. I use a fragranced body wash of that matters. Do you have any advice or could help me on this?


  1. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Syndromes Overview | HIV - […] Pain during urination 4. Lymph nodes 5. Misc. Lumps and bumps 6. Pain when having sex/Vaginitis 7. Itch in the …
  2. STD Symptoms in Women | STD - […] here to learn about Contraception. Click here to learn about Vaginal Discharge. Click here to learn about Vaginal Itching …
  3. Women’s Health Clinic Singapore | Women's Health - […] here to learn about Contraception. Click here to learn about Vaginal Discharge. Click here to learn about Vaginal Itching …
  4. STD General Info | STD - […] 9. *Syphillis 10. Candidia 11. *Herpes simplex type I/II 12. Molluscum contagiosm 13. Crab lice 14. Scabies 15. Chancroid …

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