Causes of Vaginal Itching

A vaginal itch can be inconvenient and bothersome. 

If you’re suffering from this, you’re not alone! Vaginal itch is one of the commonest complaints amongst women. 

Find out about the top 5 causes, and treatments of vaginal itch, in this article.

The 5 Causes of Vaginal Itch:


1. Yeast infection

Did you know? 
The majority of women will develop some kind of vaginal yeast infection at some point in their lives. 
Vaginal yeast infections, also known as vaginal candidiasis, are one of the common causes of vaginal itching.

Besides itching, symptoms of Candidiasis include vaginal redness and swelling, vaginal discharge (usually thick, white and cheesy in nature), pain during sex, and painful urination.

Pregnancy, diabetes, antibiotic use, and lifestyle factors such as diet and stress are all risk factors for yeast infections.

While yeast infections can be easily treated with antifungal medication and creams, recurrence of the infection is common, and many women will experience more than one episode of candidiasis in their lifetime.

Learn more about the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of women’s yeast infection

2. Sexually transmitted infections

STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomonas, herpes and genital warts can all cause local skin irritation and itching.

Find out the risk of contracted Chlamydia – here

Look out for other signs of STIs, which include abnormal vaginal discharge, abnormal bleeding, or pain during sex.

Prompt investigation and treatment of the STI should help to clear up the itching.

If you’re unsure if you have an STD, find out about STD testing here.

3. Bacterial vaginosis

A mix of normal, healthy bacteria exists on a woman’s vaginal surface and usually causes no symptoms.

However an imbalance of the vaginal bacteria, this can lead to overgrowth of certain harmful species, such as gardnerella – this results in bacterial vaginosis (BV).

Women with BV often experience vaginal itching, vaginal pain or swelling, and foul, fishy smelling discharge.

Risk factors for BV include pregnancy, antibiotic use, use of intrauterine devices (IUDs) and vaginal douching.

This condition is easily treated with a short course of antibiotics. If you think you have BV, consult your doctor for help.

4. Skin irritants

The vaginal skin is highly sensitive, and exposure to skin irritants can result in itching.

Vaginal douches, soaps, detergents, laundry powders, and chemicals in lubricants or on condoms can all be culprits of vaginal itching.

Some patients suffer from chronic skin conditions such as eczema, which can affect the vaginal skin. This makes the vaginal skin particularly sensitive to the abmovementioned contact allergens.

Treatment involves withdrawal and avoidance of the specific skin irritant. In some cases, short-term use of topical creams may be necessary.

5. Vaginal dryness

Vaginal dryness is a common effect of menopause and can lead to irritation and itching of the skin. Dryness can also occur in other circumstances such as breastfeeding, and with consumption of certain medications.

The use of topical estrogen creams for postmenopausal women can help relieve dryness and itch.

If you’re suffering from vaginal itching, seek relief by speaking to a doctor today.

Call our partner clinics at +65 6976 5023 or drop them an email at to book an appointment with their doctor today.

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  1. Deepthi
    Deepthi says:

    Hello, I have pruritis since more than two years, I did consult many doctors, many of them given antifungal creams but of no use, one doctor had given me antifungal tablets, I have taken 6 out of 8, as I had to discontinue due to pregnancy, later my gynaecologist has given me gentrizone cream, but I didn’t apply coz it contains steroids, my fasting blood glucose is negative as one of my doc had advised me , I suffered from depression earlier, I have slight anxiety symptoms (I have read in google that it may be the reason), don’t have any foul smelling secretions nor difficulty in passing urine iam using intiwash, any help in this is highly appreciated, thank you

    • Dr. Grace Huang
      Dr. Grace Huang says:

      Dear Deepthi,
      You sound like your symptoms are troubling you a fair bit and that you’ve tried several treatment options so far. As mentioned in our post, there can be various causes for vaginal itch and we would have to speak to you further as well as evaluate you before we can conclude what is causing your troubling itch and how best to treat it. I would suggest you come down to one of our clinics.

  2. Nur
    Nur says:

    Hi doctor, i got a problem about my vaginal discharge.. everyday my vagina fishy smelling & sometime come out white colour.. two weeks ago i starting urine pain.. but now still same. It is im pregnant? Cause last week i just check pregnancy test is negative.. please help me doctor i feel confuse.. thanks