Vulva itching during pregnancy: causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Vaginal itching is one of the most uncomfortable experiences all women face but it becomes confusing when you wonder whether it’s normal to have itching during pregnancy.
Its normal among pregnant women because during pregnancy your body including the vagina goes through certain changes, although at times, itch in the vagina is not associated with being Pregnancy.
I remember when I was pregnant, I had terrible vaginal itching to an extent, I didn’t sleep at times. I used most feminine products against itching to find quick relief. It was terrible that I had to visit the hospital every week but they all went away once I gave birth.
Vaginal itching is so painful and it worsens at night to an extent, you can’t sleep.
Always make sure you don’t scratch because the more you scratch, the more painful it can all be.
Changes in the levels of Oestrogen in the body during pregnancy puts you at a high risk of developing vulva itching.
However, there are other causes that can cause vaginal itching during pregnancy.
In the 2017 clinical study, It was concluded that candid Albicans, Gardnerella Vaginalis, Chlamydia trachomatis, and Mycoplasma are the major causes of vaginal infections in pregnant women. Routine cervical and vaginal swab sample cultures were highly recommended among pregnant women to avoid developing infections.
causes of vulva itching during pregnancy.
1. Yeast infection
Vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection that causes irritation, itching, soreness, redness, vaginal rash, vaginal pain during sex and urination, burning sensation, watery vaginal discharge, and thick-cheese-like vaginal discharge.
It affects 3 out of 4 women at some time in their lives and it’s not considered a sexually transmitted disease.
Your vagina contains both the good and the bad bacteria and they need to be in balance, when something disrupts the balance making the bad bacteria more, you end up having a yeast infection.
Overgrowth of the yeast can be caused by pregnancy, use of antibiotics, impaired immune system, and uncontrolled diabetes.
How to prevent Vaginal yeast infection.
- Avoid wearing tight clothes all the time.
- Don’t use perfumed products.
- Eat probiotic foods.
- Always remove wet underwear because they create a moist environment that supports the growth of yeast.
2. Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis is similar to yeast infection, its caused by the overgrowth of bacteria found in the vagina.
The vagina has both good and ad bacteria which stay in balance, but when the balance is upset, you will end up having BV.
It affects women of all ages and symptoms like vaginal itching, foul or fishy vaginal smell, thin, green, white, or gray vaginal discharge, and burning sensation during urination.
In most cases, most women don’t get any symptoms from bacterial vaginosis
Causes of bacterial vaginosis include:
- Having sex with multiple partners.
- Douching by using soaps, perfumes, and other scented vaginas on your vagina.
- Natural luck of lactobacillus bacteria, this bacteria is required to have a healthy vagina.
Pregnant women with vagina itching should usually go to the doctor for checkups because if BV is left untreated, it can lead to premature birth.
How to Prevent BV
Avoid using scented, soaps and perfumed products on your vagina.
Even though there is a lot of pressure out here to have a perfect smell, look, and good testing vagina, Avoid using scented products because your vagina has its own natural taste and smell.
Just learn to accept it the way it is and if your partner keeps pressuring you, Go for help from a therapist or anyone. Your vagina is just beautiful the way it is. ACCEPT IT.
Wear Protection during sex
We all know that sometimes, you just wanna have the natural feeling of skin to skin but always prioritize your health first.
By wearing protection, you will be keeping you vagina and you safe.
Use cotton underwear
Cotton underwear allow air to move in and out of the vagina easily leaving your vagina healthy and moisturized.
3. Sexually transmitted diseases
We all can have unprotected sex because it’s the best but. Every time you have unprotected sex with anyone you don’t trust, remember you are putting your health on a line.
Common STD’S that can cause vaginal itching during pregnancy are Chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, genital herpes, and genital warts.
Common symptoms of STD are itching, pain during urination, pain during sex, bad odor, burning sensation in your vagina, fever, and lower abdominal pain.
Sexually transmitted diseases are majorly caused by having unprotected sex with your sexual partner.
How to prevent STD’s
Always use a cotton during sex.
Avoid multiple partners.
4. Vaginal Dryness
Changes in the levels of hormones in the body during pregnancy can cause vaginal dryness.
For the vagina to stay happy and healthy, they need the right amount of a hormone called estrogen but its level can be affected during pregnancy.
When the level of the estrogen hormone lowers, we are likely to experience vaginal dryness which can lead to vulva itching during pregnancy.
Other symptoms of vaginal dryness are a burning sensation in the vagina, pain during urination, painful sex, irritation and high risk of getting vaginal infections.
How to prevent vaginal dryness during pregnancy.
Since your estrogen levels only fall during pregnancy, things might go back to the way there way after you give birth.
You can use some moisturizers to avoid vaginal dryness in a mean time.
Eat Probiotic foods
Start including foods like Greek yogurt into your diet, this is because probiotic Greek yogurt has lactobacillus bacteria that the vagina needs to stay healthy.
Sensitivity to products
During pregnancy, your vag is engorged with blood, the skin may feel stretched and more sensitive than usual.
Products that you used well without having any effect before pregnancy can now cause some irritation on the skin.
Such products can be bubble baths, detergent, soap, shampoo and body wash.
If you use a product and you realize, It caused some irritation, always be careful and avoid using the product again.
6. Urinary Tract infections (UTI)
When you are pregnant, the uterus sits on the bladder as it expands, Due to pressure, Urine can be blocked causing a UTI.
For the above reason, pregnant women are at a high risk of getting UTIs.
When I was pregnant, I was diagnosed with urinary tract infections all the time, I peed all the time and I hated it but that is expected for all pregnant mothers since there is a lot of pressure put on the bladder. I was always treated and monitored every week since I had intense vaginal itching that caused me insomnia.
Some bacteria like GBS can also cause urinary tract infections.
Common symptoms of urinary tract infections are abdominal pain, itching in the vagina, burning of the vagina, painful sex, pain during urination, blood in urine, and frequent urge to urinate.
Major causes of UTI are poor hygiene, bowel inconsistency, sex with multiple partners, kidney stones, diabetes, and many more.
How to prevent UTI
- Drink lots of water to empty the bladder quickly.
- Urinate shortly after sex.
- Wipe from front to back after using the toilet.
- Avoid using scented feminine products.
- Keep your vaginal areas clean.
- Avoid douching
7. Cholestasis of Pregnancy
This is a liver condition that may occur during pregnancy, there is no evidence about the causes of cholestasis during pregnancy but according to experts, they think it is genetics and hormones.
It causes extreme itchiness on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Sometimes, the itching can start to affect the entire body including the vaginal area.
How do you get rid of an itchy private area during pregnancy?
This is how you can get rid of an itchy private areas during pregnancy:
1 .Use anti-fungal treatments.
If your doctor comfirms that you have a yeast infection, you can use anti-fungal creams and suppositories to treat vulva itching during pregnancy.
Such creams include Vagisil, Monistat anti-itch cream, Clotrimazole and many as discussed here.
Don’t use fluconazole because it has been reported to increase the risk of having a miscarriage among pregnant women.
2. Use home remedies.
Home remedies for vaginal itching can give you a quick relief from vulva itching when it worsens.
These home remedies include baking soda, Greek Yogurt, Essential oregano oil, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and probiotic foods. Click here for details.
You will need a prescription medication if you have STS, UTI or Bacterial vaginosis.
4. stop using some products
If those products cause skin irritation, it’s time to stop using them until after birth. Use all-natural products designed for babies.
5. Cool water
If its very uncomfortable especially at night, then it’s time to have a cold bath because It can help reduce itching.