If your vagina is feeling itchy, there could be a few problems causing the issue. Most women assume the worst when they smell a foul odor coming from their vagina, and it starts to itch. It could be a sign of an STI like chlamydia, or something less dangerous, such as bacterial vaginosis.
Research shows that one in three women will experience the onset of bacterial vaginosis (BV) in their lifetime. Some women are predisposed to the issue more frequently than others. When the vagina experiences a shift in bacterial balance, it leads to changes that result in the overgrowth of harmful bacteria.
As a result, the affected individual starts to notice a foul smell emanating from their vagina during intercourse. A light discharge may also accompany the smell during sex, and they'll feel itchy during the day.
If you're wondering how to stop vaginal itching and odor from BV, here is a brief guide to managing the condition.
What Is the Cause of Bacterial Vaginosis?
Medical professionals have a hard time determining the exact cause of BV. The condition can occur in women for many different reasons. One of the most common reasons is personal hygiene habits.
Some women may feel the need to "douche" after sex while taking a bath. They attempt to clean out their vagina using bath gels and soaps. However, this practice disturbs the bacterial balance in the vagina, resulting in the onset of BV.
Bacterial vaginosis usually features reductions in lactobacilli bacteria in the vagina that produce hydrogen peroxide. As a result, the anaerobic bacteria that grow in the absence of oxygen start to flourish.
As a result, it's challenging for doctors to make an accurate diagnosis of the cause of the imbalance. There is a set of risk factors making more women prone to BV than others. Those risk factors include the following.
- Having sex with multiple partners
- New sexual partners
- The use of IUDs (intrauterine devices) for purposes of birth control
- Antibiotic use
- Vaginal douching
- Smoking cigarettes
Some medical experts believe that BV cannot occur in women that haven't had sexual intercourse. However, other medical professionals remain divided on that point. Women who have an STI are more likely to contract BV.
Is BV Common?
Bacterial vaginosis is a common condition affecting over 29% of women. If you're wondering "how to make my vagina stop itching," then all it takes ais a trip to your doctor's office. Bacterial vaginosis is as common as a yeast infection in women, and it's easy to treat using a course of antibiotics from your doctor.
If you're wondering what to do for vaginal itching, it's best to make an appointment with your medical professional for a checkup. Your doctor will run some tests and issue you with medication to rebalance the flora in your vagina.
In a few weeks, your vagina will be back to normal. During this time, abstain from sex and try to eat a clean diet.
BV Can Be a Sign of an Underlying Health Condition
BV might also occur as a side-effect of another dangerous underlying health condition, such as an STI. While BV cannot spread to men, women can spread it to each other during sex. If you notice pelvic pain or fever along with your symptoms, speak to your doctor immediately.