I Have Vaginal Dryness and Itching - Do I Have an STI?
The vagina is a fantastic part of the female physiology. It's self-cleaning and usually gives us no problems. However, when things go wrong down there, it's an uncomfortable and concerning experience that leaves you afraid to find out what's going on with you.
If you're dealing with vaginal dryness and itching, you're probably assuming the worst right away. You probably think that you have a nasty STI, and it's the end of your sex life. However, the reality is that there could be plenty of reasons for vaginal dryness itching its way through your underpants right now.
The First Thing You Need to Do
If you find that you have an itchy, dry vagina, the first thing you need to do – is to make an appointment with your doctor. Leaving these sorts of problems alone in the hope they disappear by themselves rarely works out. Don't leave things to chance; get a doctor's opinion.
You're Dealing with a Yeast Infection
After making your appointment with your doctor's office, you can take a stab at trying to self-diagnose yourself. Around three out of every four women experience a yeast infection at some point in their life. This infection is not an STI, its an overgrowth of the fungi, Candida Albicans.
Symptoms of a yeast infection include a thick, curd-like discharge with a white color that makes it look like cottage cheese. You'll also experience a burning sensation during peeing.
You Recently Switched Shower Gel/ Laundry Detergent or Bought New Underwear
If your vagina is itching like it's on fire, but you have no discharge, it might be a problem with your clothing. Have you recently changed your detergent? Maybe you opened a new pair of underwear yesterday?
Ingredients in detergents and VOCs in new, unwashed clothing may spark allergic reactions that you mistake for an STI.
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
Does something smell fishy down there? Relax, it's probably not what you think it is. Bacterial vaginosis happens to around 30% of women. It's a condition where the woman experiences a shift in the bacterial balance of the vagina, resulting in an imbalance of the bad flora (anaerobes).
As a result of the imbalance, you might start to experience symptoms of itching, along with a strong fishy smell. The smell is stronger during sex and persists without treatment. BV puts you at a higher risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection.
Doctors clear up BV imbalances using antibiotics to stop the overgrowth of the harmful bacteria and encourage the growth of good vaginal bacteria (lactobacilli). You should recover within a week with the right medications. While BV is not an STI, women can pass it between each other during sex.
Don't Panic – Call Your Doctor
Relax, as you can see – there are plenty of reasons why your vagina's feeling itchy today. Call your doctor and rely on a professional diagnosis and treatment protocol.
Never attempt to self-diagnose due to being embarrassed about your condition. Doctors see this type of thing all the time, and they want to help you get back to health.