Vaginal Discharge with Itching

Written by : Dr.M.D.Mazumdar, MD

Women with vaginal discharge without itching can bear it for many years without complaining.

But vaginal discharge with itching tends to be much more uncomfortable.

Vaginal itching may be so severe that it may be difficult to control. And when it occurs in public, it can lead a woman almost to tears.

It is not uncommon to find a woman heading for the nearest washroom just to scratch herself in private.

Causes of Vaginal Discharge with Itching

There are three main causes of vaginal discharge with itching:

  • Trichomoniasis or Trich
  • Trichomonas Vaginitis or Trichomoniasis as it is also called, is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a parasite, the Trichomonas Vaginalis. The organism can be found both in the male prostate, prepuce of the penis and urethra as well as the vagina of the female. The male partner is usually symptom free.

    The main characteristic and the chief complaint of the patient is severe itching. The itching may be all over the vulva but is more in and around the vagina. The labia minora and the vagina may become swollen and painful from the inflammation and constant scratching, so much so, that sexual intercourse may become difficult and painful. Sometimes, even walking and sitting may cause discomfort and pain. Click here to Read More ...

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  • Vaginal Yeast or Thrush or Candidiasis
  • Vaginal yeast infection is caused mainly by the fungus known as Candida albicans. So the condition ia also known as female candidiasis. An alternative name is Thrush.

    Some amount of candida are present on the skin all over the body, including the vulval areas and inner thighs. They usually do not cause any infection. But sometimes, if the body's immune system is low due to any cause (stress, illness etc), or if the vaginal ph changes, the conditions become adequate for the yeast to grow and multply rapidly. This can cause yeast infection in the vagina and vulva.

    The main symptom is vaginal discharge with itching or irritation inside the vagina and around the vaginal opening. There is a thick and cheesy vaginal discharge, red and inflamed vagina and pain during passage of urine or during sex. Click here to Read More ...

  • Gonorrhoea
  • Gonorrhea, also known as the 'Clap', is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the Gram-negative bacteria, Neisseria Gonorrhea.

    It grows well in the warm and moist reproductive tracts of both males and females. In females, the commonest sites of infection are the urethra, the cervix, the uterus and the fallopian tubes . It can also grow in other warm and moist areas of the body like the mouth and the anus.

    The chief symptom is a thick whitish or yellowish creamy vaginal discharge with itching, increased frequency of passing urine, pain around the vagina and urethral area and in some women, spotting or bleeding between the periods. Click here to Read More ...

  • Postmenopausal Vaginitis
  • Postmenopausal vaginitis, also known as Senile vaginitis or Atrophic Vaginitis, is a condition in which decreasing levels of estrogen at the time of the menopause makes the vaginal mucosa thin and atrophic.

    The low estrogen level decreases the immunity of the vaginal walls and leaves the mucosa unable to resist infections by pathogenic organisms. This condition can occur not just after menopause, but also in the premenopausal period when the estrogen levels begin to decrease.

    The main symptoms are severe vaginal itching which is usually due to dryness of the vaginal mucosa. severity of the itching may be increased due to a yeast infection. A thin whitish vaginal discharge which may occasionally be blood stained may occur. Sex becomes difficult due to both the vaginal dryness as well as the associated inflammation. Read More ...

    Other less common causes are:

  • Secondary infection
  • Secondary infection of wounds, abrasions, burns and tumours in any part of the lower genital tract can cause inflammation of the area. This in turn can lead to itching around the vagina with discharge. Spread of infection to the vagina can trigger off secondary yeast infection.

    Vaginal discharge and itching may be due to either the infection and inflammation of the wounds or due to secondary yeast infection.

  • Generalised itching
  • Certain conditions cause generalised itching all over the body. They can affect the vulval and vaginal area too. Conditions like atopic dermatitis, scabies, psoriasis, allergic reactions, liver diseases etc. can cause itching all over the body and in the vulval area. The vaginal discharge may be due to pathological conditions or may be to a normal physiological discharge.

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