Dear Aunt Vadge,
I’ve had vaginal itching off and on for years. My bottom also itches sometimes. Please help.
Oh, Itchy I hear you, and that sounds super annoying! Vaginal and bottom itching can be enough to make you want to shimmy down the sidewalk on your backside like a dog with worms! But seriously, it’s important, and I’m here to help you get to the bottom of it (pun intended!).
Now, vaginal and bottom itching can be caused by a variety of things, ranging from the benign to the need-to-treat kind of conditions. Here are some common culprits:
These fungal foes can make your lady garden itch like crazy. They love warm, moist environments, so they’re pretty common.
If this has been going on for a long time, first, get a swab or comprehensive vaginal microbiome test to confirm or deny the presence of yeast or pathogenic bacteria. If there’s no yeast present, look elsewhere for the cause.
For a comprehensive at-home vaginal microbiome test, get US$20 off with this link at Juno checkout – this test will tell you if you have yeast, what type, and how much, and also catalogue every single microbe in your vaginal sample. It’s pretty neat!
Over-the-counter yeast creams can be a quick fix, but beware they contribute to fungal drug resistance, so avoid overuse and try to use other options where possible. If it’s a recurring yeast issue, you might need to see a practitioner for something stronger.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV)
BV isn’t as well-known as yeast infections, but it’s actually really common. It can cause itching, and sometimes a fishy odour (not the kind you’d bring to a seafood boil). But, BV doesn’t tend to cause anal itching, so get a test and see what’s going on.
If you do have BV, you have a few options from our non-drug treatment program Killing BV to prescription meds. Again, avoid resistance-forming drug treatments where possible, but don’t leave it untreated. My Vagina has plenty of all-natural non-drug BV treatment options.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Several STIs can cause itching, so safe sex is always a smart move. If you think you might have been exposed, get tested at the doctor pronto.
Sometimes our bits react to soaps, detergents, or even fabrics. Try to use hypoallergenic products and see if that helps. This is called allergic contact dermatitis, and can happen even if you aren’t normally sensitive.
Those pesky swollen veins around your bottom can itch, especially if haemorrhoids are irritated by wiping or certain foods. Sometimes if the wipe was incomplete after the bathroom, some faeces may enter the vagina and cause infection. Get tested to confirm or deny.
Pinworms are usually found in the anal area and colon, causing itching, especially at night. Sometimes, these pinworms make their way to the vagina and cause vaginal and anal itching, again, particularly at night.
Check out the post on vaginal pinworms and see if the symptoms match, and if so, go and see your doctor and get worm treatment.
Even if they say flushable or bottom friendly, almost all wipes leave a chemical residue on the skin, which can be really irritating for some people. The only wipes currently that My Vagina can safely recommend you use on your vulva or bottom are a brand called Water Wipes, which have just water and a drop of essential oil.
Diet and hygiene
Spicy or acidic foods can irritate, and moist environments can breed all sorts of itchy critters. Keep it clean and dry down there, and consider your diet.
If this has been an ongoing thing for years, it’s really important that you see a healthcare professional. They can provide a proper diagnosis and get you on the right treatment path. Don’t be shy or embarrassed – bodies are weird and wonderful, and doctors have literally seen it all.
In the meantime, avoid scratching as much as possible – it can make things worse. Try to wear loose, breathable cotton underwear and change out of wet clothes quickly. And keep the area clean, but don’t go overboard with harsh soaps or douches – that can upset your natural balance and lead to more issues.
Remember, you’re not alone in this. So many women deal with similar issues, and there’s definitely help out there.
You’ve already taken a brave step reaching out, and I believe you’ll find a solution. Hang in there, and keep me updated! Sending you all the itch-free vibes I can muster! 🌸🐜 (That’s an ant, not a critter you need to worry about, just for the record! 😉)
Lots of love,