Three out of four women will at some point have a yeast infection, with its itching and burning and annoying clumpy, white discharge—usually remedied with anti-fungal medications (some even OTC). Bacterial vaginosis, the most common vaginal infection in women ages 15 to 44, can also cause itching, pain, or discharge; it often requires antibiotics.
If you’ve got a down-there itch but no discharge, consider under-the-radar causes.
The combination oestrogen-progesterone birth control pill and contraceptive ring suppress ovulation and therefore also the natural lubrication produced when an egg is released, says gynaecologist Dr.Alyssa Dweck, author of The Complete A to Z for Your V.
The fallout? Dryness, which can prompt itchiness. Consider an OTC vaginal moisturiser once or twice a week, and if that doesn’t calm the area, talk to your gynaecologist about alternate forms of birth control, such as the non-hormonal copper IUD or a diaphragm.
Allergies can also make you squirm down below, says Dweck; they’re usually brought on by fragrance in pads or tampons (opt for unscented) or by the latex or spermicide on some condoms.
Occasionally, though, a woman is allergic to her partner’s ejaculate. No, it’s not a sign a breakup is imminent, but you’ll need to see an allergist for a skin test. If you’re diagnosed, use condoms or pop an antihistamine at least 30 minutes before sex.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com