Intimate external and internal itching: the possible causes

Intimate itching can be so annoying as to compromise a woman’s quality of life and if you have had it you know what discomfort we are talking about. Among its most frequent causes there are some vaginal infections but when the intimate itch arrives in menopause it can also be linked to something else. Here are all the possible causes.

In summary:

The intimate itching menopause is a fairly common disorder, also prevalent in women of childbearing age, which, however, does not talk much to shame and embarrassment . It can have different causes but always has one characteristic: it is a problem that creates discomfort because the discomfort can be continuous, both during the day and during the night , and can become so important as to have an impact on the quality of life .

External intimate itching: what is it

Intimate itching is a mixed sensation of burning and irritation accompanied by a strong urge to scratch and, at times, by blood loss .

When external , intimate itching is generally associated with genital redness and can also give rise to a sensation or actual swelling of the external genitalia . In this case, in addition to the need to scratch, there is often the need to cool off with cold water : a short-term palliative, however, because after a few moments of relief the itching returns .

Once the genital areas have become hypersensitive to contact , in fact, any touch can worsen the situation. This state of affairs can constitute an impediment to the performance of normal daily activities but also to a peaceful night’s rest.

External itching in menopause can be a sign of Vulvo-Vaginal Atrophy .

Internal intimate itching: what it is

When it is internal or the sensation is concentrated in the vaginal part , more often it is an infection – which can become more frequent in menopause – or the consequences of Vulvo Vaginal Atrophy , a very frequent pathological condition after the age of 50 (we speak of 50% of women after this age) which involves a progressive wasting of the vaginal and vulvar tissues and a series of consequences related to this process: vaginal dryness , micro-lesions, small losses , itching, burning, pain during and after intimate intercourse .

Therefore, even more so, if your feeling is that you have an internal rather than external itch, we advise you to contact a gynecologist as soon as possible, possibly specialized in menopause ( if you do not know one in your area you can look for one near you from this list by entering the postcode of your city ) because it can recommend an adequate treatment to cure any infection or a path to relieve the symptoms and slow down the impact of the consequences of Vulvo Vaginal Atrophy .

What determines the intimate itch in menopause

If you suffer from it or have suffered from it, you know what we are talking about. It is a constant nuisance that generally does not find relief or scratching (indeed, this usually does worse) than with fresh douches or other remedies. The itching remains and persists, especially at night when it can make it difficult even to fall asleep and sleep well.

As can be easily understood, intimate itching can also make sexual intercourse painful (if not impossible) and create embarrassing situations .

For all these reasons it should never be underestimated : this disorder, in fact, can be frequent , recurrent and can become chronic . It is therefore essential to always investigate the causes by contacting an experienced gynecologist in menopause .

In this article we talk, in this specific case, about the external and internal intimate itching that appears in this phase of a woman’s life.

Intimate external and internal itching: what can be the causes in menopause

The vaginal infections can be the main charged in the case of intimate itching . Among the most common infections are:

  • Bacterial vaginitis (or vaginosis)

Bacterial vaginitis is caused by an alteration of the vaginal bacterial flora, whose acidic pH, in normal conditions, is essential to defend against the aggression of external microorganisms. This state makes the “intimate ecosystem” more vulnerable to the risk of infections caused by external microorganisms. Bacterial vaginitis is the most common infection among women of all ages because it can be contracted in a myriad of different situations (for example in the locker room of a gym, using unclean towels or in promiscuity with other people). It is typically associated with foamy and foul-smelling discharge .

  • Candidiasis (or candida) (click on the link to learn more about candida in menopause)
  • Trichomoniasis

What is Trichomoniasis:
It is  an infection that is mostly  transmitted sexually  or by contact  with contaminated clothing or towels. The culprit of this vaginal infection is  Trichomonas vaginalis , a protozoan that literally sticks to the vaginal walls causing infection.
Women are more prone to worsening the infection. The signs of the infection can remain latent even for many years until – due to an alteration of the vaginal pH or due to the intervention of favoring causes – it manifests itself with  abundant and whitish secretions (leucorrhea), intense itching, burning,  dyspareunia .A bacterial culture (examination) is essential to identify this type of infection.

But in menopause , intimate itching can also depend on something else:

  • hormonal changes , such as those that occur in menopause when estrogen drop can affect the maintenance of the normal acidity level of the vaginal environment
  • drug therapies (with hormones or antibiotics)
  • contact allergies (with clothing made of non-breathable fibers, latex or intimate detergents)
  • stress and consequent drop in immune defenses

Intimate itching: when the cause is Vulvo Vaginal Atrophy

We are talking about a pathological condition, typical of postmenopause because it is a consequence of the decline in estrogen production . This determines:

  • an alteration of the vaginal pH (with the consequences that we have explained above)
  • reduced vaginal lubrication
  • less tissue trophism.

The Atrophic vaginitis is manifested by itching, dryness, micturition disorders and pain during intercourse ( dyspareunia ).

Intimate external and internal itching: what to do

Intimate itching should never be underestimated: making an appointment with the gynecologist is the first step to investigate its causes and identify a personalized treatment, depending on the nature of the disorder (a simple visit and some diagnostic tests are enough to ascertain it).

Intimate external and internal itching: how to prevent it

We have seen that some infections can be contracted so lightly and subtly that it is worth dwelling on some simple precautions to be taken (and some incorrect practices to avoid) to try to prevent the problem:

  • take care of intimate hygiene using delicate intimate cleansers (they must have a pH between 4 and 5) and specific for this phase of your age
  • choose cotton underwear (no synthetic fibers that prevent correct perspiration), preferably white , to minimize the risk of irritation and allergies
  • avoid tight-fitting pants which could contribute to irritation of the intimate areas, thus causing itching
  • change your briefs regularly (even more than once a day if necessary) and any hygienic protections (at least every 4 hours) to avoid favoring the development of infections
  • even a correct diet in menopause protects against the risk of alterations in the bacterial flora and, in general, of imbalances of the organism: in particular, it avoids sugars
  • avoid mixed use of towels or clothing that can come into contact with private parts
  • if you go to gyms or swimming pools, always use a towel before sitting in the locker room to change clothes and do not keep wet swimsuits for very long (humidity can increase the risk of infections).


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