Pregnant women usually experience itching in vaginal area during pregnancy. Although most vaginal itching during pregnancy may be due to pH level changes in the vagina that causes local irritation, it can sometimes be a sign of vaginal infection. Pregnant women are prone to yeast infection and may persist throughout the pregnancy.
What causes Vaginal Itching during Pregnancy?
As mentioned above there are several condition that can cause vaginal itching during pregnancy, few are discussed below:
Vaginal itching due to pH imbalance
Slight changes in pH level of vagina can cause local irritation and itching. This is the most common cause of itching during pregnancy, but the good thing is that there are several remedies you can try to lower the pH level of vagina. Few are listed below:
Baking soda baths: You may apply the paste of baking soda mixed with water to the affected area and leave it for few minutes before washing off. This helps lower the pH level, relieving you from itch.
Sexual intercourse: This may sound funny but is true, having sexual intercourse helps lower pH of vagina. It is due to the lower pH of semen that comes in contact with vagina. But remember, as it is unprotected sex; always get checked for your partner, you don’t want another infection during pregnancy.
Cold compress: Sometimes cold compress will also help soothe the itch, you may give it a try.
Vaginal itching due to infection
Sometimes vaginal itching can be due to several infectious causes, most common being yeast infection. Candida is a type of fungus that is normally found in small amount in vagina and other parts. It usually doesn’t cause any harm because there is balance between good protective bacteria and other yeast and germs. But when good bacteria are suppressed either by antibiotics or decrease immune as in case of pregnancy, yeast start to over-grow leading to yeast infection.
For mild cases applying topical anti-fungal medications will work. For moderate and severe cases of yeast infection always seek professional help and don’t try to treat yourself with oral medications. Remember it may harm your baby. If itching is severe you may apply over the counter local anesthetics gels and creams like lidocaine gel that will help to relief vaginal itching. Never use corticosteroids to the vaginal areas as they may further aggravate itching or infection.
Other causes of vaginal itching
- Bacterial infection
- Chemical irritants
- Hormonal imbalance
- Excessive dryness
Try to avoid treating yourself during pregnancy if you are unsure or don’t know what you are doing. This can be risky to you as well as for the baby. Get help from doctors and get tested for any sexually transmitted disease or any systemic cause.
How to Prevent Vaginal Itching during pregnancy?
There are several ways you can prevent itching during pregnancy, few of which are listed below:
- Take plenty of water which helps flush out the bacteria by urinating
- Take vitamin C on regular basis in addition to other iron and calcium
- Always keep the vaginal area clean and dry
- Don’t forget to dry yourself thoroughly after taking a bath
- Avoid bubble baths and products with fragrance that may cause irritation to the vagina
- Take warm water bath and use mild hypo-allergic fragrance free products while bathing
- Stay away from vaginal douches.
- Yeast and bacteria often love damp and tight places so avoid wearing tight panties and always wash and dry the area clean after urinating
- When cleaning genital areas either by water or soft tissue papers always wash or wipe from front to back to prevent bacterial entering the vagina from anal areas.
- Wash under garments and dry in the daylight
- Always wear loose fitting cotton panties, avoid nylon or polyesters that causes local irritation