Itching of the vulva – the opening to the vagina, clitoris, outer and inner lips and the skin in the area between the vagina and the anus – is known medically as pruritus vulvae. Usually it’s not serious but if it’s frequent and persistent, it’s important to get it checked out.
These are extremely wide-ranging. It can sometimes simply be due to irritation from chemicals found in:
You may also experience hormonal changes around pregnancy, breastfeeding and the menopause, which can affect the delicate vulval skin.
Infections or infestation
Talk to your doctor if you're concerned about symptoms.
See a doctor if the itching is frequent and persistent or accompanied by other unexplained symptoms such as a rash or discharge. This is very important because a lot of the symptoms of minor conditions can be very similar to those of serious conditions such as vulval cancer. The earlier any condition is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat.
Your doctor may:
They may also consider other tests including:
Test samples will be sent to a laboratory for analysis.
Treatments for an itchy vulva will vary, according to the cause. They may include lifestyle changes such as avoiding anything that may be causing an allergic reaction and self-care such as:
If you need treatment, this will depend on the underlying cause. Your doctor may recommend: