A medical expert on Monday told women that vaginal itching and irritation could be symptom of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).
She said in Lagos that when vaginal itching was persistent and recurring, the patient should visit a doctor.
Dr Titi Dairo, a consultant gynaecologist, said that there were many causes of vaginal itching and irritation, which he said, could have been underlying symptoms of STDs.
Vaginal itching is a tingling or uneasy irritation of the skin of the vagina and the surrounding area (vulva).
“The itching may cause a desire to scratch the affected area. Common causes of vaginal itching include: chemical irritants such as detergents, fabric softeners, feminine sprays, ointments, creams, douches, and contraceptive foams or jellies.
“Menopause, a drop in the hormone estrogen causes vaginal dryness.
Stress may increase vaginal itching and make you more susceptible to infections.”
Dairo said that at some point in time, a woman was likely to experience some degree of internal or external vaginal itching.
“Although, mild vaginal itching is normal and should not cause concern, but, if you develop persistent or excessive vaginal symptoms, you can have an infection. Some of the common causes of vaginal itching are bacteria vaginosis. Asides the itching, bacteria vaginosis causes inflammation, burning, discharge and a fishy-smelling odour.
“Vaginal itching can also be a symptom of STDs like genital herpes, trichomoniasis, and gonorrhoea and yeast infection. Also, if you are pregnant when you experience vaginal itching, you should know that the most common reason for vaginal itching during pregnancy is the normal changes to the vaginal pH level.
“Menopause is also a known cause of vaginal itching because of the drop in estrogen production that occurs at the end of a woman’s reproductive years. The symptoms are notorious for persistent vaginal itching and irritation and it is advised that you call on your doctor and not self-medicate,” she said.