Picture it: you’re cuddling with your partner, basking in that post-sex afterglow, when you feel it. A twinge on your vulva. No, not a twinge — an itch. You resist the urge to scratch yourself, but eventually, you can’t take it any longer. Why are you so itchy after sex?
There are many different conditions that can cause vaginal itching after sex. Some are temporary and will go away on their own. Others require treatment. The only way to know why you are itching is to see a doctor. “Many of the causes of vaginal itching have similar symptoms and are therefore difficult to self-diagnose,” nurse practitioner Ebony Midcalf, MSPH, MSN, WHNP-BC, previously told Refinery29. “Therefore, it is best to see a professional for persistent symptoms.”
Here are some common conditions that cause vaginal itching.
You need more lube
If you weren’t sufficiently wet during sex, the friction can cause itching and irritation. This can also be caused by “rough sex, long sex, or especially long sex with a condom and not enough lube,” Dr. Zhana Vrangalova, LELO Sexpert and NYU professor of Human Sexuality, tells Refinery29. Although this isn’t a serious problem, it is uncomfortable. Luckily, it can be easily solved by adding lube.
You have an allergy
You used an irritating product
While it’s not strictly an allergic reaction, many people experience itching and irritation after douching, using scented feminine hygiene products, or even washing their underwear with certain laundry detergents. (You don’t need to douche — your vagina is self-cleaning — and mild, unscented soaps are healthiest for your vag.)
You have a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis
“Intercourse can disrupt the body’s natural PH and lead to either a yeast infection (overgrowth of yeast) or bacterial vaginosis (overgrowth of bacteria naturally found in the vagina),” Dr. Vrangalova explains. “Some vagina-owners are more prone to developing yeast infections or BV after intercourse than others.” Itching is a symptom of both a yeast infection and BV, and both can be cleared up with medication.
You have a STI
You have a skin condition
Finally, skin conditions can affect the vulva as well as the rest of your body. If you have a dermatological condition such as eczyma, lichen sclerosis, or lichen planus, that may be the culprit.
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