Women among themselves - the blog on women's health

When it itches and burns: Is it always vaginal fungus?

If the vagina and vulva itch and hurt, or if there is unusual discharge, it is not uncommon for a woman to assume that she has a fungal infection.
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But these and similar symptoms are not always a fungal infection. In the case of burning and itching in the vaginal area, the first suspicion is often "fungal infection". Since about 75% of all women develop a fungal infection in the course of their lives, this assumption is not far-fetched. But other diseases can also cause similar symptoms, which is why you should always consult your trusted gynecologist if you have any complaints in the intimate area.

Possible other causes of itching and burning in the intimate area:

1. bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is caused by an imbalance in the vaginal environment and can feel similar to a fungal infection. In this case, pathogenic bacteria take over, which can cause itching, burning and unusual discharge. In contrast to a fungal infection, this often has a noticeably unpleasant odor.

2. trichomoniasis

The leading symptom of an infection with trichomonads is also sometimes severe itching, accompanied by increased secretion and inflammation of the vulva and vagina. The urethra can sometimes also be affected. Transmission occurs through sexual intercourse, so partner treatment is important. Symptoms can be very similar to a fungal infection, and a medical examination is necessary for diagnosis.

3. contact allergy

In some cases, an allergy to certain products is also responsible for itching in the intimate area - e.g. to condoms (latex), preservatives and fragrances in washing lotions, panty liners and the like. , detergent residues on laundry

4. irritation of the skin due to intimate shaving.

Small injuries of the skin and mucous membranes by shaving can not only be painful, regrowing hair or inflamed hair follicles can also cause severe itching. Therefore, you should be especially careful when shaving intimately, change the razor blades regularly or disinfect.

5. genital herpes

"Infections caused by herpes viruses can cause unpleasant itching and burning. Here, the typical skin changes appear in the form of grouped blisters.

6. skin diseases

Some non-infectious skin and mucous membrane diseases can lead to itching or burning at the vulva and vaginal entrance. Neurodermatitis, psoriasis or autoimmune diseases involving the skin and mucous membranes can also occur in the intimate area.

Attention: It can happen that several infections occur simultaneously. For example, bacterial vaginosis can create perfect conditions for an additional fungal infection due to the imbalance of the vaginal environment.

If a self-prescribed fungal treatment does not work quickly or the complaints keep coming back, it is important to clarify them with the gynecologist. In this way, a permanently wrong or insufficient treatment can be avoided.