Updated in January The vulva, or external genitalia of the female, includes the mons pubis, labia majora outer lips , labia minora inner lips , clitoris, perineum the tissue between vagina and anus and the external openings of the urethra and vagina. Itching often affects the vulva. The sensation of itch in this site in the absence of a known skin condition is referred to as pruritus vulvae. Pruritus vulvae should be distinguished from vulval pain and from vulvodynia , which refers to chronic burning symptoms in the absence of clinical signs. Vulval itch, pain and burning can co-exist.
Vulvar itching affects the outer female genitals, and it can be irritating and annoying, especially at night. While this symptom can happen at any time of day, it might seem more pronounced at night because there are fewer distractions. This makes you hyperaware of the itching. Here are six common causes of vulvar itching :. Candida is a kind of yeast found in the vagina. Approximately 20 percent of women normally have candida without any symptoms. However, sometimes the yeast multiplies, causing a yeast infection.
Back to Health A to Z. Vaginitis is inflammation of the vagina that can cause itching, discomfort and discharge. If you're sure you have thrush and you've treated it successfully in the past with over-the-counter medication, you can treat it yourself again. Read more about over-the-counter thrush medicines. This is known as vaginal atrophy or atrophic vaginitis, and is due to the thinning of the vagina's lining.
Most women experience a slight vulval itch now and again. However, pruritus vulvae means the itch is persistent and causes distress. The vulva is the area of skin just outside the vagina. The itch may be particularly bad at night and may disturb your sleep. About 1 woman in 10 sees a doctor about a persistent itchy vulva at some stage in her life.