‘What causes itchy bits?’
I get a lot of people ask me about itchy vulvas, it can be really annoying and uncomfortable – not the question but the itchy vulva you understand! The long and the short of it is that it usually signifies a wobble in your gut health and hormones somewhere along the line. I know this is as vague and annoying as humanly possible and seems like a blanket statement to almost everything to do with our fannies but remember that EVERYTHING in your body is connected to another system.
The problem with allopathic (western medicine) is that it can be a little blinkered, a little linear, a little peniscentric – I know I sound like a stuck record with sour grapes but our health service has a patriarchal lineage that doesn’t just go away overnight. I will bang this drum for as long as I have a heart beat!
Your wonderful body is always telling you stuff and it is my job to help you to understand that as much as possible so you have the autonomy and knowledge to help yourself and ask better questions of your health provider.
So let’s have a look at some common causes that may make you want to buff your lips with a loofa.
- Thrush (Candida)
- Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
- Hormone Imbalances
- Hormonal Contraceptives
- STDs (sexually transmitted disease)
- Chemical irritants/allergies
- Lichen Sclerosis (lie-kun skluh-row-sus)
At the end of the article I have left some links for some of my products that will be helpful to you with vulva itching.
Candida is the name for the type of fungi that creates the yeast infection, it can live in and on our bodies with no bother and and we get problems when it goes feral. Everyone is susceptible to it adults and children and you can pass it to each other but it isn’t deemed a STD. Candida and other infections like athletes foot and ring worm are same same but different. Both a fungal infection but Candida is a yeast based infection that you can find in the mouth, nethers and other moist places. Athletes foot, ring worm and jock itch are the same family of fungi just called different things because of where they break out.
You can read more about Thrush here.
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
It sounds horrific, like you have cooties in your crotch. It is actually a sign you are keeping everything too clean down there and washing the good bacteria that is needed and wanted away. The only part of your nether anatomy that needs soap anywhere near it is the outter part your vulva, under no circumstances should soap come into contact with your inside labia, that just needs to be rinsed and cleaned with water only.
You can read more about BV here
Throughout your life time it is safe to say you are going to have moments when your hormones might be as co-operative as a toddler when they don’t want to do something – I secretly commend their ability to be so vocal about it truth be told – stress, pregnancy, child birth, diet, lifestyle, specific conditions like PCOS and Endometriosis to name a few can create fluctuations in our two major hormones oestrogen and progesterone. As I always say, although it may feel like your body is out to get you sometimes it is simply trying to communicate its needs. Having better body literacy is the corner stone to understanding and having a better relationship with not only your period but your whole body.
You can find out more about body literacy here
I’ve put these two stages together even though they are very different, the pre or peri menopause is putting your hormones into flux, oestrogen will be up and down but when it is on the lower side it can and does give way to creating itchiness around the vulva. The menopause is once we have stopped bleeding and we have parked up at the next stage in our hormonal adventures. Vaginal dryness can again be a cause for itchiness and the reason being is that oestrogen is lower, although this is a normal phase for our body to go through this is another indication of what your body is needing. Looking after yourself through this pivotal point in your life will pay dividends for your future health. See is as a hormonal pension fund if you like.
You can read more about this here
I mention this here because it is an important thing to note. If your diabetes is a bit out of hand you can get bouts of thrush. This is because when diabetes isn’t controlled or you don’t know you have it blood sugars can run high and this means that there will be excess sugars in your urine, this is the perfect mix as thrush loves sugars! The importance of mentioning this is more in relation to type 2 diabetes which can be prevalent in PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) but also insulin resistance can rear it’s head at any given time through out our menstrual career. Noticing very sweet (think sugar puffs) smell to your urine can be a very helpful and telling clue about your over all health.
You can read more about this here.
STDs (sexually transmitted disease)
There are a number of STDs that can cause itching these include genital crabs, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, gonorrhoea, genital herpes and genital warts. It is always best to go and get these checked out by a health professional preferably one at a GUM (genitourinary medicine) clinic. There is nothing to be embarrassed about I promise there is nothing (as an ex nurse) that we haven’t seen or had on us! There is never any TMI (too much information) either. STDs if left untreated can do a lot of harm, so get them checked out ASAP.
If you only take away one thing from this article I hope it is this STOP USING COMMERCIAL PERIOD PRODUCTS. Please for the love of your lips use reusable period products pads, pants or cups or organic cotton disposables. There is so much toxic chemicals in all the commercial brands that will soak up into your body through your skin, you are basically sitting on plastic for 3-7 days of the month and some of those products are infused with fragrance which is just a big no no.
You would also be helping your body a great deal to stay away from all the feminine hygiene products your vagina is a self cleaning entity, it doesn’t need any help from fanny fabreeze, minge mops or pussy perfumes leave your poor vulva in peace and eu natural.
Like wise be conscious of the products you use such as washing detergents and soaps etc.
Condoms can also create havoc for your internal environment.
You can read more about this here.
This isn’t a common condition but one worth mentioning as it can become more prevalent during perimenopause. The cause of this condition is unknown, but likely can be attributed to an immune system or hormones that have gone a bit feral.
You can read more about this here
I’m going to be straight with you here that I am not a fan of synthetic hormones (SH) – I don’t judge anyone for taking them you do you – but I do have real concern about how, when and why they are used. I believe that we do not have sufficient informed knowledge before signing up to use them. I say this as someone who used them for 10 years and didn’t see a problem with them at all. When I had to stop taking them I was annoyed! Doing the work I now do has opened my eyes to the information that I was never given and that pisses me off even more!
There is a multitude of ways the SH can and do interfere with your body you can read more about there here.
In terms of vulva itching SH can change the PH balance of your vagina and this in turn can create itching. It also goes without saying that they change your hormones levels, your own natural hormones are switched off while you are using them, you are running to the tune of the pharmaceuticals you are taking – this is quite sobering when you consider how important your hormones are for your everyday life!
I hope you have found this to be helpful please leave a comment below or if you have any queries about your own health and would like to get in touch then drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or you can book a free discovery call here or a consultation with me here
Products to help your itchy bits
Vaginal dryness – Love your Labia Lip Balm
Itchy/dry vulva – Itch is a Bitch Balm
Thrush – No Thrush in this Bush
Hormone balancing potion Bloody Brilliant Tonic