The exterior part of the female vagina is technically called the vulva. If you experience a burning sensation in the vaginal area, it is most likely the vulva that is actually affected. There are many medical conditions that can cause itching, stinging or burning sensations in the vaginal area. While these may cause significant discomfort, many of the conditions are easily treated. To get this treatment, you must talk with your doctor and they may run tests to figure out what could be at fault.
Why Is There a Burning Sensation in My Vaginal Area?
The severity of your pain depends entirely on what is causing the burning sensation. The burning may begin spontaneously, or it could gradually take hold. You may feel the burning only at specific times like during sex, urinating or exercise. The most common reasons for vaginal burning are listed below.
- Badly Controlled Diabetes
If you have diabetes, your body could be out of balance. Yeast loves to feed on glycogen and glucose. These types of sugar are normally present in the human body, but they can grow out of control if your diabetes is not well regulated. When this happens, yeast increases and you develop a yeast infection. You can treat a yeast infection with over-the-counter medication or by getting a prescription from your doctor. Since a yeast infection mimics the symptoms of certain sexually transmitted diseases, it is important to also be checked for STDs regularly just in case.
Contrary to popular belief, your body does not need douches. The female reproductive system is self-cleaning. During the month, the vaginal discharge that you experience washes away anything that could be causing a problem in your vagina. If you use a douche, you are exposing your body to harsh chemicals and destroying the health balance of bacteria in your vagina. When this happens, you can develop a yeast infection and irritation. You are also more likely to develop an infection. If you absolutely must douche, try using an organic douche or making a natural one at home. Ideally, you should stop douching.
3. Bacterial Vaginosis
Your vagina has a health blend of bacteria that are in a perfect balance normally. If one of the bacteria in your vagina grows out of balance, you could have an infection known as bacterial vaginosis. Symptoms for vaginosis include a fishy-smelling discharge, burning sensations, inflammation and itching. Fortunately, this condition is fairly easy to treat with antibiotic creams or capsules.
4. Yeast Infections
As we mentioned before, a yeast infection can cause a burning sensation. You may experience itching, irritation, redness or swelling. Often, you will have odorless vaginal discharge that looks similar to cottage cheese. If you have a yeast infection, you can treat it with anti-fungal medication. When you have chronic yeast infections, you need to visit the doctor for better medication or a long-term maintenance plan.
There are many, many things that can irritate the delicate skin of your vagina. Different brands of toilet paper, soap and cleansing wipes can be irritation. Fragrance and lotions can also cause irritation. Avoid using any product on your vagina expect ones that are recommended by a doctor. If toilet paper is the cause, stick with a plain, unscented variety.
6. Other Potential Reasons for a Burning Sensation
While the previous reasons are some of the most common, you could also develop a burning sensation in your vaginal area if you have a urinary tract infection. Caused by an infection in your urethra, bladder or kidneys, this can cause vaginal burning and must be treated by a doctor. A sexually transmitted disease like genital herpes, chlamydia, genital warts or gonorrhea can also cause burning sensations.
Treating Vaginal Pain
To treat and prevent a burning sensation around your vaginal area, use the following tips. If the pain is consistent, you should always visit your doctor for a pelvic exam. In addition, you may want to visit your doctor for a more effective treatment and an accurate diagnosis.
- Tampons: Sanitary pads can irritate the vulva. If only the exterior of your vagina feels a burning sensation, switch to tampons.
- Use Good Hygiene: You should only wash your vaginal area with water—no soap or douches, ever. Also, make sure that you wipe from front to back after you use the toilet.
- Clothes: Avoid tight underwear or tight pants.
- Stay Cool: Bacteria love warm environments, and the vagina is one of the warmest places on your body. Keep your vaginal region cool by avoiding tight cloths, heat-trapping materials and polyester. This will prevent bacteria from accumulating.
- Self-Exams: Regularly exam your body so that you know what is normal and what is not for you personally.
- Cold Compresses: A cold or cool compress can help relieve itchiness or burning sensations temporarily.
- Stay Wet: Dryness can increase burning and itching sensations, so use a water-based lubricant during intercourse—just make sure that it is specifically designed for use on your vagina.