ZocdocAnswersI have a itchy, red, swollen vagina. What should I do?

Question

I have a itchy, red, swollen vagina. What should I do?

My vagina has been itchy for the past two weeks or so. I've been itching it so much it is painful, and today I looked at it in a mirror and my labia is slightly swollen. Overall it's just red, itchy, and irritated. I don't have an abnormal discharge and I don't notice a difference in smell. What should I do?

Answer

I would go to see your primary care doctor or your OB GYN doctor. You need a doctor to take a look and help you figure out what might be going on. One possibility would be a condition called vulvitis. This simple means 'inflammation of the vulva' (which are the labia around the vagina). Most cases of vulvitis are caused by chemical irritation, say from a soap or other personal care product that you are using, and they can usually be cleared up if these products are avoided and care is taken to wear breathable, wicking undergarments. Another very common cause of these kinds of symptoms would be a yeast infection. Although most yeast infections do produce a strong odor and a thick white discharge, they may also present primarily with redness, irritation, and itching of the vulva. Your doctor will be able to performa careful examination and help you figure out what might be going on. If this is vulvitis, you may need a topical steroid or anti itch cream to help get things under control. If this is a yeast infection, a topical or oral anti fungal medication might be needed. Please speak to your doctor. Good luck, and I hope that you are feeling better soon!

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