It’s not exactly easy to scratch an itch down there, which is why it’s so frustrating when it happens (and sometimes it’s like it comes completely out of nowhere, right?). Vaginal itching can be caused by something as simple as your period products—but in other cases, it can actually be a symptom of a more serious issue. This guide will help you figure out exactly what’s making you feel like you have ants in your pants—and what your treatment options are. (That being said, when it comes to your lady parts, it’s always best to play it safe and visit your gyno for a proper diagnosis.)
Bacterial vaginosis (a.k.a. BV) is the most common reason for vaginal itching and is caused by an imbalance in healthy bacteria and a change in vaginal pH. It feels similar to a yeast infection, but in this case, the discharge is more watery and usually has an odor, explains Lauren Streicher, M.D., author of Sex Rx: Hormones, Health, and Your Best Sex Ever. When it comes to treatment, Streicher says RepHresh, an OTC cream, often works. If your BV doesn’t clear up after the suggested usage time, you’ll have to ask your doc for something prescription-strength.