Why Does My Vagina Feel Hot?

firewood burning

Your vulva is a delicate ecosystem, and it’s important to treat any symptoms that threaten its health. Any burning, itching or pain should be evaluated by a nurse or doctor.

Many products can irritate the vulva, including certain clothing, soaps, lubricants and condoms. A hypersensitive immune system can also cause irritation.

Causes

A burning sensation in the vulva can have many causes, so it’s important to talk to your gynecologist about what’s going on. She can diagnose the issue and treat it, so you can feel better.

If the burning is accompanied by pain when you pee or a feeling that your bladder is full, you may have a urinary tract infection. Other symptoms that accompany a UTI include itching and discharge in the vagina. A yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis or certain STIs can also cause the sensation of a burning vulva.

Fragranced soap, menstrual pads, scented tampons, perfume, bubble bath lotions, swimming pool disinfectants and laundry detergents can all irritate the vulva. So can tight underwear, pantyhose or pants that restrict air flow to the intimate area. A skin condition called lichen sclerosus can cause white patches to appear in the vulva and is more common in postmenopausal women.

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The lining of the vulva contains lots of microorganisms that help keep the area clean and free from infections. But if those organisms get out of balance, a yeast infection (Thrush) can develop or an imbalance in pH may lead to bacterial vaginosis. This is why it’s important to always use unscented tampons and pads, never douche, wash the vulva with soap, or put any perfumed products on the vulva or genital area.

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and itching down there, it is important to see your gynecologist. They will want to get a good look at your vulva and may order an ultrasound to confirm a diagnosis.

They will ask you about your sexual, birth and surgical history and what your symptoms are and when they occur. Vulvodynia is a chronic condition that can be difficult to diagnose, but there are treatments that can help.

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When you are arouses, blood rushes to your vulva and it warms up. This tingling and throbbing can feel really good for some people, especially when they have an emotional connection to their partner or are having sex.

If you are suffering from vulvovaginitis, your doctor can prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection and relieve itching and burning down there. You can also reduce irritation by washing with unscented, unflavored soap and avoiding wearing tight underwear that can irritate your vulva. Wearing cotton underwear can also help. Applying a cold compress or gel pack to the area for 15 minutes at a time can help too. Finally, getting enough sleep and practicing stress reduction techniques can help you relax down there.

Prevention

Many of the things that can cause vaginal burning can be prevented by avoiding irritants, wearing loose-fitting cotton underwear and washing with unscented soap and water. Avoiding perfumed feminine products is also important, including scented pads, tampons and toilet paper. Avoiding douches is also a good idea, as it can disrupt the balance of bacteria that helps fight off infections. If you must douche, rinse the inside of your vulva and the external genitals afterward to prevent irritation.

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A yeast infection, like Thrush, can often be cleared with antibiotics, either in pill form or through a pessary that is inserted into the vagina. Some women may need to use extra lubricant during sex, especially if the feeling of burning in their vulva or outer genitals is caused by friction.

Women with bacterial vaginosis, chlamydia or gonorrhea can be at risk of having STDs that can affect their own health and the health of their baby, and can lead to preterm birth. These diseases can be treated with antibiotics, and the CDC recommends that women use condoms during sex to help prevent infection from occurring.

If you have a constant burning sensation in your vulva or genitals, talk to your nurse or doctor. The symptom is probably nothing to worry about, but it’s best to get checked out so you know what’s going on and what you can do about it.

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