Why Does My Vagina Feel Hot?

Getting a burning sensation down there can be alarming, but it’s typically nothing to worry about. There are a few things that can cause vaginal irritation, including infection, irritants, or an allergic reaction.

A burning feeling in the vulva or vagina can be a symptom of an infection like yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis or STIs like trichomoniasis or chlamydia. It can also be a sign of an allergic reaction to soap, lotion or lubricant.

Causes

Feeling a burning sensation in the vulva can be scary. However, it’s usually nothing to worry about. If it’s persistent, you should see a doctor as it may be a sign of an infection like BV or an STI like trichomoniasis. If you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant, it’s especially important to get any symptom that feels like a vaginal burn checked out, as most STI’s and infections can be dangerous for both you and your unborn baby.

Other causes include fissures that are small tears/cracks in the skin of the vulva or anus and can happen during intercourse when there isn’t enough lubrication. Alternatively, it could be an allergic reaction to soaps, perfumed deodorant or even condoms. It can also be a sign of an infection like bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection and sometimes may be accompanied by discharge, itching and a fishy smell.

It’s also possible that it’s due to menopause or peri-menopause and hormonal changes in the body which can cause dryness of the vulva and the associated pain and burning. Your gynecologist can discuss hormone replacement therapy to help alleviate these symptoms. They can also prescribe topical ointments or creams to reduce the pain and burning. In addition, avoiding irritants like tight underwear, scented soap and using cotton tampons can help.

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Treatment

There are many reasons that your vulva or vagina could feel hot, and most of them are easily treated. The first step is to see a health care provider. They can diagnose the condition causing your symptoms and prescribe medications to treat them.

A common cause of burning down there is irritation or an allergic reaction. You can reduce this by using hypoallergenic soap, washing with water and avoiding things that might irritate the area. These include fragranced products, douching and shaving.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like bacterial vaginosis, chlamydia and gonorrhea can also cause vaginal pain or burning sensations. You should always use condoms during sex and visit your doctor if you experience these symptoms.

If your vulva is painful or irritated, your doctor may diagnose you with a condition called vulvovaginitis, which has two kinds: localized and generalized. With provoked vulvovaginitis, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics that you should take to clear up the infection.

Another common reason your vulva or vagina might be burning is because of changes that occur during perimenopause and menopause. This includes a decrease in estrogen, which can lead to thinning of the vulvar and vaginal tissues. It can also trigger itching and burning.

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Prevention

The vaginal ecosystem is sensitive and a variety of things can disrupt it, from infections to irritations. A sudden onset of burning down there may indicate an STD, which is best dealt with as soon as possible to prevent complications like ectopic pregnancies, infertility and pelvic pain.

A few simple lifestyle changes can help reduce the likelihood of developing a vaginal infection. These include washing the vulva and penis with unscented soap and water, wiping from front to back after having a bowel movement and wearing loose cotton underwear. Avoiding irritants like perfumed soap, scented toilet paper and sanitary products with a plastic coating is also a good idea.

Using a water-based lubricant during sexual intercourse can be helpful as well. A lubricant that contains aloe vera can be particularly soothing and is available at most pharmacies. Lastly, getting enough sleep (between 7 to 9 hours) each night and practicing stress reduction techniques can help keep the vulva healthy and hydrated.

Women who are entering menopause should be aware that a burning sensation down there is a common symptom of this stage of life and may be caused by hormones. Visiting a sexual health clinic for a rapid screening test can help confirm the cause and prescribe medication if necessary.

Symptoms

Occasional itching and irritation is normal, but persistent burning should be a sign that something’s wrong. If the burning worsens or gets more intense during sex, add extra water-soluble lubricant. You can also make a simple compress with milk, which is known to soothe the skin.

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The vulva is a mucous membrane, so it is easily irritated by chemicals found in soaps, detergents, condoms, and other products that come into contact with it. Try to keep these products to a minimum and wash your vulva area with plain water and avoid scented lotions and perfumes. You can also make a homemade lubricant using a mixture of olive or castor oil and three to five drops of oregano oil. You can use this as a vaginal lubricant, or apply it to your vulva every time you bathe.

A burning sensation can also be a symptom of certain infections or sexually transmitted diseases, like trichomoniasis and chlamydia. It can also be a side effect of menopause, when estrogen and progesterone levels drop.

If you suspect an infection, a nurse or doctor will perform a physical exam. They may insert a smooth, tube-shaped tool called a speculum into your vagina to look for red bumps, pus, or other signs of an infection. They will also wipe the inside of your vulva with a cotton swab to test for STIs or other conditions.

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