When vaginal itching occurs due to hormonal changes, stress, or irritating ingredients in detergent or soap, it is rarely serious. However, vaginal itching caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs) will not go away without treatment.

In this article, we’ve outlined the STIs that can cause itching in the vaginal area along with additional symptoms, how each STI is diagnosed and treated, as well as some natural remedies that can help to speed up the healing process. 

What Is “The Vaginal Area”? 

The vaginal area refers to both the inside and the outside of the female genitals. The vulva, which is the outer part of the genitals includes the clitoris, labia (vaginal lips), and the vaginal opening, whereas the vagina is the inside part of the genitals. STIs, for instance, typically affect the vaginal area in general, which is both the inner and outer genitals.  

See our list of natural remedies for itching in the vaginal area

What Is A Sexually Transmitted Infection? 

Sexually transmitted infections, also known as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), are caused by bacteria, parasites, or viruses that are spread from one person to another during vaginal, oral or anal sex. 

Do all STIs Cause Vaginal Itching?

No. Itching is common amongst several STIs, but not all. In addition, some people who contract an STI that is known to cause itching might experience no symptoms at all and only find out they have an STI after testing has been performed.

STIs That Cause Genital Itching 

STIs that cause itching in the vaginal area include chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. Read on for a breakdown of the additional symptoms you can expect with each, as well as the recommended treatment. 


Chlamydia is a bacterial infection and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is the most common STI in the world. Although asymptomatic for most - meaning many people experience no symptoms - when symptoms do occur they can include; itching, a burning sensation when urinating, unusual color or odor from vaginal discharge, pelvic or stomach pain, and sometimes bleeding after sex. 

To diagnose chlamydia, a doctor typically takes a swap from the vaginal area and has it tested in a lab. To cure chlamydia, antibiotic treatment is required. If left untreated it can lead to more serious and long-term conditions for women like infertility, ectopic pregnancies, and pelvic inflammatory disease.  


Gonorrhea, also known as ‘the clap’, is also a bacterial infection and the second most frequently diagnosed STI in the world.  It is particularly common in sexually active people aged between 15 and 24 and presents as asymptomatic for over 50% of women, while more than 90% of men experience clear symptoms.  

Although chlamydia mainly causes itching around the anus, itching can also occur in the vaginal area. Additional symptoms can include pain during urination, unusual discharge from the vagina or rectum, pain during sex, spotting after sex, fever, stomach & joint pain, as well as sore throat, and itchy eyes.

Women living with untreated gonorrhea can find it hard to become pregnant and are also more susceptible to contracting HIV or pelvic inflammatory disease.   

Once a doctor diagnoses gonorrhea by taking a swap of the genitals, rectum, or mouth and sending it to a lab for testing, antibiotics are prescribed as treatment. However, since many women experience no symptoms of gonorrhea, it is recommended that those who are sexually active with different partners arrange to be tested regularly.  


Also known as “trich”, trichomoniasis is an STI caused by a parasite known as Trichomoniasis Vaginalis (TV). According to the CDC, approximately 1 million people are infected with trich each year and over 3.7 million Americans are living with the infection at any given time, however, up to 30% of people experience no symptoms.   

When trichomoniasis symptoms do occur, they typically include itching in the vaginal area, unusually colored and foul-smelling vaginal discharge, inflammation of the vulva, and a burning sensation while urinating or during sex. 

Trich is diagnosed through a physical exam and lab tests and is easily cured with a course of antibiotics. 

Genital Herpes

There are two types of herpes, the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is typically contracted orally but can also cause genital herpes, and the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is a sexually transmitted infection that results in genital herpes.  

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 67% of people in the world under the age of 50 have HSV-1 and 11% have HSV-2, the latter being more common for women than men. 

Most people feel no symptoms, some experience mild symptoms and a small portion of people report symptoms like blisters and itching around the vaginal area and anus, body aches, fever, and swollen glands. 

Genital herpes is typically diagnosed by a visual examination of the blisters and lab tests. Although it is treated with antiviral medication, this will not “cure” the infection, but it will lower the risk of passing it on to sexual partners. 

Genital Warts

Genital warts are caused by a virus called Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and are typically contracted during sexual contact. It is believed to affect 1% of adults in the world under the age of 50, however, only 10% of those with HPV develop genital warts.

As well as itching, symptoms can include redness and swelling in the vaginal area, and groupings of warts on the genitals or anus, which can sometimes bleed and result in pain or discomfort. HPV can be diagnosed with a visual examination and doctors will often send at least one wart to a lab for testing. 

Although there is no cure for genital warts, they normally disappear on their own within two years.  During that time, if the patient prefers, genital warts can be removed via cauterization, however, they are known to return during the two years.   

Natural Remedies That Help Treat STIs

STIs always require medication as treatment, however, some natural remedies help with itching and can help to prevent them from occurring in the first place, as well as speed up the healing process in conjunction with medication when they do occur.  

Consider taking a daily probiotic. Although it is now widely understood how probiotics can improve gut health and digestion, they are also incredibly beneficial for balancing vaginal pH levels and keeping infections at bay.

Here at Intimate Rose, we’ve added cranberry and D-Mannose to our Flora Bloom Feminine Probiotics which make it even more difficult for infections to set in. 

Boric Acid Suppositories come highly recommended by holistic female health experts as an accompaniment to the prescribed antibiotic treatment for vaginal infections like STIs.

As well as relieving itching and burning, boric acid suppositories promote the perfect acid balance in the vagina and help to kill the TV parasite that causes trich, as well as the bacteria behind gonorrhea, chlamydia, bacterial vaginosis, and urinary tract infections. 

Refrain from douching. A vagina is a self-cleaning machine that knows how to maintain a healthy pH balance to keep infections at bay. Cleaning it with synthetic products such as douches or scented soaps and fragrances only upsets the natural microbiome of the vagina and makes it more susceptible to STIs. Instead, wash the genitals daily with warm water and unscented soap and pat dry to prevent any irritation from rubbing. 

Always use condoms with new partners. Using condoms massively reduces the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection, however, because condoms can break, using them does not eliminate the risk of STIs. 

Get Tested Regularly. Because condoms cannot completely eliminate the risk of contracting an STI, on top of the fact that most people with an STI experience no symptoms, it is essential to have yourself tested at least once a year if you are sexually active with multiple partners. 


While many women experience no symptoms from STIs, several infections are known to cause itching in the vaginal area, unpleasant odors, genital discharge, and even fever.

Treatment options typically involve antibiotic or antiviral medication, depending on the type of STI, and some natural remedies used in conjunction with medication can help to relieve symptoms too. 

If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms, contact your doctor for a consultation immediately. When left untreated, many STIs can result in long-term damage to the female reproductive organs. It is therefore widely recommended that sexually active women are tested at least once per year. 


World Health Organization – Sexually Transmitted Infections - https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sexually-transmitted-infections-(stis)

Cleveland Clinic – Chlamydia - https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4023-chlamydia

Centers For Disease Control & Prevention - Gonorrhea - https://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/stdfact-gonorrhea.htm

Centers For Disease Control & Prevention – Tricomoniasis - https://www.cdc.gov/std/trichomonas/stdfact-trichomoniasis.htm

World Health Organization – Herpes Virus Globally - https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/28-10-2015-globally-an-estimated-two-thirds-of-the-population-under-50-are-infected-with-herpes-simplex-virus-type-1

National Library of Medicine - Female genital warts: global trends and treatments -  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11516064/

Cleveland Clinic – Boric Acid Vaginal Suppository - https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/19641-boric-acid-vaginal-suppository

Journal of The Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association - The Antimicrobial Effect of Boric Acid on Trichomonas vaginalis - https://journals.lww.com/stdjournal/Fulltext/2014/12000/The_Antimicrobial_Effect_of_Boric_Acid_on.6.aspx

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