Post Partum Itch – Postpartum Vaginal Itching Causes – Symptoms – Treatment
Becoming pregnancy comes with a lot of struggles, and those struggles start as soon as a mother conceives. Then adapting to the changes occurring during the pregnancy and after the delivery of the baby is nothing less than an ordeal for the new mother.
The entire pregnancy is both physically and mentally exhausting, and it takes a toll on the mother’s overall condition. The profound changes occur as a nuisance to most mothers because most of the time, mothers do not realize what is happening to their bodies, especially if they are new mothers.
Guiding new moms and telling them about such changes is the job of the doctor. But since the other has to go through them alone, most of the time, they become irritated and extremely tired with every new challenge that comes every other day.
If someone thinks challenges stop after the delivery, then they could not be more wrong. The real problems start right after birth because now the mother has to look for herself and as well as her baby. And because the mother is weak from the delivery, she has to put extra effort into taking care of herself and her newborn.
Right after the baby is born, the mother may come across a few changes in her body that may be irksome to her. Out of the several problems that occur during postpartum, Post Partum Itch having a dry and itchy vagina is one of the most significant issues faced by new mothers during their postpartum.
In this article, we are going to explain vaginal itching to new mothers in detail, so they know that they are not alone in their postpartum problems, and we are there to help such new moms to get through this period efficiently.
Below we have provided a detailed insight into what vaginal itch is, what causes it, and 7 Ways To Treat Postpartum Vaginal Itching
.Keep reading the article to find out the answers to your questions.
What is a postpartum vaginal itch?
A vagina is a very dynamic part of a woman’s reproductive tract. During delivery, it goes through stretching, tearing, pulling, and going back to its average size. Any part of the body, which is this dynamic, will show some signs after it has been stretched too much to allow the baby’s head and body to pass through.
In the process, most women even end up tearing their vagina to allow the baby’s head to pop out, or a doctor has to give an incision for the baby to pass if the vagina is small. After the birth of the baby, the placenta comes out of the uterus through the same passage.
As soon as the baby is born, the time for postpartum starts where a heavy discharge leaves a woman’s uterus for 6 to 8 weeks following delivery.
All this involves a woman’s vagina, and it is of no surprise that a vagina becomes irritable after so much work. For this reason, a vagina may itch after the birth of the baby. Having an irritating vagina after birth is, in fact, a fairly common symptom, and most women complain of this to their doctors during their visit postnatal.
Fortunately, the vaginal itch is not a significant problem because there are anyways a woman can treat it, and fix it herself at home without costly medications, and in a few days, everything will become soothing again.
What causes the vagina to itch during postpartum?
There are several reasons as to why vaginas itch after birth. The most common causes include:
- Hormonal changes: During pregnancy, the body produces higher levels of estrogen, which can increase vaginal discharge. After giving birth, the body’s hormone levels return to normal, which can cause the discharge to become thicker and less acidic, leading to irritation and itching.
- Infection: Postpartum vaginal itching can be caused by an infection, such as a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. These infections can be caused by changes in the vagina’s pH balance, which hormonal changes, sexual activity, or certain medications can disrupt.
- Dryness: The vagina may become dry due to hormonal changes and decreased estrogen production after childbirth. This can lead to irritation and itching.
- Allergies or sensitivities: Postpartum vaginal itching can also be caused by allergies or sensitivities to products such as soaps, detergents, or condoms.
- Dryness: Breastfeeding can decrease estrogen levels, which can cause the vagina to become dry and itchy.
- UTIs: Urinary tract infections can cause vaginal itching and discomfort.
- Thrush: A yeast infection, also known as thrush, can cause itching and discharge in the vagina.
- Tight clothing: Wearing a tight dress or underwear can cause irritation and itching in the vaginal area.
- Lack of hygiene: Not correctly cleaning the vagina after using the bathroom or during menstruation can lead to itching.
- STIs: Some sexually transmitted infections, such as genital warts or herpes, can cause itching in the vaginal area.
Stitches in the perineal region:
A large percentage of women end up tearing their lady bits during labor, or the doctor has to put a cut, called an episiotomy, to allow the baby’s head to pass through the birth canal. When the perineum is torn, a doctor has to stitch back the skin close so that the perineum can heal better and quickly.
The stitches make a woman extremely uncomfortable when she has to sit, and it also irritates a lot. As the wound starts to heal, the skin of the perineum begins to itch, and this makes a woman very irritable. The good part is that itching means that the surface is healing, but only the woman who is going through; this knows how it feels.
The stitches are removed after some time when the doctor can confirm that the skin is appropriately intact, and it has completely healed.
During pregnancy, a hormone called estrogen is on a surge. It is because the estrogen hormone has to maintain the pregnancy. As soon as the baby is out of the woman’s system, the levels of estrogen drop dramatically. The point to keep in mind here is that a vagina is kept moist and healthy because of estrogen.
With the drop in the estrogen levels after the birth of the baby, the vagina becomes dry, which means there is more friction and less lubricity. As a result, the vagina becomes extra itchy and irritates badly.
What are the symptoms of vaginal dryness?
If the vagina becomes dry, then it may lead to some troublesome symptoms for a woman. Some of the symptoms of vaginal dryness are listed below:
Soreness and burning
Shrinking of the labia majora
Repeated urinary tract infections
Increased frequency of urination
7 Ways To Treat Postpartum Vaginal Itching
What can be done to treat vaginal itching?
Vaginal itching can make a new mother extremely uncomfortable at home, and even when she is out. It is not a good situation to be in, and a mother may look for a quick and permanent remedy for this. However, there is no rocket science to treat vaginal itching, and everything can be done from home.
Here is a list of things a mother can try to soothe her itching vagina. The tips are general, and a woman must consult her doctor before trying it out at home because a vagina is a sensitive region, and it may get irritated with the remedies easily. Plus, a mother who is breastfeeding must be really cautious with what she is ingesting as somethings tend to pass in breast milk.
A sitz bath is highly advisable in hemorrhoids and vaginal tearing. A sitz bath is where you fill your bathtub with water and add soap and preferable Epsom salt to it and then sit in the water for quite a few minutes.
This method will help the area to become clean, which will speed up the healing process. One can do these 2 to 3 times a day to heal faster. It is one of the most comfortable, most natural, safest, and fastest way of treating a torn and itchy vagina.
A Peri bottle
Most women are provided with peri bottles when they are discharged from the hospital. A peri bottle or a perineum bottle is a small bottle with a tilted nozzle to allow better cleaning of the vagina.
Many doctors advise using a peri bottle instead of a toilet paper to clean the perineum because the harsh and rough material of the toilet paper can worsen the torn vagina and hurt it even worse. With a peri bottle, a woman will just have to fill the bottle with water and squirt it on her perineum, which will keep the area clean better than a tissue paper.
Local anesthetics can make the pain and itching go away in a matter of minutes. Local anesthetics are available in spray and cream form. A woman can apply it to her perineum and become free of pain for a while. The drugs are readily available at any drug store.
A spray can be used while changing pads, and cream can be applied using a cotton ball after using the toilet, or changing the pads.
Ice packs are the most convenient ways of soothing a vagina. It works as a lifesaver when it comes to vaginal pain and itching. Most hospitals provide a disposable ice pack before discharge. Otherwise, an ice pack is readily available at any drug store.
Using an ice pack on a painful vagina for at least 20 minutes every now and then can be really helpful in soothing the sore vagina.
Witch hazel is a very important element when it comes to curing vaginal problems like itching and infections. Witch hazel includes a chemical called tannins, which helps fight off the bacteria and keeps the vagina free of contamination. It also soothes the soreness and provides comfort after multiple uses.
A woman can soak a cotton ball with witch hazel and apply it on her vagina whenever she changes her pad or uses the toilet.
Pain killers come in handy for every type of pain. So, if a woman is in so much pain that she is not able to sit comfortably, then she may take a pain killer to relieve herself of the pain.
It is imperative to wear loose and comfortable clothes during this period so a woman can stay as comfortable as possible. Wearing baggy and airy clothes will not irritate the vagina as the friction of the clothes against the vaginal skin can severely hurt it.
Similarly, wearing airy and light clothes will allow the vaginal skin to breathe, which will allow the vagina to heal quickly. On the other hand, tight clothes will make movement hard and uncomfortable. Tight clothes can also prevent air from keeping the area dry and it will also cause irritation to the skin of the vagina.