Vaginal Irritation Itching and Discharge After Sex

Some women experience itching, irritation and discharge following sexual intercourse. It can be difficult to figure out what is causing the problem. However, it is important to seek out the causes of irritation and eliminate them as soon as possible, ensuring a return to full sexual enjoyment and ruling out the possibility of a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

Identification

After sex, some women experience changes in the consistency, color, amount and odor of their vaginal discharge. A woman may also experience painful urination, itching, burning and light vaginal bleeding after intercourse. Sometimes, these things may be caused by infections that become more noticeable after the friction of intercourse.

Types

Bacterial vaginosis, a bacterial infection of the vagina, causes itching and irritation. It produces a grayish-looking, bad-smelling discharge, which becomes more noticeable after sex. Trichomoniasis, a parasitic infection that causes a greenish, foamy-looking discharge, can produce irritating symptoms. Non-infectious vaginitis may also lead to irritation and can be caused by the use of sprays, perfumes, soaps, detergents and spermicides that produce an allergic reaction.

Misconceptions

It is a misconception that vaginal irritation and itching are always caused by some sort of infection or disease. Something as simple as vaginal dryness can cause it as well. For example, a woman going through menopause may experience a significant drop in hormones in her body, which can lead to vaginal dryness. Additionally, a woman who is not adequately aroused before and during sex may experience dryness during the act and itching and irritation afterward. Some women are even allergic to the latex in condoms, experiencing irritation after contact with them.

Warning

If you’re experiencing vaginal itching, irritation or discharge following sexual intercourse, see a doctor as soon as possible to rule out an STD. If you have an STD, both you and your partner should be treated to ensure that you are not reinfected. Do not ignore symptoms that could indicate an STD, as doing puts your health at risk. For example, sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which can permanently damage your reproductive organs.

Prevention/Solution

There are some things you can do to prevent itching and irritation following sexual intercourse. Have any infections treated quickly, and never use scented soap or sprays in the vaginal area, even those that are designed for vaginal use. Don’t douche, as regular bathing takes care of cleaning the vagina, and douching can alter its environment, leading to an increased risk of vaginal infections. Don’t take very hot baths, stay out of hot tubs and always wipe from front to back to avoid getting fecal matter in your vagina. Dry your vagina well after bathing, showering and swimming.