What Causes Vaginal Burning and How Is It Treated

Most women have experienced some form of discomfort related to their nether regions at some point in their lives. Burning sensations are very common complaints, but the causes for the burning can range from severe to nothing to worry about. Some women find it difficult or embarrassing to discuss such types of problems with their doctors, but it is important to know that living with discomfort is not something that has to be done.

Also, it can be a sign of a more severe condition (as with any symptom that is out of the ordinary) and it’s always best to have it addressed. Below, we will go into some of the most common causes and some treatment options for how to get the burning to subside. 

Vaginal irritation and burning can be caused by a variety of factors, from detergents to menopause and many things in between. Here are the ten most common culprits:

1. Contact dermatitis

This is the irritation of the skin of the vagina. Detergents, perfumes, soaps, lotions, shaving creams, etc. can all be the cause, especially for women with sensitive skin. Itching, rawness, redness and even pain can accompany the burning sensation.

2. Bacterial vaginosis

Caused by an imbalance of bacteria within the vagina, bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection for women. Constant burning sensation is the main symptom that can also occur during urination. Antibiotics are the main course of action for treatment.

3. Yeast infection

This is another common cause of vaginal burning as well as itching, soreness, painful sex, discomfort urinating or discharge. Certain women are more prone to getting yeast infections, especially if they are pregnant, using hormonal contraceptives, have diabetes or compromised immune systems. Antifungal cream or pills are the typical vaginal irritation treatment plan. 

woman experiencing vaginal burning due to a yeast infection

4. UTI 

Urinary tract infections can happen at different parts of the urinary system, including the urethra, bladder or even the kidneys. Women with UTIs will likely experience burning during urination as well as other symptoms like frequent urination urges, cloudy or bloody urine, lower abdomen pain or others. A course of antibiotics will clear the typical UTI up in a matter of days.

5. Trich

Known as trichomoniasis, is the most common STD in the United States. Transmitted from person to person during sexual intercourse, only 30% of individuals with it present symptoms. Women will experience itching, redness or soreness, discomfort or burning during urination and vaginal discharge (yellow, clear, white or green) that has a fishy odor. Either metronidazole or tinidazole are the two oral medications used to treat trich.

6. Gonorrhea

This bacterial STD infects the mucous membranes within the vagina such as the cervix, uterus and fallopian tubes. Vaginal burning while urinating is the most common symptom that leads individuals to get checked out, but urinating pain, bleeding between periods, and vaginal discharge are also common. Two types of drugs are required to cure this STD.

7. Chlamydia

Also known as the “silent infection,” research suggests that nearly 70% of people don’t show any symptoms. However, vaginal burning is common in those that do experience symptoms. 

8. Herpes

Nearly 1 in 6 people in the United States are estimated to have genital herpes and it is more prevalent in women compared to men. This is a lifelong virus with no cure, but symptoms such as vaginal burning and outbreaks can be managed with antiviral medication. 

9. Allergies

The list of potential allergens that can cause vaginal burning and other symptoms is quite long, but some of the common ones include:

  • Semen
  • Spermicides
  • Latex
  • Lubricants
  • Feminine hygiene sprays
  • Douches
  • Nickel from the surfaces of zippers

Treatment involves avoiding the substances that cause the allergic reaction.

10. Menopause

As a woman goes through menopause, hormone levels cause a variety of reactions and changes within the body. Vaginal burning, especially during sex, is one possible symptom. Other common ones include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Sleep difficulty
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Headaches 
  • Mood changes

While hormone therapy is a common treatment option, doctors now have turned towards other methods of treatment to help the unpleasant symptoms of menopause. MonaLisa Touch is a new, FDA-approved regenerative laser treatment to help a variety of vaginal conditions such as atrophic vaginitis (thinning of the vaginal and vulvar mucosa) that comes with menopause. 

If you are experiencing any abnormal symptoms or discomfort, it is important that you see your doctor to get checked out. Dr. Andrew Krinsky of Tamarac, FL, is one of the best OB/GYN’s in the state and has decades of experience treating all conditions. Dr. Krinsky is also one of very few physicians in Florida that is Certified as a National Menopause Specialist by the North American Menopause Society. Visit our page on MonaLisa Touch to learn more about this revolutionary treatment for vaginal burning or get vaginal tightening in Fort Lauderdale.