A vaginal burning sensation is an abnormal condition in the vagina caused by inflammation or infection of the vagina, genitals, or urinary tract. It may feel like vaginal burning may actually be burning and itching or discomfort occurring in the vulva or external genital areas. The burning sensations vary in intensity depending on the cause and individual factors. The burning sensation is constant or it can be felt during certain activities, such as urination or sex. A vaginal burning sensation will appear suddenly or gradually that builds over weeks or months.
The article below covers all the relevant topics of vaginal burning including vaginal burning symptoms of an STD, what causes vaginal burning, what are its treatments, symptoms that occur during vaginal burning, how to get tested, and its preventions.
- Why do I have a vaginal burning sensation?
- Is vaginal burning a symptom of STD?
- Symptoms that occur with a vaginal burning sensation
- What causes a vaginal burning sensation?
- What are the diseases caused by vaginal burning?
- What are the treatments for vaginal burning?
- What happens if the burning sensation is left untreated?
- How to get tested for vaginal burning?
- Provides location
Why do I have a vaginal burning sensation?
Vaginal burning is relatively a common complaint. It can occur due to a variety of other diseases, disorders, and conditions that causes itching or affect the vagina, cervix, genitals, or urinary tract that includes:
- Changes appearing in hormones
- Infections like sexually transmitted diseases or infections (STDs or STIs)
- Sensitivity or allergic reactions to a few substances
- Urinary tract disease
Sometimes, the chemicals found in everyday products can cause irritation and burn in the sensitive skin of the vagina. Some of the products include:
- Laundry detergents
- Harsh soaps
- Scented toilet papers
- Bubble bath product
- Menstrual napkins
Irritation can occur as a result of certain garments that include:
- Fitted bottoms
- Panty tights
- Tight underwear
These symptoms may develop when you start using a new product. If the irritation is caused by clothes, burning and other symptoms may develop gradually as you wear the same item very often. But we highly recommend every individual to get tested if they experience a burning feeling in their vagina as it may lead to serious health problems if left untreated.
Is vaginal burning a symptom of STD?
Yes, vaginal burning is one of the symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases. If the discharge changes color, smells different, or gets heavier, then you may have a problem such as STD or STI. Also, If a woman has discharge plus itching or burning on or around the vagina, she may have vaginitis. Vaginitis usually occurs when the vagina gets irritated or inflamed. The following are the signs of vaginitis:
- Increased volume or frequency of vaginal discharge
- Strong vaginal odor
- The green, yellow, or gray color of discharge
- Vaginal itching
- Vaginal pain
- Redness on or around the opening of the vagina
Unusual vaginal discharge may also occur due to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection of a woman’s reproductive organs often caused by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Symptoms of PID are moderate to severe pain/tenderness in the lower abdomen. If you experience such symptoms, consult your physician immediately.
Symptoms that occur with a vaginal burning sensation:
Vaginal burning may occur with other symptoms, which vary depending on any disease, disorder, or condition. For example, a vaginal burning due to a yeast infection generally occurs with a thick, white vaginal discharge with a texture that resembles cottage cheese. The vaginal burning sensation can accompany other symptoms such as:
- You may experience fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, weight loss, and rashes on other parts of the body due to second-stage syphilis
- Symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, mood swings, and irregular or loss of menstrual periods
- A persistent vaginal odor that can be described as a fish-like odor
- Unusual or heavy persistent vaginal discharge
- Painful sexual intercourse or sexual activities
- Rashes on the skin in the genital area
- Some experience pain while urinating
- Irritation in the vagina or genital area
- Fever may occur due to an abscess
- Itching in the vaginal area or anus
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
Some of the symptoms may include life-threatening conditions such as urinary tract infection or sexually transmitted disease (STD). If you or someone who you are with experiencing unexplained or persistent vaginal burning, visit your physician immediately to avoid serious life-threatening problems. Some of the symptoms may include:
- Change in level of consciousness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness
- Dizziness which is unexplained or persistent
- Heavy vaginal bleeding or bleeding during pregnancy
- Severe lower abdominal and back pain
What causes a vaginal burning sensation?
There are many various causes of vaginal burning that include irritants, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and menopause. Each cause will have its own symptoms and forms of treatment.
Vaginal burning can be caused due to a variety of mild to serious disorders, diseases, or conditions that affect the cervix, urinary tract, or genitals. It can be caused by the physical factors in your environment. Depending on the cause, you might experience continuous vaginal burning or you may only feel burning or discomfort while urinating or during sexual intercourse. Vaginal burning can be caused by certain infections such as
1. Vaginal burning after sex
Sometimes you may experience vaginal burning after sex. This may be because your sexual partner has contracted an STD, which is often asymptomatic for several weeks after the contraction. STDs that cause vaginal burning are
- Chlamydia – A sexually transmitted disease which is caused by a bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis
- Genital herpes – A sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes virus
- Gonorrhea – A sexually transmitted disease which is caused by a bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae
- Trichomoniasis – A sexually transmitted disease which is caused by the parasite “Trichomonas vaginalis”
2. Infections that cause a vaginal burning sensation:
- Bacterial vaginosis. An overgrowth of Gardnerella vaginalis bacteria, which normally live in the vagina
- Pubic lice. which do not infest the vagina but infect and cause itching in the genital areas
- Urinary tract infection. A bacterial infection of the urinary tract
- Vaginal pinworm infection. An infection that spreads from the rectum
- Vaginal yeast infection. A vaginal thrush caused by Candida albicans
- Vaginitis. Inflammation of the vagina and vulva is often caused by an infection
3. Physical and hormonal cause of vaginal burning sensation:
The vaginal burning sensation can be caused by general irritation due to the following physical factors:
- Rough sex or sexual assault
- Tampon left in the vagina for several hours
- High-absorbency tampon for a small amount of menstrual flow
- Vaginal dryness, discomfort during sexual intercourse, and many other conditions including diabetes can cause vaginal dryness
- Wearing tight-fitting underwear or pants that cause a heat rash or irritation on genital tissues
What are the diseases caused by vaginal burning?
The vaginal burning sensation can be caused by other disorders, diseases, and conditions that include:
- Atrophic vaginitis, vaginitis is not caused by infection
- Lichen sclerosis, a chronic disorder that causes changes in the genitalia
- Vulvar cancer
- Vulvar dystrophy, is a growth of abnormal skin on the vulva
- Vulvodynia, unexplained pain in the vulva
Itching or irritation anywhere on the body causes discomfort. But when it occurs in a sensitive area such as a vagina and vulva (the labia, clitoris, and vaginal opening), it can be very uncomfortable. But as they can be symptoms of any infection, it’s always a good idea to visit your physician and get tested for it.
What are the treatments for vaginal burning?
Vaginal burning is treatable. However, the treatment for it caused by any disease or infection varies and is tailored to an underlying cause and the presence of any complications. For example, if the burning is caused by a yeast infection, antifungal medications will be prescribed by your physician. If vaginal burning and itching are caused by a bacterial infection, then antibiotics are prescribed.
Vaginal irritation will get better on its own. However, if the burning persists and you begin developing other symptoms, make an appointment to see your physician immediately. Your physician may do a pelvic exam. And he will probably also take a sample of the discharge to find the source of the problem.
In many cases, your doctor will prescribe a medication to cure the underlying condition. But in others, your healthcare provider will work with you to develop a long-term treatment plan. Anyone with a sexual partner who has recently received an STD diagnosis should also consider seeing a physician.
What happens if vaginal burning is left untreated?
Some underlying causes, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and urinary tract infections, can lead to serious complications if left untreated. Such complications include kidney infection, pelvic inflammatory disease, and serious complications of pregnancy and of a newborn child. STDs are riskier for women who are pregnant, as it can affect their baby or pregnancy. Some can be passed on to the baby during delivery.
Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis make people more susceptible to contracting HIV if they have sexual contact with someone who has any of these viruses.
Complications of the underlying causes of vaginal burning sensation are:
- Birth defects, premature delivery of the baby, miscarriage due to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) during pregnancies
- Higher risk of transmitting HIV/AIDS
- Kidney disease/failure
- Spread of certain infections to unborn children during pregnancy and childbirth or also through breastfeeding
- Spread of infection to the eyes or other organs of the body
- Spread of STDs to your sexual partner
You can minimize the risk of serious complications by seeking medical care and following the treatment plan by your physician designed specifically for you.
How to get tested for vaginal burning?
There are various options available for the STD home test kit and lab visit test, but we have identified the best and the most affordable test providers and have listed them out for our readers. One of our STD testing providers offers an at-home STD test kit at affordable prices.
The following table shows the both STD home test kit and STD testing cost at 3 of our partner laboratories (CLIA – Certified) network located across the U.S.
Name of our Partner Labs
(Home Test Kit)
STD tests can be done in any of the following states either at the provider’s location or by sitting at home. To know the STD test cost at these locations, click here.
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Will insurance cover my testing cost?
No, insurance will not be covered in the billing. However, they will provide you a receipt for insurance reimbursement purposes.
How should I book my appointment?
You can choose the most suitable provider from above and make an appointment by following the instructions mentioned by them.
Can I cancel my lab test order?
Yes, you can cancel your lab test order anytime before your testing. A refund will be initiated after deducting the cancellation fee. However, cancellation is at the discretion of the provider.
Do the providers offer result interpretations?
Yes, a few providers may provide doctor consultations who will take you through the results and provide clarification if needed.
How do I receive my report?
To ensure your privacy, the test report will be mailed to you by the provider.
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