Navigating your GYN concerns in our “New Normal”
Vaginal itching is one of the most awful feelings in the world. On top of that, it’s embarrassing to talk about and if you’ve experienced it, you know it’s majorly intrusive in your life. At the gym, sitting on the couch, in the shower, at the store – it’s a major pain in the V.
You might be surprised to learn that back at the office, it’s one of the most common issues that I treat. The vagina is not the most convenient or socially acceptable place to scratch. What’s worse is that itching can easily become burning, which may make you wish that you could sit on a block of ice all day. Seeing as though many of us are spending more time at home these days, this may be more technically feasible, however there are simple ways that this issue can be treated.
One of the biggest concerns many have now is leaving their homes. Leaving your home for any purpose feels like a daunting task, but for medical care it may increase anxiety. Going to seek medical care, especially for your lady parts, can be challenging but the added stress that Coronavirus presents can make it even worse.
So, do you need to go to the GYN if you have vaginal itching? The answer is maybe. You can always call your GYN (or call around to local GYN offices, if you do not have one) to discuss your symptoms and see if you need to be seen. For the most part, it is hard to say definitively whether you would need to be evaluated or not without a complete history.
Here’s what to do if you think you have a yeast infection
If you have an itch that is accompanied by thick white discharge, you may have a yeast infection. If you have had one before and have been successfully treated with over the counter creams, you may want to take a trip to your local drug store (they are open!). These creams or suppositories that treat yeast infections usually contain miconazole. There are lots of different brand name versions of this medication that is found over the counter and also multiple formulations, but the packaging will tell you that it treats yeast infections.
There are multiple other creams that are sold that state that they help with vaginal itching or odor, but I would be wary about using those, as those creams do not treat an infection, they may just help alleviate the symptoms. Sometimes those anti-itch or odor creams or washes can actually cause your issue to get worse.
Here’s what to do if you have never experienced vaginal itching or burning before but have this now
I would recommend getting in touch with a GYN office. They may opt to have a telehealth appointment to assess your issues and come up with a treatment plan or they may want you to go in and be evaluated. I would definitely recommend calling into these offices instead of walking in at this time because unfortunately, due to coronavirus, some offices may be temporarily or permanently closed or they may have specific protocols and may no longer take walk-ins!
Do I need to go to the Emergency Room for vaginal itching or burning?
The simple answer is NO. This is an issue that I would not recommend going into the emergency department because it can be taken care of in a less urgent setting. Also, many of the emergency rooms across the country are dedicating their time and energy to fighting coronavirus. Your vaginal itching is definitely something that needs to be addressed, but it can be addressed in a different setting.
Hopefully, this helped! If you’re not experiencing these symptoms currently but have had this in the past or would like to try some things that support overall vaginal health, check out part one of this series!