Women have endured many things that are a natural part of womanhood. Menstrual cycles, birthing, menopause, hormone fluctuations, I could go on. When all isn’t “balanced” in our nether regions, you may wonder if this is just another “thing” to put up with. Itching and certain odors, pain with sex, and burning with urination are a few symptoms that shouldn’t be ignored down there. In many cases, there’s an underlying issue that needs medical attention, so knowing when you need to talk with your doctor can keep your lady parts in tip-top shape.

Itching and Odor

Woman bent over holding her private area, women's health research

The health of your vagina is based on a balance of different kinds of bacteria. When too much of a good bacteria are removed, or there is an overgrowth of one, things can get concerning quickly. Vaginal infections such as yeast infections, vaginitis, and bacterial vaginosis are some of the imbalanced bacteria’s culprits. Itching and odor are typical symptoms shared, along with changes in vaginal discharge.

Itching and odor may also be caused by something more sinister, such as an STD. Chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, trichomoniasis, and gonorrhea can cause vaginal itching, odor, and other symptoms.

Pain with Sex

3 out of 4 women experience pain during their sexual lifetime. Though relatively common, recurring pain in any vaginal area during sex may be a sign of an underlying gynecologic health issue or problem with your sexual response. Let’s look at some examples of both:

  • Gynecologic:
    • Skin disorders
    • Vulvodynia
    • Hormonal changes such as those during menopause
    • Endometriosis
    • Uterine fibroids
    • Vaginitis and pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Problem with Sexual Response:
    • Relationship issues
    • Medical and surgical conditions
    • Medication side effects
    • Stress, fatigue, and anything else that interferes with your state of mind during sexual performance

Burning with Urination

Dysuria is the term that refers to pain, discomfort or burning felt during urination. Women are more commonly affected and can experience symptoms as a result of infections, STD’s, or inflammation and irritation caused by other issues. Here are some of the common causes:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vaginal infections
  • Genital herpes, gonorrhea, and chlamydia
  • Menopause
  • Urethra irritation due to sex
  • Stones in the urinary tract
  • Medication side effects

Blonde woman with uncertainty, yeast infection research

Experiencing vaginal health issues is never fun but waiting to get help is worse. Talk to your doctor about your options. Symptoms that cause vaginal pain and discomfort have long plagued women. The need to find effective treatments that meet each woman’s individual needs remains a focus for clinical research studies. The women that volunteer in women’s health research studies are vital to advancing options. Women’s Healthcare Research specializes in women’s health studies. Currently, we have studies enrolling for vaginal discomfort, birth control, yeast infections, hot flashes, and more. To learn more about how you can get involved, call (858) 505-8672 or visit our website’s trial page.