Vaginal or vulval itching can be both uncomfortable and unnerving, especially if you don’t know how to alleviate symptoms and it’s interrupting your rest. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential, so if discomfort and irritation are keeping you up, here are some methods you can try to stop vulval itching at night.
Wear organic cotton underwear
We love lacy lingerie as much as the next person, but underwear made using synthetic materials can irritate your sensitive skin and could be the cause of an itchy vulva. Switching to soft, organic cotton underwear, can help your skin breathe and take a break from rubbing against tight materials.
What’s more, sensitivity to artificial perfumes and chemicals in laundry and household products can irritate your skin, so be sure to wash your clothes, especially your underwear, using organic laundry products with no fragrance, like this Greenscents laundry liquid.
Keep on top of personal hygiene
Practising good hygiene for your vulva can help ease vulval itching. Wash your external intimate skin daily with warm water and unscented soap and avoid douching or any heavily scented products. To freshen up quickly while you’re out and about or after sex, use Natracare organic cotton intimate wipes. Remember: your vagina is self-cleaning, so you should only clean externally, not internally.
If you’re taking a bath, ditch the perfumed bubble bath and oils, make sure the water isn’t too hot, and that you don’t bathe for too long to avoid further irritating the area.
Adjust your diet
Some foods might help to reduce vaginal or vulval itching. Probiotics can help to kill off a yeast infection (which may be the cause of itching in the first place) by promoting the production of “good” bacteria. Yoghurt, kombucha and kimchi are good sources of probiotics, but there are also over the counter supplements that may help.
Use plastic free period products
Choosing the right period products for you is always important, but especially at night when you’ll be wearing them for 6-8 hours and are looking for maximum comfort. Choose plastic free pads because the plastic in conventional pads can make it difficult for your skin to breathe, creating a sweaty, uncomfortable environment. Pads made with perfumes and dyes could also cause irritation to your sensitive skin, which is why Natracare pads are free of fragrance, dyes, and plastic.
Try Plastic Free
Create a cool sleeping environment
If you often wake up in a sweat, it may be the heat is causing vulval itching at night. Try opening your bedroom window, choosing a thinner duvet or blanket, or sleeping in light and airy clothing (if any at all) to keep your temperature lower throughout the night. Having a warm shower before bed can also help to encourage your body temperature to drop, helping you to get a restful night’s sleep.
When to see a doctor about vulval itching
While it is possible to manage some vulval or vaginal itching at home, if the symptoms last longer than a few days or you’re worried about your health, it’s a good idea to check in with a healthcare professional. Genital itching may be a symptom of a variety of problems, from irritation from perfumed laundry detergents to an STI.
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms as well as persistent itching, make an appointment with your local GP or gynaecologist:
- Burning or pain during sex and/or urination
- Swollen or red vulva or vagina
- Genital blisters or spots
- Green, yellow, or grey discharge
- Cottage cheese-like or frothy discharge
- A foul odour
If you’ve got an appointment with a gynaecologist for vulval itching at night, here are some of our top tips for making the most out of an appointment with your OB/GYN.
This article was written in collaboration with Christina Hawkes, Founder of Greenscents, certified organic laundry and household products made in Somerset. For 15% off Greenscents products, use code NC15 at greenscents.co.uk.