The Causes and Treatment of Vaginal Itching During Pregnancy

Are you pregnant and experiencing vaginal itching? Are you worried and wondering what might be behind your discomfort? It's natural to be worried, especially when you're pregnant and any abnormality might signal a complication with your pregnancy.

In most cases, however, vaginal itching during pregnancy isn't worth worrying about. Several safe methods are available to help you cope with any discomfort.

vaginal itchiness during pregnancy
Illustration by Brianna Gilmartin, Verywell


The most common reasons for vaginal itching during pregnancy are the normal changes to vaginal pH levels, which can cause topical irritations. Vaginal yeast infections also are notorious for persistent vaginal itching.

While vaginal itching usually isn't a result of a sexually transmitted infection (STI), that is a potential cause. Before trying any self-treatments or over-the-counter (OTC) medications for vaginal itching, you should see your healthcare provider be sure you don't have any STIs. There's probably nothing to worry about, but it's better to be safe, and testing for STIs is simple enough.

Treatment to Relieve Itching

If the itching is found to be caused by the normal changes in your vaginal pH levels that occur during pregnancy, there are a number of self-help treatments you can try to relieve the itching and lower the pH of the vagina:

  • Take baking soda baths.
  • Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply the paste to the area that itches.
  • Sexual intercourse may help, due to the lower pH levels of the male semen.
  • Use a cold compress to help relieve the vaginal itch.

OTC Medications

Lidocaine gel has been found to be good for relieving vaginal itching because it is a pure anesthetic. The use of hydrocortisone creams is not usually recommended, as it can contribute to the breakdown of the skin, causing continued itching.

If you have a genital yeast infection, one of the OTC yeast infection creams or vaginal suppositories should quickly relieve the itch, as well as the other symptoms of vaginal yeast infections.

Talk to your healthcare provider about other products that may provide relief. If they are committed to holistic healing, they may be able to recommend a home remedy that does not require a prescription.

Preventing Additional Irritation

There are a number of things that can increase your chances of skin irritation. Here are a few suggestions for reducing the likelihood of vaginal itching:

  • Practice good hygiene.
  • Keep the vulvar/vaginal area clean and dry.
  • Always wipe from front to back after a bowel movement to prevent bacteria from entering the vagina.
  • Don't use vaginal douches.
  • Use only fragrance-free soaps, laundry detergents, and fabric softeners.
  • Practice good handwashing habits.
  • Wear clothing that is not tight or binding, especially in the crotch area.
  • Wear white cotton underpants and avoid wearing nylon panties or hose that decrease the airflow to the vaginal area.
  • Use warm bath water and do not add bubble baths or other fragrant products that can irritate the vagina and urinary tract.
  • Use a bath soap for sensitive skin.
Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Vaginitis. 2017.

  2. Soong D, Einarson A. Vaginal yeast infections during pregnancy. Can Fam Physician. 2009;55(3):255-6.

  3. Cottrell BH. Vaginal douching. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2003;32(1):12-8.

Additional Reading