GENITAL ITCHING AFTER SEX: CAUSES, SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

 

Itchiness is an uncomfortable irritation you may feel on your genitals, or any other area of your skin. Itching after sex isn’t uncommon however, it is very unpleasant.

Genital itching after sex can sometimes be due to dry skin or a lack of lubrication around the genitalia. In circumstances where itching continues, this symptom could be a sign of an infection, allergic reaction, or sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Fortunately,  most causes of itching after sex can be resolved with treatment.

 

Causes Of Genital Itching

Without regards to biological sex, some causes of genital itching after sex are the same. However, some of the symptoms may differ.

 

  1. Latex Allergy

It is possible that your itch is caused by an allergy to latex, which is used to make some types of condoms. A latex allergy is a reaction to proteins found in latex. If you’re allergic to latex, you may experience a reaction after coming into contact with any product containing latex, including condoms. These symptoms can include itching, redness, and swelling around the genital area after sexual activity. Latex can cause three different allergic reactions:

  • Contact dermatitis in which the reaction may not occur until 12–36 hours after contact with the skin. Symptoms can include itching, irritation and redness and scaly-like skin.
  • Immediate allergic reaction in which the reaction happens in people who have become susceptible to latex through previous exposure to it. Coming into contact with latex again initiate a response from the immune system, and people may experience sneezing, a runny nose, coughing, wheezing, watery eyes, itchy eyes and throat.
  • Anaphylaxis which is a very severe allergic reaction. If a person notices any signs of anaphylaxis, they should seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms include swelling or hives, trouble breathing, nausea and vomiting, dizziness and confusion.

There are non-latex condoms available if you are allergic to latex. Options include polyurethane and lambskin condoms.

  1. Sperm Allergy

Although it’s rare, it’s possible that you’re allergic to sperm or more specifically, to proteins contained in the fluid that a penis releases during sex (semen).  Sperm allergy mostly affects women and is also called semen allergy or seminal plasma hypersensitivity. A semen allergy can affect any part of your body, not just your vagina. Symptoms usually develope 10 to 30 minutes after contact with semen. In addition to itching genitals, sperm allergy can cause redness, swelling, a burning sensation and pain. People can also experience anaphylaxis from a sperm allergy in more severe cases.

  1. Dryness

Dryness is a common cause of itching after sex. It may be due to dry skin on the vulva or vaginal dryness. It occurs when not enough vaginal secretions are produced to properly lubricate the vaginal wall. Vaginal dryness can cause itchiness and pain in or around the vagina during or after sex. Causes Of vaginal dryness may include:

  • Menopause
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Not being aroused during sex
  • Certain medications, such as birth control pills and antidepressants
  • Irritants, such as perfumes and soaps
  • Certain health conditions, such as diabetes and Sjögren’s syndrome
  • Oophorectomy (surgical ovary removal).

Symptoms Of vaginal dryness may include vaginal pain or itching, especially after sex, pain with intercourse, increased need to pee and frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs).

  1. Sexually Transmitted Infections ( STIs)

STIs are usually asymptomatic, but they can sometimes cause vaginal or penile itching. This itching and any other symptoms, which depend on the type of STI, may take several days to appear. There are a number of STIs that can cause itching. They are chlamydia, herpes and  gonorrhoea. Symptoms of STIs include:

  • unusual or increased discharge from the vagina and penis
  • pain when urinating
  • In some cases, swollen or painful testicles in males
  • sores or warts around the genitals or mouth
  • pain in the rectum
  • unusual vaginal odor in females
  • Bleeding between periods in females

 

In addition, Dry skin on the penis, rough sex, or sex without enough lubrication could cause friction burn and result in an itchy penis. If this is the case, your symptoms should improve within a couple of days of abstaining from sex.

Also, sweating, tight clothing and substances like soap and detergent can aggravate itchy genitals caused by a skin condition.

 

Treatment

The treatment for your itchy genitals depends on the cause. You can usually treat mild irritation at home but if it gets out of control, you will need to see your doctor.

Below are done home remedies for itchy genitals

  • Avoid sex until your symptoms are gone.
  • Use products designed for sensitive skin.
  • Don’t douche. Seriously. It does more harm than good.
  • Avoid latex condoms until you know you’re not allergic.
  • Try an over-the-counter treatment if you’re dealing with some yeasty business.
  • Keep your private parts clean and properly dry after washing.
  • Soak in a lukewarm oatmeal bath especially in females
  • changing spermicides or switching to another form of birth control
  • using a water based lubricant before having sex

Medical treatment may include

  • an antiviral
  • anti-fungal cream
  • topical wart treatment
  • oral or topical corticosteroids
  • topical, oral, or injectable antibiotics
  • Wart removal procedure(e.g cryosurgery)

Itching genitals after sex can be normal, and this symptom is often no cause for concern if it goes away shortly. However, if itching continues, it may be a sign of an allergy or infection. You should see your doctor if the itching does not go away or if you notice any unusual symptoms alongside it, such as sudden bleeding and abnormal discharge.

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