When we feel discomfort, itching, or other irritation below the belt, most of us assume it has to do with our vagina. And in some cases, it does! But we tend to forget that the vagina is only one part of our sweet spots. Your external genitals (collectively known as the vulva) could also be at the root of the issue. We sat down with our friends at Evvy, experts on the vaginal microbiome, to bring you everything you need to know about irritation “down there” and how to know when your discomfort is vaginal vs vulva.
On the Vulva
Vulvar dryness is very common, because it can be triggered by a number of things like shaving/waxing, certain medications (antihistamines, antidepressants, etc.), chafing/friction, and estrogen loss during menopause. If you’re feeling a bit dry down there, a safe and effective intimate moisturizer like Hydrate Ever After is the perfect addition to your daily routine. It replenishes natural oils and, over time, helps reinforce the skin’s moisture barrier to prevent moisture loss.
In the Vagina
Vaginal dryness, or dryness inside the vaginal canal, tends to be associated with low estrogen. Menopause, whether natural or treatment-induced, is the most common cause of vaginal dryness, but it can also occur during postpartum and breastfeeding. Your doctor may recommend treating vaginal dryness with suppositories or hormone replacement therapy (plus a healthy serving of lube during sex!).
On the Vulva
As many women do, when SweetSpot Labs Founder Shari Creed felt itchy “down there,” she marched straight to the drug store and purchased an over-the-counter yeast infection treatment. But 66% of people who think they have a yeast infection actually have something else, and Shari was one of those people. She was, in fact, experiencing a skin condition called contact dermatitis on her vulva, which was triggered by sulfates in her body wash. Her self-diagnosis and improper treatment threw off her vaginal microbiome and left her in a frustrating flare cycle. This led her to create SweetSpot Labs and a sulfate-free wash that respects and protects intimate skin.
If you’re experiencing itching, burning or stinging on your vulva, Rescue Balm is the gynecologist-recommended solution you’ve been waiting for. It’s packed with skin-soothing ingredients like Colloidal Oatmeal, Allantoin, and Sweet Almond Oil for instant and long-lasting itch relief.
In the Vagina
The vagina serves as a pathway between your most important reproductive organs and the outside world, and it is inhabited by a complex ecosystem of microorganisms that protect it from that outside world. Known as the vaginal microbiome, this community of bacteria and yeast can be thrown off-balance by everyday activities like sex, pregnancy, birth control, and even stress. A disruption of the vaginal microbiome is what leads to the two most common causes for vaginal itching - bacterial vaginosis & yeast infections. Both BV and yeast infections are highly treatable.
If you’re looking to learn more about your vaginal microbiome, Evvy’s Vaginal Health Test is the easiest way to understand and improve your vaginal health. And remember that not every issue below the belt is a vaginal issue and it’s not always a yeast infection! Once you understand more about your body, you can better identify and solve any issues that come up.
This website is for informational purposes only and not to be considered as medical advice. This information is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, treat, or cure any medical condition.