How to prevent vaginal burning sensation

A healthy vagina is a balanced vagina – this means that millions of bacteria living in the vaginal environment do not disturb each other and are essential to keep our body healthy. However, once this balance is disturbed, uncomfortable symptoms such as a burning sensation or itching occur. A vaginal burning sensation can be very uncomfortable – that is why it is useful to know how to prevent this irritating and painful condition.

What causes a burning sensation in the vagina?

A burning sensation in the intimate area can be caused by various factors, some of which include:

  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • A yeast infection
  • Irritation caused by strong detergents, chemicals, fragrances, dyes, preservatives, etc.
  • Allergies
  • Atrophic vaginitis – inflammation caused by the thinning and shrinking of the tissues, as well as lack of lubrication. This condition occurs due to a lack of oestrogen, and is most commonly found in menopausal women.
  • Improper hygiene – both lack of hygiene and over-washing can damage the protective layer of the skin. Using inappropriate washing products can also damage the protective function of the skin.
  • Changes in the pH value of the vagina
  • Antibiotics
  • Diabetes
  • Synthetic underwear and tight clothing
  • Vaginal dryness causes friction during penetration – this eventually results in small tears in the vaginal wall and vulvar skin.
  • Irritation caused by condoms, spermicides, lubricants and even from semen for some women.

Prevention is key

Here are some recommendations that can help protect your vagina from irritation and burning:

  • Moisturise before having sex – sufficient lubrication will prevent tears, friction and painful intercourse. Use a vaginal moisturiser for a more long-term effect, or a water based lubricant just before having sex. If you think a cause for your discomfort may be an allergy to a certain substance, try to identify what could be irritating you and avoid all the products that contain this ingredient.
  • Use a product containing prebiotics to maintain and promote your vaginal health. Prebiotics promote the growth of good bacteria, keeping the vaginal flora in balance.
  • Avoid products that contain chemicals, fragrances, dyes, colours or other potential irritants and allergens.
  • Abstain from sex while experiencing symptoms, so that your vagina has some time to heal.
  • Resist the urge to scratch the irritated area. We know it’s hard, but scratching can only make the matter worse, causing swelling and even more discomfort. (this mainly refers to vulvar problems)
  • Always wipe from front to back, using unscented and uncoloured toilet paper.
  • Avoid public bathing areas, such as pools and whirlpool spas.
  • Protect yourself during intercourse by always using a condom.
  • Choose cotton underwear over synthetic fabrics. Keep lace underwear and skinny jeans for special occasions and limit yourself to only wearing them for a few hours per day.
  • Change sanitary pads, tampons and panty liners every 3 to 4 hours.