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Seeing a doctor for itchy vagina

Dear Sam My vagina is always really sore and itchy it has been going on for a couple of months now and I want to see a doctor about it but my GP is male and I don't feel comfortable with him seeing but I really need to see a doctor because it can get quite painful. What should I do. PLEASE REPLY

Ask Sam


Hi there,

It’s very common to experience soreness or itchiness around your vagina. There a few different possible reasons for this.

The most likely cause could be something like thrush, which is a common infection that is easily treated, and something many girls and women experience at some point. You can get thrush whether you've had sex or not. Whatever the problem, your doctor is the best person to speak to for advice and treatment.

No matter what age you are, you have rights when you see your doctor. What you speak to your doctor about will be kept confidential, and your parents or guardians do not need to be told about what you talk about or your treatment. You can read a bit more about the rules doctors have to follow in this letter.

The first step you can take is to maybe ask for a telephone appointment. A doctor can sometimes diagnose what's wrong just from hearing your symptoms and you may not need to see them in person.

You can also get help over the phone by calling NHS 111 - they can talk to you about your symptoms and let you know what steps to take to get treated.

If you do need to go and visit a doctor, you can ask for a female doctor if it makes you more comfortable, even if they’re different to your regular GP. Your regular GP won’t be upset if you see another GP at the practice.

A lot of people find it difficult to talk to a doctor about very private things. Most people aren’t used to talking to strangers about personal topics. But remember your GP is there to help you, not to judge you.

When you see your GP, they might need to examine you so they can understand what’s causing the problem. This could mean they need to look at your vagina. While this can feel embarrassing, try to remember they are professionals whose job it is to look at people’s bodies. They have seen thousands of patients so they will not be shocked, they only want to help you.

However, GPs should understand that it can feel strange having someone you don’t know seeing private parts of your body – especially if they are the opposite gender. It’s okay to feel nervous, and you can always be honest with your GP and tell them how you’re feeling and what you want.

If you have had sex before there's a chance it’s a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It's important you see a doctor as soon as you can if there's a chance of an STI. If you ignore an STI it won’t just go away on its own, and can cause bigger problems later on. Try to be as honest as you can with your doctor, it will help them give you the right treatment.

I hope this information helps. You can also talk to a Childline counsellor if you’re still worried or want more advice on what to say to your GP. Or you can visit the Childline message boards to speak to other young people who might be experiencing similar things.

Take care.


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