Vaginal itching before period and, in fact, any other time throughout your menstrual cycle is not only incredibly frustrating and sore after a while, but also very embarrassing. It’s hard work trying to soothe that irritation when you’re in a public place. That’s before you even get to the other symptoms that vaginal itching often brings with it.
Normally, itching of the vagina isn’t something you need to be overly worried about and can be part of your natural menstrual cycle as the levels of hormones change. Sometimes however, it can be a sign of something a little more sinister.
Let’s take a closer look…
What causes vaginal itching before period?
There are a number of reasons why you’ll be experiencing this symptom and you will normally be able to work out what you are suffering from by the other symptoms it comes with.
Bacterial vaginosis, for example, is a very common complaint among women, occurring when the pH and bacterial levels in the vagina become out of balance. It is normal to have bacteria in this warm and dry place, and it is this bacteria that keeps it nice and healthy.
Wearing tight underwear, using heavily perfumed soap and beauty products, overzealous washing and wearing clothing that doesn’t allow your skin to breathe can all cause this.
Other symptoms include a change in discharge that becomes thicker in nature, a fishy-odor, inflammation, vaginal itching before period, burning and redness.
Thrush or a yeast infection is another condition very common in women that causes vaginal itching before period and is also called vaginal candidiasis. It is reported that three quarters of all women will suffer from yeast infections, and many suffer from them on multiple occasions. There is a natural present yeast called candida in the vagina and when it becomes overgrown, causes infections on the vulva and vagina.
Bringing vaginal itching before period, inflammation, redness, tenderness, a thick cottage-cheese-consistency discharge and at times, a foul smelling discharge also.
There are a number of ways you can treat a yeast infection of the vagina using home remedies and as well as natural yoghurt, garlic and evening primrose oil have been shown to bring relief to symptoms which you are at an increased risk of getting if you are pregnant, have a weekend immune system, are on antibiotics or have recently had a lot of sex.
Irritation is something that many sensitive skin sufferers will experience and chemical reactions are relatively common these days. If your vaginal itching has come out of the blue and seems to have come with a red rash, scaly and sore patches of skin, it could be that your skin is reacting as a result of laundry detergent, contraceptive foams, body lotions and other creams, condoms, fabric softeners, scented toilet paper, soap and more.
Sexually transmitted infections are never pleasant but sadly, vaginal itching before period is just one symptom of many of them. Common STI’s that come with this symptom include gonorrhea, genital warts, herpes, chlamydia and trichomoniasis.
Gonorrhea comes with other symptoms including white or green discharge, pelvic and abdominal pain, pain when urinating, itchy and red eyes, spotting or bleeding after sex and between periods and swelling / inflammation.
Genital warts can lie dormant for weeks, months and even years before symptoms start to occur and can happen anywhere around the genital area such as thighs, anus, vulva, cervix, vagina, penis, scrotum, urethra, and also around the mouth if you have had oral sex with an infected person.
These warts are usually painless but can bring an itching or tender sensation, bleeding and pus from erupted warts, and even a disrupted urinary tract if the warts are developing in the urinary system.
Herpes is a similar condition to genital warts and often brings with it similar symptoms including red, raised and painful lesions which often ooze pus before becoming dry and sore.
Chlamydia is a very dangerous condition to women, often causing an infection without any knowledge or symptoms, and can cause infertility in the long run. It can cause pain in both men and women as well as painful sex and green, white or yellow discharge can come from the sexual organs alongside pain when urinating.
Hormonal changes are another reason why you may experience changes in the vagina as a whole, itching being just one of the changes. The menopause and puberty are two times where symptoms are expected the most, especially menopause when estrogen levels drop leading to dryness and in turn, an irritated and sore vagina.
In turn, stress can cause a change to the hormone levels in the body and can also lead to increase symptoms.
How to treat vaginal itching before period
There are plenty of things you can do to soothe that itching and irritation. Natural yogurt is great when used directly from the fridge so that the ice cold temperature provides immediate relief. The natural compounds and bacteria found in the yogurt will also help to counteract the bacteria founding a yeast infection too, soothing symptoms and helping to fight against the infection at the same time.
You can use natural yogurt directly on the affected areas. You can also soak a tampon in natural yogurt before inserting into the body.
Changing your clothing is a great idea if you keep experiencing vaginal itching and you should also look at changing your laundry detergent and fabric softener which are often the biggest culprits.
The purest materials are the best materials so try to pick cotton and naturally breathable materials for your underwear and try not to wear tight fitting clothing for long periods of time. If you are wear a thong or g-string throughout the day, switch to loose-fitting, more breathable underwear for when you get home.
You should also look at the material in your bedding and towels too. Cotton bedding will be more breathable for your body as you sleep, leaving you less susceptible to problems such as yeast infections.
Keeping the area clean is important but over cleaning your vagina is just as bad as overzealous cleaning. When you clean too much, or use highly perfumed cleansing products, you will be disrupting your own body’s pH levels and this can cause BV and thrush.
An ice pack can be used for when you need immediate relief from the burning, irritating feeling and drinking plenty of water can help to flush any infections through the body quickly. Eating lots of good, natural foods is a great idea too, particularly looking at probiotics and natural bacteria-boosting foods.