Why Does My Vagina Itch Before My Period

Still Feeling Itchy When To See A Doc

Itchy Vagina Before Period: Causes And Remedies

Its important to see your doc if youre suspicious all this itching is thanks to an STI, BV, or reoccurring yeast infections. Youll need specific meds for these and wont be able to take care of it at home.

Other symptoms that def warrant a visit to your doc include:

  • green, yellow, or gray vaginal discharge
  • cottage cheese-like or frothy discharge
  • pain or burning when peeing
  • pain or burning during sex
  • swollen vulva

Itchy vaginas are a pain, but they dont have to stay that way. Here are some simple home remedies to get some sweet relief.

  • Wear loose-fitting cotton underwear and avoid tight denim and pantyhose.
  • Avoid douching and wash your vulva gently without scented products.
  • Take a baking soda sitz bath.
  • Use unscented period products.
  • Try an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream .

If a yeast infection is a culprit, you can get relief from OTC antifungal products or by visiting your doctor for an oral solution if your yeast infections are frequent.

When To See A Doctor

While home remedies can ease itchiness during your period, its important to see a doctor if you suspect you have BV, an STI, or recurrent yeast infections, as these often require specific prescription medications.

You should also speak to a doctor if your itching is severe or if it isnt going away on its own.

If you suspect you have PMDD, its also important to speak to a healthcare provider, such as a doctor or therapist. The Healthline FindCare tool can provide options in your area if you dont already have a doctor.

What Are Signs Of Period Coming Discharge

Vaginal discharge before period is thick white discharge.

During your menstrual cycle, your vaginal discharge may change from time to time. At the beginning of your cycle, after menstruation ends, vaginal discharge is thick white. Some women may experience vaginal dryness just after period ends.

At the middle of your cycle or just before ovulation occurs, vaginal discharge becomes stretchy and egg white. After ovulation occurs and before your period, vaginal discharge is thick white again.

Changes in vaginal discharge are due to hormone changes during menstrual cycles. Thick white discharge is a sign your period is coming. It occurs due to low levels of progesterone and estrogen.

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Itching During Period: Causes Treatments And More When To See Doctor

You may have noticed that during your periods, your vagina becomes prone to itchiness and this can be a highly uncomfortable feeling. The medical term for vaginal itching is vaginal pruritus, and this can happen due to a variety of reasons: both internal and external. It can occur at any time during your period, and sometimes indicates serious health conditions that need to be diagnosed urgently for proper treatment.

Is Vaginitis An Std

Why do You Have Vaginal Itching Before Period

Vaginitis isnt an STD or STI, but some sexually transmitted diseases can cause vaginitis. Trichomoniasis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes and HPV are all transmitted through sexual contact. And all of them can lead to vaginal inflammation and pain associated with vaginitis. But sex isnt the only way you can get vaginitis. Bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, non-infectious vaginitis and atrophic vaginitis are all types of vaginitis that arent considered STIs.

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When Should I See A Doctor For An Itchy Vulva

If you have an itchy vulva that is persisting, don’t be embarrassed. Go to see your doctor or go to your nearest genitourinary medicine clinic. If you think you have thrush and have been using cream that you have bought from a pharmacy but it isn’t getting better after a week, stop using the cream and go to see a doctor.

Hormonal Changes During Your Period

According to Suzanne Fenske, doctor and professor of gynecology and reproductive sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine, one of the causes of vaginal itching can be associated with the time of the menstrual cycle in which you are: “Sometimes the blood of the previous period can cause itching So it depends where you are in your cycle.”

As explained by Suzanne, the hormonal changes during menstruation increase inflammation, something that some women can cause itching. These also manifest during pregnancy, menopause or during contraceptive use.

If you feel itching after menstruation it is very likely that the cause is hormonal change. Many times the products you use during that period – such as sanitary towels, daily protectors, and tampons – contain fragrances or products that can increase itching. If you notice this happening to you, try using a menstrual cup during the period or cotton underwear.

Always check with your gynecologist to determine the cause of the itching. They will advise you if you should use a cream, other underwear, or different sanitary towels. When in doubt, always consult a specialist.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Vaginitis

Each of these vaginal infections can have different symptoms or no symptoms at all. In fact, diagnosis can even be tricky for an experienced clinician. Sometimes, more than one type of vaginitis can be present at the same time.

Candida or yeast infections

  • A thick, white vaginal discharge with the consistency of cottage cheese.
  • A discharge that is somewhat watery and generally odorless.
  • A vagina or vulva thats itchy, red and sometimes swollen even before the onset of discharge.
  • Small cuts on your vulva due to friable skin of the area.
  • A burning sensation when you pee .

Bacterial vaginosis

You may not notice any symptoms at all. You may find out that you have vaginitis after your provider discovers it during a routine gynecologic exam. Or, you may notice:

  • An abnormal smelling vaginal discharge thats worse after sex or menstruation.
  • A discharge thats thin and milky and can be described as having a fishy odor. This odor may become more noticeable after intercourse.

A red or itchy vagina isnt common with bacterial vaginosis unless you have a co-infection of BV and yeast.


  • A frothy, greenish-yellow discharge that often has a foul smell.
  • Itching and soreness of your vagina and vulva, as well as burning when you pee.
  • Discomfort in your lower abdomen and vaginal pain with intercourse. These symptoms may feel worse after your menstrual period.


Herpes vaginitis

Human papillomavirus

Non-infectious vaginitis

Atrophic vaginitis

How Are Vaginal Itching Burning And Irritation Treated

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Vaginal irritation will often get better on its own. However, if the irritation continues, is severe, or comes back after treatment, call for an appointment with your doctor. The doctor can do a pelvic exam. The doctor will probably also take a sample of the discharge to find the source of the problem.

How vaginal discomfort is treated depends on what condition is causing the problem:

  • Vaginosis and STDs are treated with antibiotics/antiparasitics.
  • Yeast infections are treated with antifungalmedications. They are inserted into the vagina in the form of creams, ointments, or suppositories, or they are taken orally. You can buy these medications over the counter in different doses — one-day, three-day, seven-day. However, if you’ve never been diagnosed with a yeast infection, see your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medication.
  • Menopause-related itching may be treated with estrogen cream, tablets, or a vaginal moisturizer.
  • Other types of itching and irritation respond to steroid creams or lotions, which reduce inflammation. A prescription-strength steroid cream can relieve the irritation of lichen sclerosis.

In young girls, it’s important to report any itching, burning, or irritation to a health care provider, because these symptoms can be signs of sexual abuse.

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Ice Pack Relief For Itchy Vulva

A cold compress or an ice pack can help relieve an itchy skin. An ice pack can stop the irritation fast and allow you to see your doctor for proper treatment. Heres how to relieve an itching vulva or vaginal labia lips with an ice pack.

  • Make an ice pack by placing ice cubes in a plastic bag.
  • Wrap the pack in a towel.
  • Place it on the irritated area in your crotch.
  • Hold it in position for a few minutes, remove for one minute and repeat.
  • A cold compress will soothe the skin and stop the itch fast. It is, however, a temporary solution. Avoid putting ice directly on your skin. It can burn your skin and cause further irritation to your bikini region.

    Jock Itch In Female Causes An Itchy Crotch

    Jock itch is a male yeast infection. It is a contagious fungus that can be transmitted to females through contact. Jock itch in both men affects the crotch area: vagina, penis, entire groin region, inner thighs, anus, and buttocks.

    Feminine itch or jock itch in women may produce symptoms similar to those of herpes or nappy rash in women. An itchy red vulva and anus, and bikini area may be due to inflammation of the skin. The skin may also begin to flake and form a rash that looks like ringworm.

    Contact in the groin area with a man with jock itch, probably during sex can lead to infection. A moist, warm and dark environment in the groin area can cause a fungal infection to thrive and cause an itching vagina.

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    Reduced Estrogen And Vaginal Atrophy

    A change in the vagina can also cause irritation and itchiness. Vaginal atrophy or post-menopausal atrophic vaginitis refers to the thinning of the walls of the vagina. This degeneration is caused by a decrease in the levels of the female hormone called estrogen.

    Vaginal atrophy commonly occurs during menopause. It may also happen in younger women with hormonal problems that result in estrogen deficiency. Most women experience distressing symptoms in the urinary tract and on the vagina, including the following:

    • Painful intercourse.
    • Dry vagina, vulva and labia lips resulting in a shrunken vagina.
    • Thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls.
    • An itchy vagina, vaginal lips and vulva.

    It is important to note that women under treatment for endometriosis and uterine fibroids may experience sore and itchy vaginal lips as a side effect of the medications. Treatment with medications used to decrease estrogen levels in women who have conditions such as uterine fibroids or endometriosis may cause vaginal atrophy. .

    Go to treatments

    Itching Is A Rite Of Passage

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    Not only is having an itchy vagina on your period normal, but it’s actually very common. “It happens due to a fluctuation in the vaginal microbiome, bacteria that resides healthily in your vagina,” says Dr Anita. “The change in hormones and presence of blood result in a slight change in the bacterial population and yeasts , both of which can cause itching.”

    Some find that tampons make itching worse, but this varies from person to person. “While there are a lot of scare stories about tampons containing awful chemicals that can cause irritation or worse and that organic tampons are better theres no firm evidence to back this up.”

    “One of the most important things you absolutely should not do is douche or use feminine hygiene washes, because this can make the itching worse,” she adds. “They wash away the good bacteria, meaning yeasts and bacteria that you don’t want are able to grow even more, so it becomes a vicious circle.” FYI, some odour is normal blood itself has a distinct smell but douching will make period blood smell worse.

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    What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor

    Good questions to ask include:

    • Should I abstain from sex during treatment?
    • Should my sexual partner be treated at the same time?
    • How will the medication for this vaginitis interact with my other medications?
    • Should I continue the vaginal cream or suppositories during my period?
    • Do I need to be re-examined and if so, when?

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Dont be embarrassed to talk to your provider about symptoms youre experiencing that might be vaginitis. Its a common condition thats treatable once you find out whats causing your symptoms. The sooner you and your healthcare provider diagnose whats causing your discomfort, the sooner you can get the treatment needed to bring you relief.

    How Is Cyclic Vulvovaginitis Diagnosed

    Cyclic vulvovaginitis is a clinical diagnosis based on history and examination. The Q-tip test should be performed to check for provoked vulvodynia.

    Vaginal swabs and scrapings for smear and culture should be performed during the symptomatic phase and, if negative, again in the asymptomatic phase. If a Candida sp. is cultured, the specific strain and drug sensitivities should be reported.

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    Avoid Scratching The Area

    Scratching the vagina to relieve the itch is highly discouraged. Scratching can introduce new bacteria to the vaginal area. This can cause new infections as well as worsen the symptoms.

    Scratching the vulva and labia can also break the skin. While it brings temporary relief, the broken skin is also easily irritated and may cause further itching and tearing of the vaginal lips and skin.

    Your Vaginas Ph Level Changes

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    “The vaginas low pH helps protect you from growth of the type of bacteria that cause bacterial vaginosis, bacterial STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea and also viral infections including HIV and HPV ,” says Dr Anita.

    Around the time of your period, your vaginas pH level actually increases slightly. Youve no doubt heard that youre more likely to contract a yeast infection while on your period because of this, but the jurys still well and truly out. “For some people it’s in the middle of the cycle because of higher levels of oestrogen, which yeasts love,” says Dr Anita. “But I see plenty of women who tend to get yeast infections around the time of their period, too. This may be because of the change in the bacterial population enables it to thrive, take over and cause that awful itchy discharge that most of us know and none of us love.”

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    Vaginal Itching At Night

    Why does my vagina itch at night? An itchy skin around the crotch can be caused by any one of the reasons above. The most common causes are psoriasis and eczema or contact dermatitis. The severe itching on the skin can really worsen at night.

    Parasitic infections around the bikini region in women can also cause itching at night. The hairy part of the vagina can get infested with parasites such as pubic lice and mites. Threadworms too can migrate from the anus to the vagina. They will cause itching, especially at night. Deworming can easily help relieve symptoms such as pubic itching at night.

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