Have you ever noticed your vagina starts to itch a few days before your period…? Could it be a yeast infection? Maybe, maybe not. Many menstruating humans experience vaginal itching in different stages of their menstrual cycle. Remember, the menstrual cycle lasts ~28 days, having different functions in each stage, and every uterus is different! But why is it so common for people to experience that deadly itch before menstrual bleeding?
It could be many reasons, but it always links back to vaginal pH levels. A normal pH level for your vagina ranges from 3.5-4.5, which means it is acidic. If your pH levels are higher than 7, it is considered alkaline, which means your pH levels are too high and infection has risen. You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again – your vagina is a self-cleaning oven, which means it doesn’t need any scented soaps or creams (that will mess with your pH balance) to get clean! A simple rinse with water will do the trick.
Hormones also play a key role in your itchy vagina. Your vagina experiences a decrease of estrogen levels during the start of your period (the follicular phase). This change in estrogen is making your vaginal wall go all kinds of crazy, causing the vaginal wall to thin, increase inflammation, and create more acid in your vagina. Guess what? Yeast loves acidity, which could be one of the reasons why you feel itchy down there.
Aside from itching, many people also experience stinging and irritating sensations just days before or during their period. They could be experiencing cyclic vulvovaginitis.
Cyclic vulvovaginitis refers to the recurrent burning *and itching* happening down there before or during menstrual bleeding. It could mean that your vagina is experiencing intense burning, stinging, and overall irritation due to candida infection. How lovely does this sound? Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse, don’t even THINK about having sexual intercourse – your vaginal walls will scream Bloody Mary.
Are you boiling your menstrual cup before and after every cycle?
If you want to prevent your vagina from getting a yeast infection or other unwanted cause for itch, you've got to make sure you're boiling your menstrual cup consistently and cleaning it properly! Our Lunette FeelBetter Cup Cleanser not only cleans your cup, but it doesn't have any harsh chemicals that will mess with your pH levels! It's a win-win situation.
So how can we treat an itchy vagina, especially before menstruation?
Hopefully you don’t always experience discomfort before or during your period, but if you do, there are many ways to prevent itchiness and keep your pH levels balanced. Raw probiotic pills are a vagina’s best friend. Eating probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, or miso can also make a great impact. Let’s not forget about cranberry juice – that stuff is full of acidic compounds that will fight off bacteria and keep your vagina happy. Also, tight, synthetic underwear can suffocate your vagina and create moisture, so remember to let it breathe! ;)
If you’re eating healthy, exercising, cleaning your cup right, and taking care of yourself, then you're doing it right!
Vulvas come in a range of shapes, sizes and colors – with each one being very unique. Some people have a labia that hangs down and some have a barely visible clitoris, while others can be quite colorful. Basically, a normal vulva is a healthy vulva, and not one that looks a certain way.
However, if you are concerned about something you’re seeing or experiencing, it never hurts to consult your doctor.
Can the week before your period make your vulva turn white-grey? I also have lichens sclerosus, but I’m only 27 and my doctor doesn’t have any answers for me! I always noticed a bit of change to my bits in the time leading up to my period, but is it normal? Does that happen to a lot of women? Anyone else with lichens have issues with their period too?
Wow. That is so great to know, Brittany! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us.
Unfortunately, karlene McPherson, I’m not quite familiar with what you’re referring to, but please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to chat further. <3
In my mid twenties I started having monthly irritation, typically before or after my period. I would go to the gyno and come back positive for a yeast infection. However, this was a constant battle. Any sexual intercorse would cause inflammation and burning of my vulva. My doctor said due to my age my hormones and ph balances are extreme, my options were to just try to prevent or go on birth control. I decided to stick to the try to prevent, I eat healthy, lots of yogurt and water, proper care around intercourse, more special care around period. Medicine for yeast infections temporarily helps, but they only come back. I’ve tried Vh essentials products as well… Nothing seemed to help…. I started drinking Kevita Kombucha everyday, and I have never in this past year, felt such vaginal health. The probiotics in this beverage must really have done the trick with keeping my ph and bacteria in check. If you’re struggling like I was… try it!
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