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Why does my vagina itch *days* before my period?

Why does my vagina itch *days* before my period?

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. 

Is it yeast infection?

Yeast infections, also known as candidiasis, occur when there is an overgrowth of the Candida fungus in the body. While Candida is naturally present in various parts of the body, such as the mouth, intestines, and genital area, an overgrowth can lead to uncomfortable symptoms and complications. Symptoms like itching, burning sensation, redness, swelling, and abnormal vaginal discharge that is typically thick, white, and odorless. Learn more how to detect yeast infection and how to treat it from our blog. 

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. 

We’ll elaborate.

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 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. It's important to clean your vulva (external area) with lukewarm water or products that are meant for the delicate genital area, like Lunette Intimate Wipes or patented Lunette Intimate Cleanser.

If you’re eating healthy, exercising, cleaning your cup right, and taking care of yourself, then you're doing it right!

57 comments on Why does my vagina itch *days* before my period?

  • Lunette Menstrual Mentor
    Lunette Menstrual MentorDecember 14, 2023

    Hi Ambrii!

    Oh no, sorry to hear that you’ve had some annoying itching and unpleasant smell. As you mentioned you and your husband were toghether just before it started, so we would recommend checking for any STDs/STIs. For some, the symptoms may start quickly after and for some they may be completely asymptomtomatic.

    It could also be bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection or another issue caused by pH imbalance.

    Unfortunately we cannot offer diagnoses as we are not medical professionals. Your doctor is the best person to consult with this question :)

    -Team Lunette

  • Ambrii
    AmbriiDecember 14, 2023

    I’ve read a bunch of things on google & still can’t figure out why I had itching. I’ve literally never had this before. About a week before my period me & my husband were “together” (thinking maybe that has something to do with it) and then the day before it started I got itchy, like REALLY itchy & dry, I tried using baby wipes to keep it moisturized and that helped the itch some but still hurt. Was itchy during part of my period but not all of it, thought it went away yesterday so i didn’t wear any period products, only to find out I still had a itty bitty bit of pink, well I went to sit how I normally sit with my knees in front of my chest, and got literally slapped with the smell. Could that all be from the same thing? I’ve never really itched down there, not like this, and I’ve never ever had any kind of smell down there before this. Please help 😭

  • Lunette Menstrual Mentor
    Lunette Menstrual MentorAugust 28, 2023

    Hi Emma!

    Sorry for the confusion. I think the article refers to decreasing estrogen levels during the follicular phase (from the first day of your period to ovulation), which can cause some symptoms like itching, acidity and inflammation, leading to a higher possibility for yeast infection after your periods!

    But you are also right! Many symptoms, such as bloating, headaches and even cramps and other PMS signs are happening in the luteal phase right before your periods.

    Hope this clears up the article :)

    Team Lunette

  • Emma
    EmmaAugust 28, 2023

    Hi! There is an error in the article! The phase right before your period starts (when all these nasty symptoms start) is the luteal phase! The follicular phase is actually after your period and before ovulation.

  • Lunette Menstrual Mentor
    Lunette Menstrual MentorJuly 10, 2023

    Hi Kathryne!

    It can be totally normal to experience UTI symptoms during your period. If you only experience mild symptoms, you can try to ease it by drinking cranberry juice!

    If the symptoms are severe, you are greatly affected by them or they do not seem to go away, we recommend contacting a healthcare professional for assessment. As we are not medical professionals we unfortunately cannot offer diagnosis.

    -Team Lunette

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