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 itchy vagina during period 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.
Probable causes of itchy vagina after period
There can be a variety of reasons why you may be itchier than usual during your period:
- Hormonal changes - The vaginal ecosystem is made up of myriad necessary bacteria and yeast, which suffer a disruption in their normal levels due to a fluctuation in hormones during your periods, leading to an itchy vagina.
- Vaginal yeast infection - The change in the vaginal pH during your periods sometimes leads to an overgrowth of an otherwise necessary fungus called Candida albicans. This can cause a yeast infection in your vagina. But apart from itching, you may also notice other symptoms like burning while peeing, swelling and redness on the vulva and a creamy white discharge that resembles cottage cheese.
- Bacterial vaginosis - Sometimes, certain hormonal changes can cause an overgrowth in the bad bacteria in your vagina, causing bacterial vaginosis. The main symptoms of this are an itchy vagina coupled with an uncomfortable sensation while peeing, a vaginal discharge that is watery or foamy in consistency and a foul odour emanating from the vagina.
- Old blood that is still lingering - If you notice that your vagina has become itchier towards the end of your period, it could be due to the old blood that is still present in your vagina in small amounts, causing an irritation in the area.
- Trichomoniasis - It is a very common sexually transmitted infection (STI). The main cause for this is the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. During your periods, the cervix opens up more than usual to let the blood pass freely. But, this phenomenon also increases the chances of STIs like trichomoniasis. It causes an itch in the vagina and other symptoms like discomfort while peeing, a yellow or green vaginal discharge and a foul smell down there.
- Inflammation - During periods, the inflammation levels of the body rise, causing more itching than normal times. This happens due to the estrogen levels lowering in the body, which is responsible for keeping inflammation in check.
Reaction to synthetic pads and tampons - The synthetic top layers of conventional pads and tampons, coupled with the added fragrance to them, can irritate the delicate skin of the vulva. You may get an allergic reaction from them like rashes and itching. To avoid this, try using pads and tampons that have more natural components like the Carmesi Sensitive Sanitary Pads that have a top sheet made of corn fibre, specially designed for sensitive skin. Also, cotton tampons are great to keep irritation down there at bay. Try the Carmesi Tampons that are made of 100% organic cotton.
Itching during periods home remedies & treatment
If your itching is due to factors other than infections, you may opt for home remedies, while infections need to be treated with medicines. So, what are your options?
- Use naturally-made pads or tampons.
- Try a good intimate cleanser to prevent the disruption in the vaginal pH.
- Opt for probiotic supplements to promote the growth of good bacteria down there.
- Wear underwear made of breathable fabrics to prevent sweat from getting trapped and causing more itching.
- Bathe in lukewarm water instead of hot water to avoid drying and irritating the sensitive vaginal skin.
- Use a mixture of 4-5 tbsp of baking soda and lukewarm water to soothe itching.
- Anti-biotics can help if you are itching due to bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis.
- Anti-fungal medication can treat yeast infections.
- Medicated vaginal creams or steroids for treating other diseases and infections causing vaginal itching.
When should you see a doctor?
Vaginal itching usually goes away after your period is over, and more often than not, the reason is nothing to worry about. But, if your itching persists beyond your period or you suspect an infection of some sort, please get advice from a certified health professional.