Many women deal with frustrating vaginal itching before and around the time of their period cycle. This itching, while an annoyance, is a common symptom during the menstrual cycle often accompanied with vaginal dryness and occasionally burning around the vaginal wall. This itchy, burning sensation you might feel can happen as early as 10 days before the start of your cycle and in some cases may only be present during the period.
Vaginal itching is a completely normal occurrence that should not be a cause of concern. In rare cases, however, itching can be a sign of an underlying infection that may need to be treated, but this is usually only if the itching persists and does not end after your period cycle is over.
For most cases, itching symptoms can be relieved in a number of ways and the itchiness will eventually subside once the menstrual cycle has ended.
A normal vaginal itch will happen to women during their menstrual cycle, and is mostly due to the decrease in estrogen levels during this time. The drop in estrogen causes the vaginal wall to thin and become inflamed, which is why it is also normal for the itching to be accompanied with a stinging sensation as well. Fluctuations in hormones, mainly estrogen, are typically the cause of vaginal dryness and itching.
In abnormal cases, itching can be indicative of an infection or STD. These itches will be more intense and last longer than the normal vaginal itch. Allergic reactions to irritants and allergens that may be in contact with the genital area can also be a cause of vaginal itchiness.
These allergens can be found in detergents, ointments, and fabric softeners. It is also important to take care in what types of tampons and sanitary pads you use, as some might cause irritation and allergic reactions.
Menopause can also cause vaginal itching and dryness due to the fluctuations of the estrogen hormone. Wearing tight clothing can exacerbate vaginal itching, especially when excess perspiration is present in closed in areas such as the vagina.
Selecting sensitive tampons and sanitary pads can help reduce the itching sensations during your period. Scented feminine hygiene products often contain chemicals that help prevent infection.
Maintaining proper hygiene is also important in reducing vaginal itching, such as keeping the vagina area cleansed after urinating or bowel movements.
There are also plenty of ointments and creams that work as soothing products to help relieve itching. Sprinkling talcum powder on the vaginal area, for instance, is one way to alleviate some of the itching.
Taking a sitz bath that contains a half cup apple cider vinegar and water is also said to cleanse the body of irritants and bacteria that could cause itching.
Applying an ice pack to the genital area can also help soothe some of the irritation from itching. Yogurt is also suggested to help reduce itching, especially itching caused by a yeast infection, as well as drinking plenty of water to flush out irritants.
It is important to see a doctor if the itching persists even after your period ends. Itching accompanied by brownish or reddish-brown vaginal discharge and swelling is indicative of an underlying infection, and you should seek medical attention.