Vaginal itching during menstruation is a relatively common occurrence, but it is very irritating. There are a number of causes that can lead to this symptom. Some of these causes are not serious, while others may need medical treatment.
Causes and Treatments of Vaginal Itching During Period
1. Dampness and Chafing
The most common cause for the development of vaginal itching during menstruation is dampness and chafing. The sanitary pad is in close contact with the vagina, and keeps the genital area damp due to the presence of menstrual blood and sweat. This is an ideal situation for the development of rashes that cause itching.
Chafing is caused when the underneath skin is dry and then irritated by constant friction of the pad against the area. It can also lead to itchiness.
The best way to combat this problem is to make sure that you choose a high-quality, comfortable sanitary pad that does not irritate you. Also, make sure that you change the pads frequently and keep the vaginal area clean by taking a shower every day.
Sitting on wet clothes such as bathing suits for a long duration is not a good idea since it will increase the dampness.
2. Yeast Infection
Another common cause for vaginal itching during period is the development of a yeast infection. The pH of the vaginal area becomes alkaline during menstruation and can favor the growth of yeast that thrives in such an environment.
In normal circumstances, the pH of the vagina should be between 4 and 5, while it can rise to 7.4 through the use of normal tampons. This is because the tampons trap the menstrual blood which is alkaline, causing the pH to rise quickly.
Depending on the severity of the yeast infection, your doctor may prescribe you one of the following treatments.
For a simple infection:
- A short course of antifungal medication, creams or ointments. Common drugs such as butoconazole, miconazole or ketoconazole may be prescribed. They are available as prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications in different strengths.
- The doctor may also choose to prescribe a single dose of fluconazole via the oral route.
For infections that are more severe:
- A 14-day course of tablets, creams or tablets may be prescribed.
- A longer course of fluconazole, for maybe 2-3 days may be priscribed.
- Long term use of an antifungal cream may be advised.
- Your sexual partner may also need to be treated for fungal infection and the use of condoms during intercourse may be advised.
When to See a Doctor
You should see a doctor if you find that you are suffering from swelling, redness and severe itching that are even causing tears in the vaginal area, or if you are suffering from repeated yeast infection. What's more, if you have systemic diseases that compromise your immunity like diabetes or HIV, then you should see your doctor without delay.
Home Remedies for Vaginal Itching During Period
There are some pretty effective home remedies for vaginal itching during your period; however, if they are ineffective, then consider seeing a doctor as soon as possible.
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it an excellent product to use for this problem. It is also one of the best treatments for vaginal dryness. Use a cotton ball to apply some of this oil to the affected area to get relief.
Increasing the amount of coconut oil in your diet also helps you fight fungal infection.
2. Tea Tree Essential Oil
This is a very potent oil that should be used with caution in the beginning. If you use too much too soon then the skin might react to it. For people that can tolerate it, tea tree essential oil is an excellent solution for vaginal itching.
Dilute it with carrier oil and then apply with a cotton ball after you clean your vaginal area.
3. Manuka Honey
If you are suffering from a yeast infection that is causing unbearable itching, then try applying some manuka honey in the affected area. It is very soothing and has some potent antifungal properties as well.
4. Baking Soda Bath
Once you are finished with your bath, you can add a couple of spoons of baking soda and then sit in the tub for around half an hour. This is a very effective way to reduce the itchiness in the vaginal area.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
One of the most popular home remedies for vaginal itching is to put a spoon of apple cider vinegar to warm water and drink it twice every day. It is a tried and trusted method to restore the acidity of the vaginal environment that fights infection naturally.
6. Cold Compress
Applying a cold compress to the vaginal area will help gain some instant relief from the itching. The best way to do this is to use a clean cloth or handkerchief to wrap around some ice cubes. This pack should be applied to the vagina for a few minutes to gain relief.
Increase the amount of fresh yogurt that you eat to shift the balance of microorganisms in the vaginal area back to a healthy one. Once the natural balance has been restored, vaginal itching during period will decrease significantly.