Vaginal itching before period can be very baffling and annoying. The itching sensation can also be accompanied by burning sensation around the vaginal wall and dryness. This may occur as early as ten days before your period cycle starts. There are also cases that the itching sensation occurs during the period.
Usually, the vaginal itching before period is not something that has to be taken seriously as it is a normal part of a woman’s menstrual cycle. The itchiness subsides once the period has ended. However, vaginal itching before period can also be a sign of infection or other condition. If the itching persists after your period, it could be a symptom of another health condition.
Common Causes of Vaginal Itching Before Period
In most cases, the vaginal itching before period can be relieved in many ways and it will also stop once the period is over. The most common causes of vaginal itching include:
1. Bacterial Vaginosis
Normally, the vagina has some bad bacteria and a lot of good bacteria. The good bacteria help in controlling the development of the bad type. Bacterial vaginosis is an infection of the vagina caused by too many bad bacteria and not enough of the good type. The risk of acquiring bacterial vaginosis increases when a person has more than one sex partner. This condition is more common in women who are active in sex, but it can also develop if not sexually active.
The most common symptom of bacterial vaginosis is a foul-smelling yellow or grayish vaginal discharge. This fishy smell may be worse after sexual intercourse. Most women who have bacterial vaginosis do not notice the signs or symptoms. There are also other factors that lead to abnormal vaginal discharge, such as sexually transmitted infections.
This condition may cause other serious problems if not treated right away, such as higher risk of catching HIV, pelvic infection after a pelvic procedure, and higher risk of miscarriage if you are pregnant. See a doctor immediately for proper diagnosis and early treatment.
2. Vaginal Yeast Infection
Vaginal yeast infection, also referred to as yeast vaginitis or Candidal vaginitis, is caused by yeast. Over 90 percent of women with vaginal yeast infection are caused by Candida albicans. It causes itchiness, irritation, and discharge. The overgrowth of yeast can result from uncontrolled diabetes, weak immune system, antibiotic use, pregnancy, taking oral contraceptives, and taking hormone therapy.
Although it is not a sexually transmitted infection, the fungus can spread through mouth to genital contact. The symptoms of vaginal yeast infection may include:
- Vaginal pain or soreness
- Vaginal rash, swelling or redness of the vulva
- Watery discharge
- Thick, white vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese
- Burning sensation when urinating or during sexual intercourse
If the yeast infection is severe, you may experience severe symptoms, such as vaginal itching that leads to cracks, sores or tears. The condition can become worse if you have uncontrolled diabetes, the infection is caused by other type of candida, you have weak immune system due to certain medications and if you are pregnant. Even if you are not sure whether you have a yeast infection or not, see a doctor immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.
3. Allergic Reaction
You can experience vaginal itching accompanied by a burning sensation caused by a vaginal allergic reaction. Other symptoms may also include redness and swelling of the vaginal area and discharge. The allergic reaction can be due to different factors:
- Chemical ingredients – The allergic reaction can be from the exposure to harmful chemicals in soap, cleansers and laundry detergents. It can also be from lubricants or certain medications. You should also choose carefully when it comes to toilet paper, tampons and sanitary napkins, as these hygiene products may cause an allergic reaction. If you are experiencing vaginal itch, blisters, or burning sensation caused by chemical ingredients, switch to different products.
- Condom allergy – If your partner is using latex condom, you may develop a latex condom allergy. Your immune system reacts to latex and the reactions can be mild, medium, or severe. Another type of condom allergy is spermicide condom allergy. Some women and also men are allergic to spermicide.
- Sperm allergy – If you are allergic to proteins present in semen, you may experience itching, swelling, redness, pain, and burning sensation in your vagina within ten to thirty minutes of getting in contact with semen.
4. Tight Clothing
Wearing tight or uncomfortable clothes makes you sweat more especially near the closed regions such as armpits and vagina. Since the sweat cannot evaporate properly, it can lead to itching. Wearing tight clothing all the time may also lead to infection.
If you are wearing tight jeans or underwear, it is best to switch to comfortable clothes to alleviate vaginal itching before period and prevent possible infections.
5. Sexually Transmitted Disease
A person may get an STD when having oral, anal, vaginal intercourse and genital touching. This condition is also called sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as it involves the transmission of the organism from one person to another during sexual intercourse. The most dangerous of these STDs are Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
Chlamydia – it is a bacterial infection of the genital tract and may be hard to detect. The early phase often causes no or few signs and symptoms and start appearing after 1 to 3 weeks after being exposed to the bacteria. Signs and symptoms of chlamydia may include:
- Lower abdominal pain
- Painful urination
- Bleeding between periods
- Vaginal discharge
- Pain during sexual intercourse
Gonorrhea – it is a bacterial infection of the genital tract and may also grow in throat, mouth, anus, and eyes. The symptoms appear within 10 days after your exposure to gonorrhea. Some people can be infected for months before the symptoms show.
- Pain or burning feeling when urinating
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Bleeding between period
- Thick and cloudy discharge from vagina
Trichomoniasis – it is caused by a one-celled parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. The symptoms may appear within 5 to 28 days. The signs and symptoms may include:
- Strong vaginal odor
- Itching and irritation
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Pain when urinating
- Clear, yellowish or greenish discharge
HIV – it is an infection with a human immunodeficiency virus. HIV hinders the ability of the body to combat bacteria, viruses and fungi that cause illnesses. It also leads to AIDS, a life-threatening disease. The early signs and symptoms of HIV may include:
- Sore throat
- Fever and headache
- Swollen lymph glands
The early symptoms may disappear within a week or month, but you are extremely infectious during this period. Severe symptoms of HIV may not show for 10 or more years after the first exposure, but the virus continuous to multiply. HIV destroys the immune cells and you may develop signs and symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, fever, diarrhea, cough and shortness of breath
The signs and symptoms of late-stage HIV infection are:
- Swelling of lymph nodes for over 3 months
- Unexplained fatigue
- Shaking chills
- Night sweats
- Fever higher than38 C (100.4 F) for several weeks
- Diarrhea, headache
Genital herpes – it is caused by a type of herpes simplex virus that penetrates the body through mucous membranes or small breaks in the skin. It is highly contagious and most people who are infected are not aware that they have it as the symptoms are mild or no symptoms at all. When signs or symptoms appear, they may include:
- Vaginal itching or pain
- Itching or pain in inner thighs and buttocks
- Small red bumps, blisters, or open sores in vagina, anal or nearby areas
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – this condition usually do not show signs of symptoms, but they may include:
- Bleeding during intercourse
- Vaginal itching and discomfort
- Warts close together and appear like a cauliflower
- Flesh-colored or gray swellings
Syphilis – it is a bacterial infection that affects the genitals, mucous membranes and skin. It can also affect other parts of the body, such as the heart and the brain. The signs and symptoms may occur in 4 stages. A pregnant woman with this condition may pass the disease to her unborn child, which is called congenital syphilis. This can be disabling and life-threatening. It is vital that syphilis is treated right away especially if you are pregnant.
Home Remedies for Treating Vaginal Itching
Here are some tips to alleviate and prevent vaginal itching before period:
- Keep the vagina clean and dry – Cleaning the vaginal region after urinating or bowel movement is important.
- Choose right hygienic products – Do not use scented sanitary pads or tampons as the chemicals can cause irritation or infection.
- Use cotton cloth – Avoid undergarments made of synthetic fabric materials.
- Maintain the balance of bacteria – Eat more yogurts with live cultures to keep the balance of bacterial. Drink plenty of water to eliminate irritants that cause itchiness.
- Apply soothing products – You can sprinkle powder on your genital to alleviate the itching. You can also immerse your vagina in a bath containing water and a half cup of apple cider vinegar to remove irritants from the vagina.