Why Do I Have Vaginal Irritation During My Period?

Why Do I Have Vaginal Irritation During My Period?

Just like vaginas, no two itches are alike. 

Itching can happen for many reasons, from sensitive skin to an allergic reaction, which triggers your immune system to make a chemical called histamine (often treated with antihistamines). Or sometimes the cause may be more serious–it could be a nervous system or autoimmune condition like eczema, psoriasis, or lichen sclerosus, (often treated with topical creams and/or systemic medications). Causes for itchiness range, and it is important to recognize there are medically vast differences in itches and how to treat them.

Persistent itching or recurring itching is our body telling us something may be going on, especially if it's vaginal irritation during your period. We hope that by the end of this article, you feel encouraged to listen to your body and empowered to advocate for your wellbeing. 

Below, we’ll provide insight on what can cause vaginal itching or irritation during a period and treatments for vaginal itching.

Understanding Vaginal Irritation During Periods

Many women experience uncomfortable vaginal itching during their period, but the good news is that the most common reasons, like allergies or stress, are generally harmless. 

Others are more critical and may require medical attention​, such as infections or diseases.

Common Causes of Vaginal Irritation During Periods

Can your period cause itching and burning? While the answer is yes, the chances of it being from just your period are slim. Common causes of vaginal irritation during periods often coexist with other underlying issues.

Sensitive Skin

Let’s start with something seemingly obvious, but critical to keep in mind as a potential cause: skin sensitivities. In our daily routines, our vaginas come in contact with so many materials and/or ingredients that at first glance may not seem to be the reason for itching, but very much could be. The skin around and in your vagina is so delicate that some materials or ingredients can disturb our vaginal pH and cause an itchy vagina.

Items such as body wash, bath bombs, or even hair care that runs down your body while rinsing can come into contact with your vaginal skin and cause irritation. Sprays, lotions, laundry detergents, and fabric softeners can all trigger itching. Even scented or colored toilet paper, non-cotton underwear, and certain ingredients in pads, liners, or tampons could cause vaginal itching during your menstrual cycle


Another condition to consider as a trigger for increased itching during your period is high levels of stress. Your body’s immune system becomes weakened when in distress, and symptomatically, that can cause an itching or burning sensation anywhere on the skin.


As we age, the hormones estrogen and progesterone decrease while our bodies adapt to perimenopause and menopause. These hormonal changes can lead to vaginal dryness, which naturally leads to vaginal itching


The discomfort of a vaginal infection happens to most of us at some point in our lives. Bacterial vaginosis (BV), yeast infections, and sexually transmitted infections (STI) are common vaginal infections that cause itching, vaginal burning during your period, and sometimes vaginal discharge.

Practical Steps to Alleviate Vaginal Irritation

What are the most overlooked causes of vaginal irritation during periods? Often, hormonal changes or allergies may be the cause. Normal hormonal changes during menstruation can trigger itching, which then resolves post-cycle. You may also have a sensitivity or allergy to period care products. Let’s get into specifics.

Sensitive Skin

Read ingredients for any and all products that are in or on your vagina during a menstrual cycle. Keep track of any patterns you notice with itching flare-ups, especially as it relates to vaginal itching during your period, and work toward a process of elimination to determine what causes itching during your period. Adjust your routine and products accordingly. 


Take time to identify what your triggers are, and what your reliveres are. You can also speak with your doctor about heightened stress levels around your menstrual cycle if you find self-help is not providing you with safe and comfortable relief from period vaginal itching


If you are postmenopausal, your hormone levels will settle from no longer being in menopause, and your vaginal itch symptoms should subside. If not, there are options for prescription hormone replacement therapy to get relief sooner. If you feel like something topical could help but want a hormone-free option, there are non-medicated vaginal balms with natural and safe ingredient alternatives to aid in burning relief. It is important to track your changing menstrual cycle symptoms, so talk to your doctor about your symptoms if you believe you are experiencing perimenopause or menopause. 


Even though our vaginas always contain a certain amount of yeast, when it overproduces, we end up with a yeast infection. This vaginal infection is fairly common and widely known to cause intense vaginal itching. Luckily, a course of antibiotics can clear this infection up pretty quickly. If your itchy vagina is accompanied by a foul-smelling discharge, then most likely the “bad” bacteria overran the “good” bacteria in your vagina, causing bacterial vaginosis (BV). BV is also treatable with antibiotics. While it is possible to experience vaginal irritation after sex, STI symptoms are often distinct, and treatments will vary depending on the type of infection you have. 

Any persistent burning, itching, or general vaginal discomfort should be something you discuss with your doctor so that you can begin to track symptoms and what treatments help or hurt the progression toward your well-being.

The Bottom Line

Is it normal to have irritation during my period? Yes! Is it normal to be sensitive down there during your period? Yes! Should you scratch every itch? No! Your vaginal skin is thin and sensitive, and scratching can create unhygienic opportunities for skin infections. Also, you should never use any type of cleanser inside your vagina, but it is ok to do so on your vulva. Be sure to look for one made with natural ingredients, and without added dyes or synthetic fragrances.

Whether your period care ingredients are due for an upgrade or you need some essentials for having sex while menstruating, discover our range of gynecologist-approved vaginal care products to alleviate vaginal irritation. Our period care is made with organic cotton, and our natural sexual wellness essentials are hypoallergenic.

Here are some personal anecdotes and testimonials from customers who have experienced relief from vaginal irritation during periods by using our products.

“I’ve been using LOLA for 2 years and I’ve never been disappointed. The absorbency is great and I never have as much cramps as I did when I was using tampax or other tampons. I will definitely buy more! Thank you for being a great brand.” - Destiny

“I've been using this for over a year now and I find it to be the best out of 4 other brands that I tried while seeking an alternative to Honey Pot Sensitive and regular wash. My pH is balanced.” - Supreme

“Hands down the ONLY lube I use. Never an issue with my pH using this bad boy. Keeps me wet and ready for more.” - Anniek

“Normally I don’t leave reviews but I’m huuuuge on ingredients / non-toxic products and I’m SO HAPPY people and brands are starting to *actually* care about their products and the quality. As a woman, I love the condoms! They don’t irritate at all, even being sensitive! 10/10 would recommend.” - Mrs. M

How do different menstrual products impact vaginal health? While there may be little scientific evidence to document the health benefits of organic tampons, it’s important to note that there is a dearth of research around the topic. Some chemicals, additives, and allergens found in conventional tampons may be linked to hormone disruption, which can affect the menstrual cycle. Because organic tampons avoid any unnatural or harmful ingredients, these potential disruptions can be avoided.

Also, the skin surrounding your vagina can be especially sensitive, as anyone who's ever experienced "pad rash" will attest. These rashes can lead to swelling, redness, itching, and general discomfort. Pads made with 100% organic cotton are hypoallergenic and free from harsh irritants like chemicals and perfumes.

This content should not be used as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or other qualified physician.

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