Is it normal to experience vaginal itching during periods?
During your period, your vagina is at extra risk for dryness and itchiness. In this article, we explain why this happens and share our best tips on how to improve your V-zone’s wellbeing!
Experiencing vaginal dryness is perfectly normal and is something that can easily be treated. It can create discomfort at best and be painful at worst. Let’s change that!
Know that you are not alone – many women experience the same problem. Learning more about why vaginal dryness occurs during your period and how to treat it is the first step towards feeling better.
A drop in estrogen levels causes dryness
It might come as no surprise that there is a connection between your menstrual cycle and how your vagina feels. Estrogen, which you might have heard of before, is a hormone that helps to keep the vagina moist. The level of estrogen in the body differs depending on where in your menstrual cycle you are. Before and after your period, your estrogen level is generally lower which might cause you to experience vaginal dryness and discomfort.
So now that we know that vaginal dryness is linked to estrogen levels in the body, what can we do about it? There are different treatments for vaginal dryness, one of which is using a vaginal cream which helps to maintain the level of moisture. But there are other things you can do and investigate as well to feel better.
Other areas that all contribute to your V-zone’s wellbeing
Allergy or sensitivity
Although one possible explanation for vaginal dryness can be hormonal levels in your body, it might also be that you are having a reaction to the tampons or pads you are using - or possibly your soap or lotion. Try different alternatives and make sure to use a cleanser for extra sensitivity. Other causes of allergy or increased sensitivity include:
- The underwear fabric
- Scented detergent or fabric softener
Our best tip? Always make sure to choose products that are unscented and adapted for sensitivity.
Increased stress levels reduce blood flow in the entire body - and the vagina is no exception. In addition to many other negative side effects, experiencing long term stress, anxiety and depression can also cause vaginal dryness. Reducing stress might help you get your moisture back – along with a bunch of other positive effects, of course.
Oral contraception pills or mini pills can also affect our hormone levels and cause you to experience dryness. Low levels of estrogen and high levels of other hormones like desogestrel and norgestimate in your birth control pills could be contributing factors. Consult with your gynecologist to see if you can switch to a more suitable alternative.
Like stress, we know that smoking has several negative side effects on your body. Smoking affects hormone levels, which can contribute to vaginal dryness but also mood swings and fatigue. The explanation being that smoking affects circulation negatively, resulting in an increased risk for vaginal dryness.
Intense workout routines
Physical activities and working out when you are on your period have a ton of advantages, like:
- Decreasing PMS symptoms
- Increasing endorphin production
- Feeling stronger
- Improving your mood
- Reducing menstrual cramps
However, very intense training sessions and pushing yourself to the limit may contribute to vaginal dryness. When you are on your period, it could be a good idea to slow down just a little bit. Recommended workouts include, but are not limited to:
- Light jogging
- Low-volume strength training
Of course, the experience of working out during a period is different for everyone. Some women can proceed with their regular workout routine every week of the month, but for some it might help to slow down and make your workout less intense.
Every woman is unique, and this will not be applicable for everyone. The most important thing is to talk about it and not suffer in silence. If you are experiencing discomfort, there are treatments designed to help you - and others to talk to.