Itching before your period: how can you reduce it?

The menstrual period can bring with it a whole host of inconveniences, such as itching. Although itching can occur at any time during the menstrual cycle, it is most often experienced before the period.

What is pre-menstrual itching?

Hormones during the menstrual cycle cause a number of upheavals and disturbances that affect the body in a variety of ways. As a result, many women experience genital itching before their period.

What are the symptoms of pre-menstrual itching?

There are several symptoms of pre-menstrual itching in menstruating women of all ages.Pre-menstrual itching is characterized by :

  • an irrepressible urge to scratch, and tingling in the vulva and vaginal entrance: this is a constant source of discomfort,
  • thick, creamy white discharge,
  • pain or discomfort during intercourse,
  • a red, swollen vulva,
  • a burning sensation outside the vagina.

Is it normal to itch?

As mentioned above, itching before menstruation is completely normal and not serious. As menstruation approaches, hormonal changes cause a change in vaginal pH. Most of the time, until the menopause, it's the increasedblood flow before menstruation that causes tingling and irritation. This discomfort usually passes within a few days. On the other hand, if you experience discomfort during your menstrual period, the causes may be other than a heavy blood flow.

What causes vaginal itching?

To treat vaginal itching, it's essential to know the cause. This will enable you to tailor your treatment and achieve faster results. We've put together a list of causes of vaginal itching.

Abundant blood flow

The influx of blood around the time of menstruation and premenstrual syndrome can cause tingling and scratching. All the more so if your flow during your period is abundant. If the cause of your itching before blood loss is an influx of blood, the discomfort should disappear within a few days. If not, there may be other causes.

Vaginal mycosis

If your irrepressible urge to scratch persists during and after your period, vaginal mycosis may be the cause. Vaginal mycosis is caused by a disturbance of the vaginal pH and flora. As menstruation approaches and the uterus contracts to evacuate the endometrium, hormonal changes in the ovaries have an impact on the vaginal flora and its balance. These changes make it easier for bacteria and yeast to develop and proliferate in the vagina. Generally speaking, it's the fungus Candida Albican that's responsible for mycosis in women. But don't panic, mycosis is a common infection, and most of the time without risk.

Other symptoms include discomfort during intercourse, changes in the appearance and odour of vaginal discharge, and swelling of the labia. There are several types of mycosis (even breast mycosis, which affects the breasts of breast-feeding women), so consult your doctor so he or she can prescribe the right treatment for you!


Irritation before, during and after menstruation can also result from another condition, vaginosis. This gynaecological condition affects one in 5 women.

Vaginosis is caused by an imbalance in the microbial flora of the vagina, which results in the disappearance of lactobacilli (which ensure the right level of acidity in the vagina to prevent germs from developing) and the multiplication of germs such as Gardnerella Vaginalis. This germ is naturally present in the flora, but in balanced quantities. When it is out of balance with the vaginal flora, vaginosis occurs. Vaginosis results in inflammation of the vaginal mucosa. It also causes vaginal itching, pain and redness. Discharge may also change in appearance and color, and have a foul odor.

How to treat pre-menstrual itching?

Pre-menstrual itching is, of course, not inevitable. There are several things you can do about it.

Good intimate hygiene

Intimate hygiene is very important in the fight against intimate discomfort. Make sure you use suitable, pH-neutral products. Be careful never to wash the inside of the vagina: this unbalances the vaginal flora and encourages the proliferation of bacteria and yeast.

Drink plenty of water

Drinking enough water every day is very important for your body's overall health. It also helps combat pre-menstrual irritation and uterine cramps, since drinking a lot means you urinate more. And by urinating more, you eliminate bacteria and bad toxins. Drinking a lot helps to prevent the risk of irritation and heal in advance. It's recommended to drink around 1.5 liters of water a day (to be adapted according to your daily activities). This will also help prevent dry skin, which could be the cause of this discomfort.

Taking medication

In the event of persistent itching before, during or after your period, taking medication may be a solution. However, be sure to consult your doctor, pharmacist or healthcare professional for advice.

What to do if itching persists during or after the period?

If the itchy skin persists during or after your period, it may be due to another illness or infection, such as vaginitis, vaginosis or mycosis. It's important to make an appointment with your gynecologist if these symptoms don't go away, or to have a test or sample taken.

FAQs on itchy periods

What does pre-menstrual itching mean?

Pre-menstrual itching is a tingling sensation and an irrepressible urge to scratch the skin of the vulva to get relief. It can be caused by a variety of factors: blood flow, dryness, vaginal mycosis or vaginosis. Consult your doctor for treatment if it continues during and after menstruation.

How can I tell if itching during my period is irritation or mycosis?

It can be difficult to differentiate between a simple irritation and a mycosis. A mycosis will cause abnormal discharge, irritation and burning in the vagina and vulva. Contact your healthcare professional if in doubt, and to get the right treatment.

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