Has it ever happened to you that you’re going along your merry way, minding your own business, attending to your many lady tasks and suddenly out of nowhere your vagina has a persistent itch? You have? Good. Because it’s fairly common, albeit annoying.
Yes, we realize that it can be scary, especially if you don’t know why it’s happening. Many thoughts cross our minds when this happens, including the worst-case scenarios like yeast infections and so on. We need to stop doing that. The rule of thumb to follow? Check in with your doctor as soon as you know you have an itch, especially if you don’t have an explanation.
But what about the itch that you get right before your period? Keep in mind that menstrual cycles can range anywhere between 21 to 35 days in adults. And each stage has a different function. Let’s also not forget that each uterus is different and that all of us have a different way of dealing with a whole host of things including hygiene and daily routines.
But why is it so common for people to experience that persistent itch before menstrual bleeding?
While there can be many different reasons as mentioned above, it more or less always links back to vaginal pH levels. A normal pH level for the vagina ranges from 3.5-4.5, which is acidic. If your pH levels are higher than 7, then it is considered alkaline, which means that your pH levels are too high and infection has risen.
If you’re not already aware, then let us enlighten you. Your vagina is self-cleaning. This means that it doesn’t actually need any scented soaps or creams to get clean, as these can mess with your pH balance. Simply rinsing your vagina with water will do the trick much better.
Hormones also play an important role when it comes to an itchy vagina. Your body experiences a decrease in estrogen levels during the start of your period. This change also applies to your vagina. This hormonal change i.e. decreased estrogen levels can make your vagina act differently including causing the vaginal wall to thin, increase inflammation, and create more acid in your vagina.
Guess what the kicker is? Yeast loves acidity, which could be one of the reasons why you feel itchy down there. So how do we treat an itchy vagina, especially before menstruation?
Go to the doctor. Do not try and self-diagnose. On the other hand, you can always take precautionary measures like eating probiotic-rich foods e.g. yogurt, kimchi, miso, etc.
We all know that cranberry juice is the key to a happy vagina. Cranberry juice is full of acidic compounds that will fight off bacteria and keep your vagina happy. And last but not least, wear loose comfortable clothing. The summers are here and you really, really need to let your skin breathe. So don’t wear that tight, synthetic underwear. Go for the comfortable cotton one. Live a little!