Last month, I had intense itching while I had my period. I normally use a menstrual cup, but the itching by the opening of my vagina was so bad that I decided to switch to tampons. I found a bit of relief, but the itching was still there. It ended around the same time that my period ended. I didn’t have any discharge or odor.

I have some very small bumps by my vaginal opening (which my tampon string seems to irritate) but it could just be my normal skin texture. I had these tiny bumps last month as well, but forgot to check if they went away when the itching stopped. My initial thought was, “Could this be herpes?” but based on a Google image search and general knowledge of herpes, it doesn’t seem likely. As far as I can tell, the bumps aren’t weepy, scabbed over, or anything along those lines. No tingling or pain, just intense itching that extends from my vaginal opening to the lower portion of my inner labia.

What I’m wondering is: what could this be? It doesn’t seem like a yeast infection to me (I usually get 1-2 a year, easily treated with Monistat 3-day). Does anyone have any ideas of what could be going on, and what might help? I’ve tried some external cream that I had leftover from my last yeast infection, and although it’s slightly soothing, it’s not completely eliminating the itching. Should I try Monistat 3-day or something similar, or wait until my period ends and see if the itching goes away?

I should mention that I haven’t switched laundry detergents or body wash, I only wear cotton undies, and my diet hasn’t changed (I avoid yeasty things like bread because I have a gluten intolerance). The only “change” is that I began dating and having sex with a new partner about 3 months ago; we don’t use condoms (I’m on the pill) so that could explain why my first thought was herpes or another STD. We discussed STDs prior to having sex, and he said that he was tested a few months ago and he didn’t test positive for anything. Regrettably, I didn’t see any documentation to back this up. Anyway, sorry this post got a bit long, but if anyone has any insight/suggestions I would be grateful! Thank you in advance 🙂

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11 Responses to Itching During Period

  1. 38ere says:

    Look for pictures of genital warts, they start out very small and only appear like bumps.

  2. Stnro says:

    Will do. Would warts indicate HPV, herpes, or something else? I’m afraid I’m not terribly educated when it comes to this, but I’ll be sure to do some research. Thank you for your comment.

  3. 29dWoman says:

    Even if he has been tested recently, they don’t routinely test for HSV 1 or 2.

    If you can, I’d get a swab done to see if it’s yeast and/or BV

  4. Stnro says:

    I’m not sure when I’ll be able to see a doctor, but I’ll definitely get it checked out if the itching continues after my period ends, and mention the itching/bumps at my annual gyn appointment in a few months. Also, good to know (in a regretful way) that HSV 1 and 2 aren’t routinely checked for. I always asked to be tested for “everything,” including HSV 1 and 2 as well as HIV, and figured my partner had been tested for everything as well. I’ll have to ask if he knows whether or not he was tested for those. Thank you for your advice 🙂

  5. 29dWoman says:

    I think testing for either strain of Herpes is much more likely if someone is presenting any kind of symptom, and given how many people have HSV-1 (50-80%), and that the test can tell you which strain(s) you have but not *where* it is. Hope that helped!

  6. Stnro says:

    Oh, absolutely, it makes sense that it isn’t tested for unless a patient is symptomatic (or searching for peace of mind, in instances of infidelity or plain old curiosity). I’m not sure why I thought it was included in standard STD testing, but thank you for shedding some light the matter. I learned something new 🙂 yay!

  7. 29dWoman says:

    I wish when they use the term “STD Testing” they specified more often, because I’ve found much of the time that means chlamydia/gonorrhea. Yay for learning! It’s one of my favorite things to do (I’m actually reading a study rn about the rates of HSV-1 and 2 prevalence so ty!)

  8. Skcana says:

    are you using the cup again? i had this problem- after years of enjoying the cup, i developed an allergy to it. 🙁 that might be your problem? took a few days after taking it out for the itching to go away, which might explain why the switch to tampons didn’t immediately fix everything.

  9. Stnro says:

    I started out using tampons this month, used my cup once for about 8 hours, and switched back to tampons because the stem was exacerbating the itching. The itching was already there before I used my cup the one time :-/ I’m sorry you developed an allergy, that must be crushing if you’ve grown to love your cup as much as I (used to) love mine. I might try trimming the stem a bit more, but I really do rely on it for removal. I ditched the tampons today for a pad, even though I dislike pads, and the itching has all but vanished. Weird. Thanks for your comment; I hadn’t even considered some sort of allergy.

  10. Skcana says:

    oh! are you using the organic body-and-earth-friendly kind of tampons/pads (something like this- http://www.natracare.com/Default.aspx?CultureId=en-GB)?
    they add a lot of crap to the regular kind and you might be reacting to that too.

    augh it’s a super huge drag not being able to use my cup. I’m pretty sure i could use the keeper as it’s made of latex but they don’t ship them to the UK and i haven’t been able to find one in a store, only the silicone kinds. if you’re in the US you should be able to find or order one.

    i am entirely prepared to be wrong but… it seems to me that if you’re fine with pads but itch with a cup or tampons, it’s logical that you’re reacting to a substance/chemical, so it’s just a matter of finding something that doesn’t have any substances you react to. there might still be hope?

  11. Stnro says:

    Sadly, I’m not using natural/organic tampons or pads, but it’s something to try. What’s odd is that the tampons I was using, I’ve used for over a decade with no trouble. Strange how the body decides to reject things after so long!

    Have you tried someplace like Ebay for obtaining a Keeper? Or is it a customs issue? I’ve had the “problem” of -only- being able to find Keepers in health food stores here (U.S.), and not the Diva Cup, which is the only cup I’ve ever used. I accidentally threw mine out a few years ago (saddest couple of days of my period-life, being without it) and had to order another online. I might eventually try the Keeper, but I’m hesitant because I’ve had minor reactions to latex condoms (but never band aids or anything else containing latex). Seems like asking for trouble, but maybe not.

    It’s very likely that I’m having some sort of substance/chemical reaction, but I’m still going to pursue STD testing and an exam if possible. I’m hoping that the bumps go away completely if they weren’t always there, or at least decrease in size (they aren’t massive by any means), to let me know that it was some sort of irritation and not warts. My mind is definitely a bit more at ease about it, now that the itching has ceased. I suppose I’ll have to consider using cloth pads or perhaps a sponge next month. It sucks having to find a new method/routine when the old one worked so well 🙁 I’m sure you can relate 100%. Anyway, sorry this got a bit long, but thank you again! And thanks for the link to the natural pads and tampons. I plan to stop using yucky chemical-laden ones, for sure.

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