Yeast infections during your period

Yeasts belong to the group of fungi, and some yeast species can occur inside the vagina. However, once yeast starts growing uncontrollably it causes an infection. The uncomfortable symptoms following the infection become almost unbearable when combined with the menstrual blood, cramps and irritability that often encompasses being on a period. Learn more about vaginal yeast infections and what to expect if the infection strikes during your period.

Majority of women experience a yeast infection at least once in their lives. This is due to the delicate vaginal flora that can easily be pushed out of balance, resulting in overgrowth of yeast. Factors that can cause an imbalance resulting in a yeast infection include:

  • Hormonal changes, e.g. during the menstrual cycle
  • Antibiotic use
  • Pregnancy
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Weakened immune system

Yeast infections often occur just before your period, while menstruating or a few days later. This happens due to hormone levels which change throughout the menstrual cycle. Right before menstrual bleeding starts, the levels of estrogen drop. It doesn’t help that menstrual blood is alkaline. Fortunately, after the period is over, estrogen levels go back to the normal state, allowing vaginal flora to recuperate.

Symptoms that usually come with a yeast infection include:

  • Vaginal itching that can go from mild to very strong
  • Discharge – white, “cottage cheese” like and usually without odor
  • Irritation and redness
  • Pain while urinating
  • Swelling and pain can occur if you start scratching the area
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Soreness

"Yeast infections often occur just before your period, while menstruating or a few days later. This happens due to hormone levels which change throughout the menstrual cycle"


How to prevent yeast infections while on your period?

The exact cause of a yeast infection is difficult to determine. Therefore it can be quite difficult to prevent it.

Some women benefit from good hygienic habits to keep the vagina balanced and healthy – this includes using scent-free sanitary pads and panty liners, using only intimate washes that contain no harsh chemicals and avoid using any cosmetic products that may irritate the skin. Change the pads every 3 to 4 hours and if you are prone to yeast infections, avoid using tampons. Tampons keep menstrual blood in a prolonged contact with the vaginal tissue, making it more likely for yeast to develop in the alkaline environment created by blood.

Try using a product that can stimulate the growth of good bacteria and protect the vaginal flora from yeast invasion. Avoid wearing synthetic, tight clothing especially before and during menstruation, since these garments can promote yeast growth and increase the risk of infections.