Jun 20, 2023

Why am I getting a burning feeling on my period?

Ever feel a burning sensation before your period? Maybe it happens during or after, and is either painful or just a lil uncomfy? Before you turn to Dr Google in a panic, know that it’s not uncommon. From UTIs, to hormonal changes, there’s a number of reasons for that burning sensation, and there are also ways to manage it. Let’s learn about the burn.


So, why do you get a burning sensation during your period? And why does it always come at the most awkward time? We’ve got answers to the first question, but the second remains an annoying mystery. Whether the period burn comes at school, playing sports, or on a date, here are some potential causes for it:

  • Vaginal dryness

    Usually, the vaginal wall is lubricated by natural layers of vaginal discharge and cervical mucus or fluid. Vaginal dryness is a lack of moisture in the vagina, which can feel uncomfortable and leave a burning sensation. Signs of vaginal dryness also include itchiness, pain inserting a tampon, pain or bleeding after sex, and irritation when walking or exercising. 

    One of the most common causes is low oestrogen levels. Importantly, oestrogen helps maintain blood flow to the vagina, which helps produce vaginal lubrication. That’s why a burning sensation before your period is especially common, because oestrogen levels peak around ovulation, and rapidly decline in the days before your period. However, vaginal dryness can also be caused by skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis.

    Although common, vaginal dryness can be a cause of concern. If you experience bleeding after sex or between periods, unusual discharge, or discomfort in your daily life, reach out to a healthcare professional.
  • Infections

    Infections, like UTIs, yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis, can result in a burning sensation that may worsen during your period. Symptoms vary across different infections, but common symptoms include discharge that’s unusual in colour or smell, pain when peeing or having sex, and feeling itchy down there. 

    Infections are mainly due to an imbalance or overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina. The good news is, infections are generally easy to treat with medicinal treatments and good hygiene, and usually aren't cause for major concern. If you think you may have an infection, don’t ignore it. Get in touch with a medical professional.
  • Hormonal changes

    Like PMS mood swings, your hormones are kinda all over the place during your menstrual cycle. During the follicular phase, oestrogen levels rise, and then drop after ovulation. Oestrogen levels then rise again at the beginning of the luteal phase, before decreasing at the end of it. Progesterone levels also peak at the luteal phase, and are lowest before ovulation, through to the follicular phase. Hormonal imbalances, particularly low oestrogen levels, can thin the vaginal wall and lead to inflammation, which is why you may feel the burning sensation before and during your period. 

    The burning feeling should subside once your hormones balance. If the burning continues, book an appointment with your medical professional. 

Alleviating discomfort

You don’t have to handle the heat. Brave the burn. Act a hot mess. Period burning sensations can be a pain, but there are ways to manage discomfort.

  • Use a heat pad

    Heat pads are a period pain god-send. Holding a heat pad to your abdomen or pelvis can help soothe the burning pain, by stimulating blood flow to the region and relaxing the area. Keep a heat pad in your work drawer, school locker or by your bedside for when you might need it.
  • Take over-the-counter medication

    Over-the-counter medications can help relieve discomfort. There’s the classics, like ibuprofen, that are the typical go-to’s for period pain relief. But there are also medicinal creams that help specifically target burning sensation in the vagina, while also relieving dryness or itchiness. Depending on the type of period pain and the pain levels you experience, a mix of both may help. To find the best medication suited to you, chat to a medical professional.
  • Practise good hygiene 

    Practising good hygiene can help prevent that period burning sensation, as well as prevent an infection. Washing the vulva daily, with warm water and gentle, unscented soap, and wearing breathable underwear helps. Fun fact: the vagina is self-cleaning, so there’s no need to wash inside the vagina, and doing so can even disrupt the natural pH balance. Avoid scented soaps or douching - just let the vagina do its thing.

When to seek medical attention

As with all period pain, it’s important to know when to seek medical attention. While a burning sensation before, during or after your period may be normal, persistent pain that interferes with your day to day life requires medical attention. If you’re also noticing unusual discharge, or symptoms like fever, bleeding between periods or pain during sex, seek advice or a treatment plan from a healthcare professional.

The period burn is real. Whether you experience the burning sensation in the days before your period, right in the middle, or just after, it’s often uncomfortable and definitely inconvenient. But you don’t have to put up with the burn! Remember to practise good hygiene, find which remedies work for you, and if pain persists, seek medical advice. You’ve got this!

Love, Libra x

Essity makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information. This information should be used only as a guide and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional, medical or other health professional advice.


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