Thrush and Your Period: What You Need to Know
Thrush is a common yeast infection that affects the vagina, causing itching and irritation. If you've ever experienced thrush before, you'll know how uncomfortable it can be. It's made even worse when it occurs in and around your period!
I have suffered with recurring yeast infections on and off for the last 30 years. It's only in the last few months that I finally found one thing which really works to help, which I really wanted to share. So, read on to answer Thrush and Your Period: What You Need to Know:
- Can Your Period Cause Thrush?
- Can Tampons Cause Thrush?
- Can Pads Cause Thrush?
- Can Period Pants Give You Thrush?
- Can Thrush Stop Your Period?
- How to Prevent Thrush Before Your Period
- How to Prevent Thrush During Your Period
- How to Prevent Thrush After Your Period
- Is my itchy vulva due to thrush or something else?
- What one thing can really help with Thrush?
If you have recurring itchiness in your vulva, it is ALWAYS worth getting checked out by your GP or local STI clinic as it could be thrush or it could be something else. That's because symptoms of thrush such as an itchy vulva and vaginal discharge could also be due to many other things, including:
- contact dermatitis
- sexually transmitted infections
- bacterial vaginosis
Popping in for a check up will identify quickly which is the culprit and could save you a lot of heartache (and itching)!
'I've used Cheeky Wipes reusable period products for around 4 years now and have just bought another pack of day pads.
They're comfortable, I've never had a problem with any leakage, kinder to skin too - I've never suffered with another bout of thrush since I've stopped using disposable pads.
They're well made, last for ages and definitely save money in the long run!' Michelle via Trustpilot
Yes, your period can cause thrush. Before and during your period, your vaginal ph levels change, which can cause irritation and lead to a yeast infection. This is because the blood from your period is more alkaline than the natural acidity of your vagina, creating a favourable environment for the growth of yeast.
Additionally, the hormonal changes that occur during your menstrual cycle can also increase your risk of developing thrush.
No, tampons don't directly cause thrush, but they can contribute to its development. Tampons can dry out your vagina and create micro tearing, creating a breeding ground for yeast.
Additionally, leaving a tampon in for too long can also increase your risk of developing thrush and also toxic shock syndrome.
Yes, wearing traditional plastic sanitary pads can create the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive, which can lead to thrush. Pads can also irritate the skin around your vagina, leading to chafing and inflammation. Both of these further increase your risk of thrush.
'I wish I’d found these products sooner! I was a bit unsure of reusable sanitary pads at first, but I’m so glad I tried them. No more itching, no more skin irritations, no leaking, and no more monthly thrush episodes. The pads are soft and comfortable, incredibly absorbent, the designs are pretty (always a plus), easy to wash, and they’re kinder to the environment! I definitely won’t be going back to disposables.' Victoria via Trustpilot
No, period pants are designed to be more breathable and moisture-wicking than traditional pads, so can help prevent thrush.
However, if you don't change your period underwear frequently enough, or if they don't fit properly, they can still contribute to the development of thrush.
It's important to choose menstrual underwear that fits well and to change them regularly.
No, there is no evidence that thrush can stop your period. However, if you're experiencing any unusual changes in your menstrual cycle, it's important to speak to your GP.
Here's some tips on how to prevent thrush before your period:
- Wear cotton underwear and avoid tight-fitting clothing
- Avoid using perfumed soaps and shower gels in your genital area
- Take probiotics or eat foods that contain probiotics, such as yogurt
- Maintain good hygiene habits, such as washing your hands before and after going to the bathroom and wiping from front to back after using the loo
Here's some tips on how to prevent thrush during your period:
- Avoid using tampons or plastic pads
- Change your period pants or reusable pads frequently
- Use non-perfumed sanitary products
- Avoid using douches or vaginal sprays
- Wear cotton underwear and avoid tight-fitting clothing
'Great products. Great prompt service. So soft and comfortable and such lovely colourful designs, this is my second order over the last few years. Feel good I have done away with standard itchy uncomfortable sanitary towels and am not contributing to the plastic problem on a monthly basis!' Siri, via Trustpilot
Here's some tips on how to stop thrush after your period:
- Take antifungal medication, which can be prescribed by your doctor or purchased as an over-the-counter treatment
- Try antifungal tablets rather than creams
- Avoid sexual activity until your symptoms have cleared up
- Practice good hygiene habits, such as washing your hands regularly and avoiding perfumed soaps and shower gels
- Change your sanitary products regularly and consider using reusable cotton pads or period pants to prevent further irritation
If, like me, recurrent yeast infections are part of your monthly cycle, it's possible that you have an overgrowth of candida albicans and one thing that can really help is taking a good quality probiotic.
A recent Cochrane review of the evidence has shown that a good quality probiotic can help with thrush and also with BV (Bacterial Vaginosis).
Since I started taking probiotics, I have found that my thrush is pretty much non-existent. They have also really helped reduce bloating for me and making my bowel movements more regular which is ALWAYS a good thing.
I use Beauty Pie Supergut capsules which contain over 50 BILLION CFU's per 2 capsules. And I am not getting commission for this, I just wanted to share something which has really helped reduce my monthly thrush misery!
In conclusion, thrush can be linked to your menstrual cycle, but there are steps you can take to prevent and treat it. By following good hygiene habits, wearing breathable and non-perfumed sanitary products, choosing reusable period protection, and taking a goog probiotic you can help reduce your risk of developing thrush.
About the author: Helen Rankin is a Mum of 4 and founded Cheeky Wipes, the original reusable wipes kit back in 2008 after disposable wipes caused her eczema to flare up. She went on to develop their range of 'Simple Reusables' to include period pants, reusable sanitary pads and reusable makeup removing pads. The team pride themselves on providing relatable friendly advice and just LOVE to chat pee, poo and periods all day long! The Company was recognised for their hard work in developing environmentally friendly products with the Queens Award in Enterprise for Sustainable Development in 2021.