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Vulvar Pain: What Causes Vulvar Pain During Your Period?

As if the period cramps weren’t bad enough, period pain can also cause you pain in the vulva!

To start things off: The vulva is the name of the external genitalia in females. It includes the outer labia, inner labia, clit and the skin around the vagina or the urethra.

This pain usually occurs when you are on your periods. Vulvar pain can be annoying to deal with, but usually it’s nothing to worry about. But there are some conditions that you should be on the lookout for because vulvar pain can be a result of anything from long bike rides to cancer.

So here’s what could be going on in the land under while you surf the crimson tide:

Causes of vulvar pain during period include:


Vulvodynia is the term given to chronic vulvar pain, burning and other irritation in the vulvar area that has lasted at least three months. Sometimes the symptoms might surge out of nowhere or provoked at touch, sometimes the discomfort can last for months!

But if your vulvar pain only pulls up during your periods, you might be dealing with cyclic vulvodynia, or cyclic vulvitis. But what causes vulvodynia you ask? That’s the thing with Vulvodynia, it’s idiopathic – meaning, vulvodynia causes are still unclear.

Yeast infection

Yeast infections are very common – about 75% of women will have at least one vaginal yeast infection during their life. Some potential causes of yeast infection are:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Tight undies
  • Unmanaged diabetes
  • Antibiotics or topical antimicrobial creams

It can cause intense irritation and itchiness during urination, intercourse or when you try to insert a tampon along with vulvar pain. It can also involve a thick, white and smelly discharge.

Bacterial infection

Changing partners and hormonal imbalance are the most common causes of you being hit with a bacterial infection down there. This is why it is always important to practice safe sex. While research shows that most people with bacterial infection don’t have any symptoms, it can cause burning during urination and foul-smelling discharge along with vulvar pain.


The inflammation or infection of the hair follicles. You might notice small red bumps that look like rashes and most of the time they stem from shaving or wearing tight clothes.


Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a parasite and about 85% of the folks with Trichomoniasis don’t experience any symptoms at all! But sometimes symptoms might appear and can include abnormal foul-smelling vaginal discharge, pain during intercourse and while inserting tampons, and painful urination.


Vaginismus is the body’s involuntary response to the fear of some or all types of vaginal penetration. Some potential causes are anxiety or a history of sexual abuse or trauma. This fear is so strong that it can cause you actual pain down there!

Vulvar Cancer

Vulvar cancer is rare and isn’t a common cause of vulvar pain, but just letting ya'll know. Vulvar cancer also has other notable symptoms like lumps in your genitals, changes in skin color or thickness, and bleeding outside your periods.

When to see a doctor

Chat with your doctor if the vulvar pain becomes chronic or pops up every time during your periods, especially if you notice any other symptoms along with it. Your doctor can diagnose the cause for you and work out a solid treatment plan with you.

FAQs Related to Vulvar Pain

1. What infections cause vulvar pain?

Chronic yeast infections and bacterial infection can both cause vulvar pain ranging from mild discomfort and itching to severe pain.

2. When should I be concerned about vulvar pain?

You should be concerned when the vulvar pain is chronic or pops up every month during your periods. Also keep track of every other symptom that accompanies your vulvar pain. If you think something is amiss, hit up a chat with your doctor.


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