I am a 23-year-old female in a long-term relationship and have a few concerns about my period. For the past year, I have been experiencing extreme discomfort in my nether regions toward the end of my period. It burns when I pee, and I wince every time I have to wipe. My lips tend to be slightly swollen and irritated. Things finally get back to normal a day or two after my period.
At first I thought the sensitivity was a reaction to wearing pads, but now I’m starting to wonder if it has anything to do with my flow. The few times my boyfriend and I have had sex during my period, after a few hours his penis got red and he experienced chaffing and peeling for the next couple of days. This has also happened when I was off my period once or twice before, but I’m thinking it might have been right before the start of my period.
I also noticed that my period suddenly got a lot heavier than normal a little over a year ago. My period is so heavy for the first two to three days that I usually need to use both tampons and pads (non-scented) at the same time. I often experience leaks, especially if I get up after having been seated for a long time. I have tried the Diva Cup, but I find it annoying to use and somewhat uncomfortable. I was on birth control two years ago, but the mood swings and loss of a sexual appetite were enough to get me off the pill.
I don’t know if any of this is related, but I am fed up with cursing every time I pee and of staining my panties.
Is my menstrual flow the cause of all these irritations? Is it the pads? Why would I suddenly experience a heavier than normal flow?
I’d love to speak to a gyno, but I don’t have one, so I’m not sure what my options are at this point.
It sounds for all the world like you’re getting an end-of-cycle yeast infection, which is, as some people theorize, a response to the body’s hormonal changes. Your symptoms (soreness, swollen labia, burning when you pee) all point to this. If you are experiencing yeast, your boyfriend’s symptoms are also on point (http://msu.edu/~eisthen/yeast/men.html remains my favourite yeast infection page on the net).
There are many at home remedies you can find online to treat this – from boric acid caplets to sitz baths – but it’s imperative you get yourself a gyno, even if that means going to a walk-in clinic for now. Your detailed notes will be helpful once someone is able to have a good look at you, but you might also find some relief in the many communities that have sprung up online regarding period changes and vaginal health issues in general.