The most common period issues

Period issues

It is already something that many people consider a burden, both physically and financially. Having to then face issues during your period may be enough to send you into a tailspin. But before chewing through your nailbed, it might be best to first find out why you are having this issue. In this article we will be discussing two issues.

My period blood is light pink and watery

While each woman experiences their period in a very unique way, there are times when you need to sit up and take note. One of these times is when your period blood is light pink and watery. It may be a sign of low oestrogen levels in the blood. Oestrogen, which is a very important hormone in the female body, helps to stabilise a woman’s uterine lining. If you do not have enough oestrogen in your blood, you will find that your period blood may appear to be a varied shade of light red to pink throughout your cycle. If this only occurs at the very end of your cycle, when you are spotting and only wearing panty liners, then it is not a cause for concern. But if it happens throughout your cycle, then there might be a more serious underlying cause.

One of the leading causes of light pink and watery period blood is perimenopause, which we will go into in greater detail soon. It might also be because of hormonal birth control which does not contain oestrogen. Some of the symptoms of low oestrogen may include vaginal dryness, fatigue, trouble concentrating, mood swings, depression, severe headaches, hot flushes, tender breasts, and an increase in urinary tract infections. These symptoms alone may not be a reason to think that you have low oestrogen levels, but it may be worth mentioning to your physician. Your physician will be able to pick up on hormonal imbalances or low oestrogen levels through a panel of blood tests that they will order.

There is also a mere 3% of women who experience ovulation spotting, which they may mistake for the beginning of their period. Cervical fluid that is more wet and clear is produced at the time of ovulation, when an egg is released from the fallopian tube, and this may cause spotting that appears pink. This is why it is important to wear a light, breathable panty liner each day, so that you can track what your body is doing. Beside ovulation spotting, there is also implantation bleeding, which occurs when a fertilised egg embeds itself in the uterine lining. This conception may cause light bleeding which normally presents as a light pink and watery bleeding.

A less pleasant reason for this period issue might be a pelvic inflammatory disease or a sexually transmitted infection. Symptoms may cause unusual discharge and pink, watery period blood. Other symptoms to look out for is bleeding during intercourse, painful urination, pelvic pain, vaginal itching, and unusual spotting between your periods. Fever is also quite common, and a sexually transmitted disease needs to be treated promptly. If left untreated, it can spread to your reproductive organs and cause infertility.


Starting in your mid-thirties to early forties, perimenopause is when your body starts transitioning to menopause. This also causes unpredictable fluctuations of your oestrogen levels, which then results in irregular periods which may appear as light pink and watery. Other symptoms you can look out for is hot flushes, vaginal dryness, unusual mood swings, and trouble sleeping.

No discharge, just itchy

This does not mean that you have no discharge whatsoever, just simply that your discharge is not unusual. When your vulva or vagina is itchy, there may be many causes of which none may be a cause for concern. If, however, the itching persists, then it may be indicative of something a little more serious that may require the services of a doctor.

Contact dermatitis normally occurs when your skin comes into contact with some type of irritant or allergen. For many it may be the elasticine found in their underwear, or the type of soap used to wash their underwear. It can be really uncomfortable, and may also occur elsewhere on the body, which may give an indication of what is causing the contact dermatitis. You will experience severe itching, flushed skin, swelling, tenderness, and a rash. Other causes may be scented soaps and body washes, certain lubricants and spermicides, latex (such as found in latex condoms), and scented menstrual pads or tampons. The first step to figuring out what the cause of the contact dermatitis is, is through a process of elimination. Change to cotton panties, wear unscented and breathable pads such as the Lady Anion pads which do not require scents to mask any smells, change your soap and body wash to something designed for sensitive skin that does not contain scents, and avoid latex and lubricants for a while. Once you’ve identified the culprit, the itching should stop. You may apply a topical corticosteroid to the vulva, but do not put any creams or other treatments inside the vagina unless prescribed by your doctor. Luckily severe contact dermatitis is rare, but if it occurs, your doctor may prescribe oral medication.

Lichen sclerosis, a chronic skin condition, is a condition that affects both the genitals and the anus. Usually white spots can be found around the vulva with this condition. This is just one of the possible symptoms. Other symptoms to look out for is pain during sex, flushed skin around the vulva, and blisters. It is not yet truly known what causes lichen sclerosis, but researchers believe that it may stem from hormonal imbalances and generational immune conditions. There is currently no cure for lichen sclerosis, so the only treatment at this stage is topical corticosteroids or a prescription of immune-modulating medication.

Pubic lice is not only transmitted during sexual intercourse, but can also be caught from sharing blankets, sheets, underwear, or towels with a person who has pubic lice. These tiny, parasitic insects will attach itself to pubic hair, and even coarse hair elsewhere on the body. Other than the severe itching, they can also cause inflammation, fever, and pale blue spots near the bite sites. There are lotions and shampoos to help get rid of pubic lice, but sometimes a doctor will prescribe more intense medications such as Malathion, Lindane, or Ivermectin.

Atopic dermatitis, better known as eczema, affects about 20% of children, and about 3% of adults worldwide. It is distinguishable by the inflamed and itchy patches that appears, and can appear anywhere on your body. The dry, scaly skin causes intense itching and flushed skin. Although it usually disappears on its own, it can just as easily flare up again without warning. There are a few triggers for eczema, such as irritants, allergens, hormonal changes due to pregnancy or even your menstrual cycle, certain foods, stress, and changes in weather. It can become quite severe in some cases, and there is no cure for eczema. Normally a doctor will prescribe a topical corticosteroid cream or antibiotics.

Genital herpes can be a silent agent, and this sexually transmitted disease does not always show symptoms. When it does, it may include symptoms such as itchiness, blisters, headaches, body aches, fever, and sores around the vulva and vagina. There is currently no cure for genital herpes, but antiviral medications such as Zovirax and Valtrex helps manage the symptoms.

Good old razor burn and regrowth is often the cause of itching. When the razor pulls the hair, it leads to irritated follicles. You will have intense itching, some swelling and tenderness, and small, flushed bumps on the skin. With regrowth it is simply the new hair growing out and poking against your underwear. Since the hair is still short, it does not curl against the underwear, but instead pokes against it. This also leads to intense itching, but no other symptoms. Neither requires treatment, and it will heal and grow out on its own. With razor burn it is best to avoid shaving the affected area until the skin has had time to heal. There are some over the counter creams that you can use to help reduce itching and swelling.

Lastly there is sweating. If you sweat excessively around the pubic area, then you might end up with itching and discomfort. Normally the culprits of excessive sweating down below is wearing tight, unbreathable underwear, working out, or being overweight or obese. Try to avoid synthetic material, as this makes you more prone to sweating. The best treatment is a good shower or bath.

Period issues – when to contact your doctor

Once you have exhausted all possible causes that are treatable at home with over the counter medication, you need to start thinking about the possibility of a more serious problem. Both with pink, watery period blood, and with vaginal itching, it is always best to get the opinion of your doctor if the problem is beyond your reach of expertise. Even though it may be an uncomfortable topic, it is preferable to living with something that might be serious because you are too shy to speak up.