Cyclic Vulvovaginitis Before Period- Causes, Treatment, Prevention & Diagnosis

Introduction to Cyclic Vulvovaginitis Before Period

Cyclic vulvovaginitis is the inflammation of the vagina that occurs in a cyclical pattern, usually before the period. Vagina itching is a normal experience and all women face it before or during their periods. This itching sensation could be felt in the vagina, labia or on the vulva and pubic area.

The recurrent symptoms of cyclic vulvovaginitis include vagina and vulva itching, burning, and irritation, as well as abnormal discharge.

 In this article, we will talk about the definition, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cyclic vulvovaginitis.

Cyclic Vulvovaginitis Before Period

What is cyclic vulvovaginitis?

Cyclic vulvovaginitis is the inflammation and irritation of the vagina in a cyclic pattern usually before the menstrual period. This condition causes uncomfortable symptoms in women such as itching, burning, and abnormal discharge from the vagina.

cyclic vulvovaginitis is caused by hormonal changes and alterations in the vaginal flora.


What Causes vulvovaginitis

The most common and prevalent causes of cyclic vulvovaginitis include;

Imbalance in hormone

During the menstrual cycle, there is fluctuation in hormones, including estrogen and progesterone. These hormones affect the pH balance of the vagina, which in turn changes the vaginal flora, leading to the overgrowth of harmful bacteria or fungi in the vagina and near regions.

These harmful pathogens cause irritation and inflammation of the vulva and vagina.


Stress causes cyclic vulvovaginitis in two ways. First stress weakens the immune system of the body and second, it disturbs hormone balance. Both conditions offer an opportunity for the growth of harmful fungi and bacteria, leading to cyclic vulvovaginitis.

Poor hygiene practices

Poor hygiene practices play a key role in the development of cyclic vulvovaginitis. Poor hygiene practices include wearing tight clothing, using low-quality soap, and not changing wet clothing.

These unhygienic practices can disrupt the balance of the vaginal flora and create a favorable environment for the growth of harmful bacteria or fungi.

Multiple or harsh Sexual activities

Excessive sexual activity unbalances the vaginal flora and allows the entry of harmful bacteria or fungi into the vagina which increases the risk of developing cyclic vulvovaginitis.

Excessive use of Medications

Certain medications disrupt the balance of the vaginal flora and increase the risk of cyclic vulvovaginitis. The common medication that creates vaginal flora imbalance include antibiotics, antifungal, and antiprotozoal.

This is because, these medications kill both harmful and beneficial bacteria, which can create an imbalance in the vaginal flora.

Fungi infection (Candida albicans)

Candida is a type of fungus that is found in the vagina and causes cyclic vulvovaginitis. This can occur due to the imbalance of the vaginal flora or a weak immune system, which allows Candida to overgrow.

Bacterial infection (Gardnerella vaginalis)

Gardnerella is a special type of bacteria that causes cyclic vulvovaginitis. Gardnerella first disturbs the normal flora of the vagina and then starts to overgrow, which leads to cyclic vulvovaginitis.

Infection of Herpes simplex virus

Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection that causes genital sores and ulcers, and inflammation of the vulva and vagina leads to cyclic vulvovaginitis. This infection is covered by itself if not then an antiviral drug such as acyclovir is prescribed to patients.

Protozoal infection (Trichomonas vaginalis)

Trichomonas is a parasite that is sexually transmitted and causes trichomoniasis which leads to cyclic vulvovaginitis.

Trichomonas causes inflammation and irritation of the vagina and also increases vaginal discharge.


Symptoms of vulvovaginitis 

The common symptoms of cyclic vulvovaginitis vary from person to person, and include:

  • Itching and irritation of vagina and vulva
  • Pain in lower abdomen
  • Burning sensation in intercourse
  • Foul odor from the vaginal discharge
  • Dryness of the vagina and vulva 
  • Discomfort or pain during normal life activities that put pressure on the vulva and vagina, such as cycling or horseback riding
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Abnormal thick, white, or yellowish vaginal discharge
  • Swelling and redness of the vagina and vulva 
  • Dyspareunia, which is painful intercourse
  • Soreness and tenderness of the vulva
  • Sometimes Mood changes from mild to severe, including irritability, depression, and anxiety
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
Diagnosis of cyclic vulvovaginitis 

Diagnosing cyclic vulvovaginitis usually involves a physical examination, a review of your past and recent medical history, and various biochemical tests to identify the cause of your symptoms.

Here are some of the diagnostic tests that are used in finding cyclic vulvovaginitis.

Pelvic examination

Your healthcare professional will first perform a pelvic exam to check out for any signs of infection, inflammation, or other abnormalities in your vagina, cervix, and uterus. But normally physicians skip these observations due to certain ethical issues.

Vaginal swab for biochemical tests

A sample of your vaginal discharge is collected for laboratory analysis to find out any microorganisms that may be contributing to your symptoms.

Usually, physicians perform this test and it is very accurate and less time-consuming.

Urine analysis

A sample of urine is collected to analyze the presence of any bacteria and other microbes that cause a urinary tract infection.

Blood tests for analysis

 Blood tests are performed to check out the signs of hormonal imbalances, such as low levels of estrogen, which can cause cyclic vulvovaginitis.

Skin allergy tests

Skin allergy tests are performed to determine if any allergens or other sensitive substances are the causative agents of your symptoms.

Based on these results your healthcare provider will develop a treatment plan that treats your infection in a short time.

Treatment for vulvovaginitis 

The treatment of cyclic vulvovaginitis is depending on the underlying cause of the condition. The following are some of the treatment options that may be recommended for cyclic vulvovaginitis:

Fungi or yeast infections

If cyclic vulvovaginitis is caused by a yeast infection, then antifungal medication may be prescribed. These medications are available in the form of a cream, suppository, or oral medication.

Common antifungal include ketoconazole, fluconazole, and itraconazole.

 Bacterial infection

If a bacterial infection is the main cause of cyclic vulvovaginitis, then antibiotics are used to treat infection such as amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, Azithromycin, etc.

Viral infection

If cyclic vulvovaginitis is caused by the herpes simplex virus, then antiviral drugs are used to treat the infection such as acyclovir.

Hormonal imbalance

If hormonal imbalance is the causative agent of cyclic vulvovaginitis, then hormonal therapy is used to regulate the balance of hormones and reduce the symptoms.


If cyclic vulvovaginitis is caused by an allergen or sensitivity substance, then your healthcare professional will recommend avoiding such types of allergens or irritants, and will prescribe you antiallergics such as cetirizine, levocetirizine, chlorpheniramine, fexofenadine and loratadine,

Unhygienic lifestyle practices

If cyclic vulvovaginitis is due to poor hygienic practices then the doctor will recommend you bring certain changes in your life such as wearing cotton underwear, avoiding scented products, and practicing good hygiene.

These practices will not only treat your infection but also prevent future infections.  

Treatment for vulvovaginitis 

Here are some steps that you should take to prevent cyclic vulvovaginitis:

Practice and maintain good hygiene

Always try to maintain and practice good hygiene because it will only prevent you from cyclic vulvovaginitis but also from other lethal infections.

Keep the genital area clean and dry, use mild, unscented soap and warm water to clean the area, avoid douching, and use feminine hygiene products.

Wear breathable cotton underwear

Cotton underwear is very good because absorbs moisture and reduces irritation and limits pathogens’ growth. You should avoid tight underwear made of synthetic materials.

Stop the use of irritants

To prevent cyclic vulvovaginitis you should avoid irritants such as scented soap, bubble baths, vaginal sprays, and hip deodorants. Because it irritates the genital area and helps in the development of cyclic vulvovaginitis. 

Stay away from allergies

If you know that you are susceptible to a certain substance that helps in the development of cyclic vulvovaginitis, then you should avoid it at any cost.

Practice safe sex and avoid multiple sexual activities

Some diseases are sexually transmitted from one person to another. To prevent cyclic vulvovaginitis you should use a barrier method of contraception, such as condoms, which help to prevent sexually transmitted infections that lead to the development of cyclic vulvovaginitis.

Maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle

Always focus on a balanced diet, drink plenty of water daily, and perform regular exercise which helps in the maintenance of health which in turn protect the body from various infections

When you will follow these steps then you will reduce or prevent the risk of cyclic vulvovaginitis. 


Cyclic vulvovaginitis is the inflammation and irritation of the vagina in a cyclic pattern usually before the menstrual period.

It is commonly caused by hormonal imbalances and bacterial or fungal infections.

Diagnostic tests involve a physical exam, urine analysis, blood analysis, and vaginal samples.

Treatment options include the use of antifungal or antibiotic, hormone therapy, or other interventions according to the causative agents.

Preventive tips include practicing good hygiene, wearing breathable cotton underwear, and avoiding irritants and allergens.  


Spread the love

Leave a Comment