Why Do Pads Itch Me Down There?


An internet search of how women handled their periods in the older days gives fascinating insights. Egyptian women, for example, crafted tampons out of papyrus. They would wrap lint around the wood to increase absorption and for comfort.

In ancient Japan, women turned to paper as a solution. Native American females would use buffalo skin and moss to make tampons.

It gets more interesting. Historical records show that menstruation was not as regular as it is nowadays. Indeed, it was somewhat of a novelty. It could be due to the fact that ladies carried many pregnancies. Add onto this the ongoing lactation, and there would not be enough time left out for menstruation. The first disposable sanitary towels came into being in 1896.

We could go on with this fascinating journey, but that would digress from the topic of this article. True, we would still be focusing on sanitary pads. But in the course of this article, we will attempt to unveil a more unpleasant side to using sanitary pads, and that is the itching that accompanies their use.


If you suffer from severe itching during your menses, there is a solution. It comes in the form of a vaginal itching relief cream. The soothing cream will take care of the itching and burning sensation. You can get the best itching cream for private parts over-the-counter.

Now, let’s examine why your sanitary pads could be the problem.

Causes of Itching in Your Private Parts

There are several reasons why you can experience itching in your private parts. These include:

  • Practices like douching and using female hygiene products. These can cause an imbalance of bacteria and fungi in the vagina. The result will be yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.
  • Another issue is the use of scented products, resulting in allergic reactions.
  • Hormonal imbalances, stress, medications and much more.

It is easy to go through a process of elimination when determining the cause of the vaginal itching. Now, what happens if you suspect that you could be having a sexually transmitted disease? The best and only option is to see a doctor. He will carry out tests to confirm whether that is the case.

Over-the-counter yeast infection medications will try and alleviate the discomfort caused by yeast infections. If the situation keeps recurring, it is a sign of vulvovaginal candidiasis. In that case, a more intensive doctor-prescribed therapy will be necessary.

You’ll also realize the consistency with the reasons for the itching above. It will not only happen during your periods. The drive-you-up-the-wall itching will be an ongoing issue that can stay for weeks on end.

If the itching is severe during your menses, the pads could be the issue.

Sanitary Pads as a Cause of Vaginal Itching

The most significant cause of vaginal itching when using pads is contact dermatitis. That is the scientific way of saying that your skin is reacting to certain chemicals that are in contact with it. You may experience a range of very unpleasant symptoms, including:

  • Rashes
  • Blisters
  • Severe itching
  • Burning sensation
  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Swelling in the groin, eyes, or face, to name a few

Sanitary pad dermatitis or pad rash presents as severe inflammation. The result is itching and discomfort in the private parts. If you know anything about anatomy, you are aware that the lady parts are very sensitive. This is because the vulva and vagina do not have many layers to the skin. Indeed with an average thickness of about six layers, it is thinner than the eyelids.

Anything that can cause irritation should go nowhere near your privates. Refer to the section we highlighted above about scented products.

Reasons Why Sanitary Pads Can Cause Itching

The reasons why the sanitary pads could be causing itching include:

  • Harsh chemicals used in the production of the pads to make them more absorbent. A study by Women’s Voices for the Earth reveals toxic substances in Always Sanitary pads. These included carcinogens like styrene, chloromethane and chloroform. Acetone, an irritant and chloromethane, a reproductive toxicant, were also present.
  • Friction with the skin resulting in rashes, discomfort and itching.
  • Adhesive touching the skin resulting in rashes.
  • Scented pads whose aim is to keep you smelling fresh. Unfortunately, this can result in an allergic reaction.
  • Moisture buildup due to infrequent changing of the pads. This provides a fantastic environment for bacteria to grow.

What makes the situation especially dire is that all the material in the pad can irritate the skin. The back sheet contains polyolefin you will find in ropes, straws and clothing. The absorbent core has wood cellulose or absorbent foam or gel.

The top sheet may contain polyolefin, zinc oxide and petrolatum. The adhesive is the same as the one in glue sticks.

Then finally, the fragrances are a major contributor to allergic reactions.

What You Can Do to Prevent Vaginal Itching

Some steps  to deal with sanitary pad rashes include:-

  • Steering clear of scented pads.
  • Wearing loose clothing to avoid friction.
  • Using breathable cotton underwear to avoid moisture buildup.
  • Ensuring you change the pads frequently to avoid moisture buildup.
  • Using vaginal itch relief relieves irritation and reduces the urge to scratch.
  • Consider using yeast infection medications like antifungal ointment before your period. That way, you can prevent any infection during your menses.
  • Test other brands if the one you are using is giving you problems. You can also opt for other methods like menstrual cups or washable cloth pads.
  • Practicing proper hygiene at all times. Scratching the rashes can result in skin breaking. Harmful bacteria will then find their way into your body and cause many problems.

Final Thoughts

The natural process of shedding the uterus lining comes with numerous issues. First, there is the unpleasantness of the whole experience. There is nothing pleasant about blood coming out of any part of your body. Add to this PMS, mood swings and fatigue. That should be enough to deal with.  Having to deal with your sanitary pads being a significant contributor to the stress is daunting.

We have taken an in-depth look at why and some of the things you can do. Stock up on the best itching cream for private parts. It can help avoid aggravating the contact dermatitis by scratching.