Aunt Vadge: my period gives me the jeeb and now I’ve hurt myself

Dear Aunt Vadge,

So when I come on my period I tend to wipe too hard. It’s just I can’t handle the fact of having it on me, it kinda just gives me the jeeb. But anyway, my vagina gets a little raw and it hurts a little bit.

It has happened before, but this time it is different. I have two cuts, one on each side, and it is very swollen. It’s kind of hard to explain, but it’s a little swollen knot. Needless to say, it is painful to sit upon. And it is PAINFUL when I pee. I find that leaning forward helps a little but I’m holding my pee as we speak because I don’t want to go.

I wanna wait it out a day or two and see if goes down but it kinda hurts. Can you help? Thanks.

Oh I forgot to say that I’m on my period using a tampon, and there were a couple times that I inserted it and it rubbed against it. I used pads but sitting in that blood kinda irritates it and is nasty.

Sincerely,
Creeped

_____________

Hi there Creeped,

Thanks so much for your email. It is a common problem to be totally grossed out by periods and everything that goes with them. I don’t think you are alone there.

To address your concerns regarding the damage you seem to have done to your vulva (vaginal lips) and inside your vagina from over-wiping, your vagina will heal, and be fine after a few days once your period is over. It seems that you have caused a cut or sore, and now you have an inflammation reaction that feels probably hot, painful and every time you pee, the acidic urine is making it sting.

What we need to do is figure out a way that we can treat the cause: a way that you can avoid over-wiping, because you cannot spend the rest of your fertile life hurting yourself every period.

I would advise carefully managing your tampon use right from the get-go of every period, which means as soon as you get your period, put an appropriately-sized tampon in, and then never let it overflow, so you never have to see the blood or wipe it away. If you do spring a leak and can see the blood, you should have a quick bottom-only shower to wash away the remnants, or gently rinse the area with a warm, wet, soft facecloth, with the tampon in.

This way, you remain plugged the entire time, and there will be no need to wipe endlessly, causing damage.

Don’t use baby wipes, face wipes or any other wet wipes on your vagina, as they contain irritating ingredients that your raw mucous membranes will not like. Warm water only.

Don’t overchange tampons either – figure out by writing it down every period what days you need what size tampon, and get a system worked out. Pulling out dry tampons is not ideal, as it’s quite irritating to the vaginal flesh, so have as many sizes as you need, and carry them with you. Be prepared. Periods are pretty predictable once you have had a couple – heavy flow for the first two days, then it tapers off.

Pads aren’t great if you don’t want to see or smell blood, so just avoid them unless you prefer to wear them at night or at certain times – you can manage that as you please, but do not overwipe at any time.

Record when you get your period on a calendar or app (PeriodTracker or others have free versions) so you don’t get caught out with your period unexpectedly.

Also, without going on about this, it is only blood and you should probably get used to it! You don’t need to smear it on the walls or go all Exorcist on it, but if you keep yourself showered twice a day during your period, you will be clean and it won’t smell, and with the tampon trick, you can basically avoid seeing your own menstrual blood your entire period if you plan it well.

Good luck!

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge

 

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
Read more about Jessica and My Vagina's origin story.
Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

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