Aunt Vadge: unusual bruised feeling in crease

Hi Aunt Vadge!

So I woke up this morning with a bruised-like ache at the crease between my legs and vagina. It started primarily on my right side, but now has began on my left leg crease also. I’d mention that I’ve reached day two of my period and have also been experiencing small cuts/tears toward the top of my labia. It’s extremely sore and itchy. The level of discomfort wakes me up at night. This only occurs around the time of my periods, and I suspect that I’m allergic to my sanitary towels.

The main issue is the bruised like ache. Could you share any knowledge on the situation, if you’ve heard of a case like this before.

Many thanks,
Age: 20
Country/Area: Milton Keynes

Dear Allergic,

You may have an underlying hypersensitivity or allergy to your pads (contact dermatitis), or perhaps a low-grade, recurrent infection (yeast, perhaps), resulting in cyclic vaginitis. That would explain the cuts, though I’m not sure sure about the ache. Do your pads push against the crease when they sit in your underwear? Are they too big? Is it possible that it is an actual bruise, plus the cuts, which may be linked, but not necessarily the same thing?

You would be best served to first see if it is your pads – the fact that it is in the crease between your legs and vulva is quite telling, since the crease is not a typical place to get symptoms if it is an infection, but the pads would come into contact with the crease.

If you can, immediately buy yourself a hypoallergenic organic brand of pads, or even some fabric pads, though these can be a bigger one-off investment (but possibly worth it over time if an allergy is the cause). You could also try using organic tampons, period undies, or a silicone menstrual cup for the rest of your period and see if the irritation clears up. Maybe don’t just switch brand of pad, since many of them are made with similar fabrics and pulps.

Do that experiment for the rest of this cycle (if you can) and/or the next, and let me know how it works out. If you are allergic to your pads, that is easily solved, but if the problem still exists, it may need more investigation.

Keep me posted!

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge