Safe sanitary napkins?

aaaaaaaaJuly 30, 2007


I have some itching in the pelvic area from past two to two and half years. I consulted my Primary care and was told that the color of my prescribed multi Vitamins may be the cause for itching. Dr changed the vit but still the problem continued. About two months ago, I started having severe itching and it spread to my vaginal and bikini area . I consulted the same Dr, she said that it could be the cause on of the soap, detergents, sanitary napkins that I use or could be any other thing. I was at that time using Oil of Olay body wash, Tide detergent and Always napkins. She told me to change it to Dove and Stayfree. At the same time prescribed some anti-itch cream and oral medication. With medication the itch did not go away. However, itch reduced to certain extent because of the cream. During next periods, I promptly used Stayfree napkins. But the itching started again with the very contact of stay free napkins. For immediate solution, I went back to olden days style of wearing cotton cloth. And worked from home for couple of days. This was very comfortable in dealing with itching(did not have any itching), however very uncomfortable because of leaks and etc. Now the itch is still there (on and offÂnot so severe). The days I have some itching I apply ÂCortizoneÂ1%Â and move on without any problem. Now, my mine concern is Âwhat will I do for my next periods? Though using cloth donÂt cause itching, it has various other disadvantages to it. I am not sure which napkins are safe for me? Is there any reason for this kind of itching? Are there any specific napkins that I can use? Is there any solution at all? Amazingly there is no boils, bumps or any kind of skin damage on the itched area. I am 37 years oldÂif this is of any use to help me. I stopped using bleach and softener in my laundry and use only organic detergent. And I do not drink, smoke or take drugs. I do not have lies. Thanks

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I mean lice.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 12:06PM
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Hi aaaaaaaa.......what a bummer to have this itching all the time!
Are you sextually active? I'm wondering if something about your partner might be causing this.
Another possibility is that it is some kind of funky food intolerance. Can you keep track of what you eat, and if it tends to make your itching worse? Sometimes food intolerance symptoms don't show up until a day after eating them.
You also could try to rinse your underware a second time in the washer. You should probably rinse your bedlinens twice too.
Are you on city or well water?
What kind of toilet paper do you use? You might try changing to a scent-free kind.
Can you let your crotch-area air out at least once during the day? Can you sleep without underware on at night?
Also, never use any soap of any kind in that area. And make sure your washcloth doesn't have any soap residue in it when you wash the area. In fact, I would rinse the towels and washcloths twice, and use one specifically for your crotch area, so it hasn't gotten any soap on it from use on another area.
I suppose if you never find a solution, you could try taking something like Clariten. It might just be a strange way that you are manifesting an allergy.
Do you ever feel like you might have a yeast infection down there?

I have discovered that we need to be leary of all meds we are taking when we develop some strange symptom. So make sure its nothing you are taking. How about birth control pills?
Are you actually using organic cotton pads that you have bought somewhere? Could you switch to using tampons?
Sorry for all the questions, but there's so many possibilities.
Have you seen a dermatologist for this?

I get itching on my neck from I know that sometimes we can have strange reactions from food. And those anti-itch creams never helped.
It must be really awful for you to have that itching all the time. Keep us posted. I will be interested in what helps you out.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 2:47PM
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Hi catherinet,
From past 15 years I am with my husband. I am not on any birth control pills. I did consult dermatologist after my primary care failed. She just told me that the product that I am currently using is good one. And advised me to consult Gyno. Which I will be doing in couple of weeks. Once, I started getting itching I started washing each load of laundry twice-first with mild detergent(bought from Traders's Joe) and continued rinsing with just water. I use city water. Thinking that I am keeping my vaginal area clean I was cleaning with the soap(oil of olay)--after visit to my primary care, based on her suggestion I have stopped that and clean only with water.Toilet paper is also of good quality(bought at Costco). I am not sure of yeast infection--(will come to know when I meet my gyno). Food I am not sure either--(this one is hard to keep track of--but I am trying though--not yet found the culprit).
Will update the post. Meanwhile any suggestions is welcome.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 3:36PM
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I think that you need to wait and see what your GYN says. You don't want to increase your problem. Rinsing your clothes extra and wearing cotton crotch panties are always a good idea. Also, skip any slacks with a tight fit or heavy seam in the crotch.

Do you use WHITE toilet tissue? The colored ones will sometime set up an allegic reaction.

It does sound a lot like a mild yeast infection.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 4:28PM
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I would NOT try tampons...(unless advised by your Gyno). If you are that sensitive to napkins, the tampons may only cause a much, much bigger problem!

I would just keep trying different kinds of napkins. Maybe even a generic version. My son had problems with both Pampers and Luvs Diapers but usually the generics diapers worked fine on him. The good brands were over absorbant and were drying him out to the point of chafing him. Of course stay away from any perfumed or deoderant type of napkins; Maybe the absorbancy factor in the pads is even causing your problem. Or, you may even be able to special order some more comfortable cotton cloth type ones somewhere. It's worth checking into.

Have you tried All "Free and Clear" detergent? Not sure Trader Joe's mild version is your best bet. You may also switch TP. Not sure what you are using but you may want to try a less thick type--like Scott--over a Cottonelle, or stronger one, and like the previous posted mentioned make sure it is white. Just try to remember...less is more....less soap, less scents, less coloring, less absorbancy.... Brand names often just really have more of this perfumed type stuff so 'the name' should mean nothing to you at this point. Again, try the unscented off brands and you may have better luck. One last thought, could it be an allergy to the 'adhesive' that is on the pads? If you can find some without the adhesive, they may be worth at least a try.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 4:48PM
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Sorry if I may have steered you wrong with the Tampon suggestion.....but carla is right.
I'm also wondering if you've had a blood sugar level checked recently?
Don't be discouraged......there must be a solution to this!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 5:03PM
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You could also try aveeno soap for the pelvic area to wash with. It is gentle, with the old fashioned oatmeal in it that has anti itch properties. I would try and avoid using any cortisone creams as well. They can increase a fungal infection, if that is what this is. It does sound like it very well might be.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 12:16AM
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Do you and your husband use condoms? You could be allergic to the latex. My sister is allergic to latex and has had some pretty severe reactions to condoms.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 4:08PM
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No we don't use condoms. I got my tubes tied a few years ago.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 4:54PM
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Have you heard of an item called "The Keeper"? It is a small cup you insert into the vagina and it collects the blood. I don't know much about it, but the link may be helpful. Might solve your problem if you are allergic to something in the maxipads.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Keeper

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 12:20AM
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Oh aaaaaaaa, I feel for ya.. Just to throw my 2 cents in.. I have had allergy symptoms to many things too. Tide is a big offender according to my allergist. I am also very allergic to most feminine products and I have used both the keeper and luna pads. If your handy with a sewing machine you could get the basic 3 pack and then buy heavy flannel and make the liners yourself. Flannel is more absorbent then plain cotton. I liked both of those products but they are not cheap. However in the long run you save a lot of money with them. Good luck with your problem.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 1:15AM
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I must comment on this too. Yikes it brings back memories...I also had a problem with monthly use of pads. I hate to say this but it got better after I had my hysterectomy five years ago(-: I tried everything but I found using kotex pads was the best for me. Always and Stayfree had some type of covering on them that made me itch like crazy. I don't know why they can't just make 100% cotton. Try a health food store maybe. I think its the pads. You would know if you had a yeast infection by now. Try Cotton undies too. That will help a lot. Don't wear any tight fitting pants. I agree with the soap thing too that can really cause problems. Im sorry you have to suffer through all this. Hopefully it will get better soon.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 9:07PM
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When I read your post I immediately thought of a yeast problem. You might not have all the symptoms of it but the chronic itching with no other diagnosis and nothing else helping might point toward an overgrowth of yeast.

If I'm correct hasn't Stayfree put some funky odor absorbing formula into their napkins? Last time I bought them they smelled perfumey to me so I checked the package and saw they changed it - what you want is UNSCENTED anything whether it's napkins or tampons. But, with your problem, I agree to not use tampons all together until you get it figured out. For truly unscented napkins try Kotex, I find those best.

Your doctor has never done formal testing for candida/yeast? Bacterial vaginosis? Tested your blood for possible blood sugar issues (this can cause itching in that area as a symptom)? Has all she done is suggest new cleansing methods??

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 6:43PM
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Even though this is an old thread (2007), others may find it the same way I did, by searching for unscented feminine pads or something similar. The original poster no doubt solved her issue years ago, but here's some approaches for others who have a similar problem.

The member (original poster) said that her itching worsened when she used a pad (Stayfree was the one she mentioned). Before going into all the kinds of whole-body systemic things this might be, it's useful to reduce allergic-type triggers. I can't use dryer sheets or any kind of fabric softener. Not just on panties, but on slacks, pantyhose, etc. In fact, I don't use any on laundry at all, not even blouses or skirts. Also, try changing toilet paper brands. At this time, I can better tolerate Northern than store brand generics or other brands. No colors, no prints, only plain white, of course. And wash your crotch, abdomen and thighs only with plain warm water, thoroughly, but no soap or feminine sprays or anything like that at all. Nothing with fragrance or deodorant, especially from the waist down. Choose only unscented, non-colored laundry detergent.

Remember that it will take at least several days to notice any improvements and don't forget that even if this week's and last week's laundry was done with unscented color-free products, anything washed earlier is a hazard. Grabbing the wrong pair of panties from your dresser drawer makes your recent changes wasted work.

Probably the original poster isn't hyper-sensitive to absolutely everything but going to complete fragrance avoidance is the best way to figure that out. If her itching eases off, she's on the right track.

Maybe after a few months of zero fragrances and thus no itching, she could experiment with adding back only one thing, or changing only one brand, to see if she reacts. That's a slow process, because sensitivity reactions often take a few days to build up to where the itching kicks in, and a few weeks of avoidance again to let it work its way back to normal.

My doctor kept testing me for everything under the sun but only after several appointments did she think to mention sensitivities and how to try to avoid triggering them. It fixed the problem, until years later when my toilet paper brand apparently changed something and I had to find a different one. My reaction wasn't about anything which was infectious or systemic, it was entirely from contact with certain materials or fragrances.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 4:00PM
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Poster may have gone through menopause by now as it is old post but important & hard for lot of young women to talk to dr. about, especially if a man. My kids & I are allergic to Tide(son got sale on it & called in middle of night to tell me itching from head to toe,1st put note of fridge-NEVER BUY TIDE, I told him to take a shower & dry off with something he was sure he hadn't taken to wash so he had to use white cotton Tshirts & use Benadryl by mouth to get rid of the welts & itching) Dove & Ivory make me itch all over. I use Purex unscented soap & so far its fine(son uses it also)but drugs you are on can cause this reaction also as you age your body may react to acid from orange juice, pineapple,tomatoes etc by itching there or in me corners of my mouth "crack" & bleed even Vit. C can cause it. Also there seems to be a lot of dyes creeping into vitamin pills, I see red, blue & yellow listed on lot of bottles so getting hard to get vitamins.(red dye was supposed to be taken off the market yrs ago,they changed to safer stuff for blue & yellow but couldn't come up with safe red dye so as far as I know they are still using the "bad" stuff. So if you are eating red velvet cake & some recipes call for a whole bottle, not a teaspoon so you are getting bad stuff. Foam mattress pad could mess you up, sitting on carpet playing with kids or animals, wood chair or sitting on wood floor will suck the moisture out of you .DD got wood floor & I could not believe her feet they were so split & cracked & then her kids came out same way, I told her you will have to wear shoes or slippers. So sometimes you have to examine everything around you & ask yourself, could this be it?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 1:52AM
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I am allergic to scented wet wipes. It made me feel very sorry for babies who have diaper rash.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 10:31AM
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