I thought I just had to pad up and shut up. So said a year-old woman who'd finally got through the menopause and thought she could relax, only to be faced with a whole host of unpleasant symptoms down below. Vaginal dryness and soreness, painful sex, leakage of urine and recurrent urinary tract infections that didn't seem to respond to antibiotics. Trouble was, she was too embarrassed to discuss these, either with her partner or her GP, so she suffered in silence until she heard a radio broadcast about the post-menopause and realised she wasn't alone. Please note we cannot answer your questions directly.
Should I swap to a different lube? Kegel exercises: strengthen your pelvic floor. And then there are the urinary tract symptoms, ranging from incontinence to overactive bladder and recurrent symptoms of urinary tract infections. However, a person should look out for other signs Placenta not feeding baby symptoms to make sure that the itching is not due to an infection. In some cases, a biopsy is needed to confirm diagnosis of a disease. Your provider can help determine whether an underlying condition is causing your symptoms and advise you on any next steps. It's important to note that not all vulval irritation is due Castrion mistress an imbalance of vaginal bacteria. More often, it begins with exposure to an irritant or allergen see "How irritating". So what's going on here?
English translations of latin gesta romanorum. Suspected causes
If you want to use coconut oil internally, talk with your doctor beforehand. But they generally aren't cause for concern. Stress can cause an itchy vulva. It may also make an itchy vulva which is due to some other cause last long after the original cause has settled. However, there is a slight word of caution. However, they can include the following:. You can minimize the risk of serious complications by memopausak medical care and following the treatment plan you Rubbed raw in clitoris area memopausal your health care professional design specifically for you. Some of the creamier emollients can be stored in the refrigerator to keep them cool. Local anaesthetic cream or injection is used to numb the skin first so that it doesn't hurt. Here's five changes you may see or feel just by taking more…. A vaginal burning sensation may memopauusal with other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. A doctor or pharmacist can advise on which antihistamines arrea sedating. Trichomoniasis Rubbed raw in clitoris area memopausal transmitted disease caused by the parasite Trichomonas Dr stovall oral surgeon houston texas.
Mild itching of the clitoris can occur due to an increase in sensitivity from sexual arousal or stimulation.
- A vaginal burning sensation is an abnormal condition of the vagina often caused by inflammation or infection of the vagina, genitals, or urinary tract.
- Vaginal dryness is an issue that many women experience, regardless of age.
- Most women experience a slight vulval itch now and again.
- A good lubricant may also save you time and frustration, says Ava Cadell, a sex educator and founder of Loveology University in Los Angeles.
The external female genital area is called the vulva. The outer folds of skin are called the labia majora and the inner folds are called the labia minora.
If you see changes on the skin of the vulva, or if you have itching, burning, or pain, contact your gynecologist or other health care professional. Your health care professional may examine you, ask you questions about the pain and your daily routine, and take samples of vaginal discharge for testing.
In some cases, a biopsy is needed to confirm diagnosis of a disease. Some of the skin disorders that affect the vulva include folliculitis, contact dermatitis, Bartholin gland cysts, lichen simplex chronicus, lichen sclerosus, and lichen planus.
Folliculitis appears as small, red, and sometimes painful bumps caused by bacteria that infect a hair follicle. It can occur on the labia majora. This can happen because of shaving, waxing, or even friction. Folliculitis often goes away by itself. Attention to hygiene, wearing loose clothing, and warm compresses applied to the area can help speed up the healing process. If the bumps do not go away or they get bigger, see your gynecologist or other health care professional.
You may need additional treatment. Contact dermatitis is caused by irritation of the skin by things such as soaps, fabrics, or perfumes. Signs and symptoms can include extreme itching, rawness, stinging, burning, and pain. Treatment involves avoidance of the source of irritation and stopping the itching so that the skin can heal. Ice packs or cold compresses can reduce irritation. A thin layer of plain petroleum jelly can be applied to protect the skin.
Medication may be needed for severe cases. The Bartholin glands are located under the skin on either side of the opening of the vagina. They release a fluid that helps with lubrication during sexual intercourse. If the Bartholin glands become blocked, a cyst can form, causing a swollen bump near the opening of the vagina.
Bartholin gland cysts usually are not painful unless they become infected. If this occurs, an abscess can form. If your cyst is not causing pain, it can be treated at home by sitting in a warm, shallow bath or by applying a warm compress. Lichen simplex chronicus may be a result of contact dermatitis or other skin disorder that has been present for a long time. These plaques cause intense itching that may interfere with sleep. Steroid creams often are used for this purpose.
The underlying condition should be treated as well. Lichen sclerosus is a skin disorder that can cause itching, burning, pain during sex, and tears in the skin. The vulvar skin may appear thin, white, and crinkled. White bumps may be present with dark purple coloring. A steroid cream is used to treat lichen sclerosus.
Lichen planus is a skin disorder that most commonly occurs on the mucous membranes of the mouth. Occasionally, it also affects the skin of the genitals. Itching, soreness, burning, and abnormal discharge may occur. The appearance of lichen planus is varied. There may be white streaks on the vulvar skin, or the entire surface may be white.
There may be bumps that are dark pink in color. Treatment of lichen planus may include medicated creams or ointments, vaginal tablets, prescription pills, or injections.
This condition is difficult to treat and usually involves long-term treatment and follow-up. Vulvodynia may cause different types of pain. This pain is often described as burning, stinging, irritation, and rawness. Other words that may be used include aching, soreness, throbbing, and swelling. Pain may be felt over the entire vulva or only in one place, such as the clitoris or vestibule.
Symptoms of vulvodynia may be constant or they may come and go. Symptoms can start and stop without warning, or they may occur only when the area is touched. Inserting a tampon, having sex, or wearing snug underwear can be triggers for some women.
A variety of methods are used to treat vulvodynia, including self-care measures, medications, dietary changes, biofeedback training, physical therapy, sexual counseling, or surgery. Genitourinary syndrome of menopause GSM is a group of signs and symptoms caused by a decrease in estrogen and other sex hormones.
This decline happens during perimenopause and menopause. Symptoms can include vaginal dryness, pain with sex, bladder problems, frequent urinary tract infections UTIs , burning, itching, and irritation. Some women also may have pain during sexual intercourse. The vulva can become more sensitive to irritants. Infections may occur more easily. There are several treatments for GSM. Vaginal moisturizers and lubricants can help relieve vaginal dryness and painful sexual intercourse.
You can buy these without a prescription. Estrogen therapy comes as a vaginal cream, ring, or tablet. You need a prescription for this therapy. Selective estrogen receptor modulators SERMs are drugs that stimulate certain tissues that respond to estrogen while not stimulating other tissues that respond to estrogen. One SERM has been approved to treat painful intercourse in postmenopausal women. If you are interested in SERMs, talk with your gynecologist about their risks and benefits.
Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia VIN is the presence of abnormal vulvar cells that are not yet cancer. Signs and symptoms include itching, burning, or abnormal skin that may be bumpy, smooth, or a different color like white, brown, or red.
VIN should be treated to prevent the development of cancer. VIN can be treated with a cream that is applied to the skin, laser treatment, or surgery. Vulvar cancer can be caused by infection with HPV.
Other forms of cancer that can affect the vulva include melanoma skin cancer or Paget disease. Paget disease of the vulva may be a sign of cancer in another area of the body, such as the breast or colon. Signs and symptoms may include itching, burning, inflammation , or pain. Other symptoms of cancer include a lump or sore on the vulva, changes in the skin color, or a bump in the groin.
The type of treatment depends on the stage of cancer. Surgery often is needed to remove all cancerous tissue. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy also may be needed in addition to surgery. There are a number of disorders that may affect the vulva. Crohn disease is a long-term disease of the digestive system. It can cause inflammation, swelling, sores, or bumps on the vulva. Bartholin Glands: Two glands located on either side of the vaginal opening that make a fluid during sexual activity. Biopsy: A minor surgical procedure to remove a small piece of tissue.
This tissue is examined under a microscope in a laboratory. Herpes causes painful, highly infectious sores on or around the vulva and penis. Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause GSM : A collection of signs and symptoms caused by a decrease in estrogen and other sex hormones.
Signs and symptoms can include vaginal dryness, pain with sex, bladder symptoms, frequent urinary tract infections UTIs , burning, itching, and irritation. Inflammation: Pain, swelling, redness, and irritation of tissues in the body. Labia Majora: The outer folds of tissue of the external female genital area. Labia Minora: The inner folds of tissue of the external female genital area. Menopause is confirmed after 1 year of no periods.
Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators SERMs : Drugs that stimulate certain tissues that respond to estrogen while not stimulating other tissues that respond to estrogen. Urinary Tract Infection UTI : An infection in any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, bladder, or urethra.
Vagina: A tube-like structure surrounded by muscles. The vagina leads from the uterus to the outside of the body. Vulvodynia: Pain in the vulva that does not go away or keeps coming back and does not have a specific cause. It is not intended as a statement of the standard of care, nor does it comprise all proper treatments or methods of care. Please check for updates at www. Women's Health Care Physicians. Gynecologic Problems. If you have further questions, contact your obstetrician—gynecologist.
A vaginal burning sensation is an abnormal condition of the vagina often caused by inflammation or infection of the vagina, genitals, or urinary tract. Do I need any investigations? In addition, your doctor may advise that you use a mild steroid ointment such as hydrocortisone for a week or so. This allows you to determine how your skin will react. Dizziness that is unexplained or persistent.
Rubbed raw in clitoris area memopausal. When should I see a doctor?
Managing common vulvar skin conditions - Harvard Health
You may routinely pamper your face and work hard to keep it moisturized and irritation-free, but what have you done lately for the more sensitive skin of your vulva, the external genital area surrounding your vagina? Many women have been primed to think no further than "itch equals yeast infection. These conditions aren't getting the medical attention they need — and women aren't getting the relief they deserve.
The vulva Latin for womb or covering consists of several layers that cover and protect the sexual organs and urinary opening. The fleshy outer lips of the vulva — the labia majora — are covered with pubic hair and contain fat that helps cushion the area.
Inside the labia majora are the thinner, more pigmented and delicate flaps of skin called the labia minora. The labia minora join at the top to enclose the clitoris. The labia majora, labia minora, and clitoris are made up of erectile tissue, that is, tissue that can become engorged with blood. The area between the labia minora, the vestibule, contains the openings to the urethra and the vagina, as well as the Bartholin's glands, which are located on either side of the vaginal opening and produce lubricant for the vestibule.
The flesh between the vaginal opening and the anus not part of the vulva but often involved in vulvar skin problems is the perineum. This is where the incision called an episiotomy is sometimes made during childbirth.
Vulvar skin conditions are highly treatable, but the treatment depends on the specific cause. And identifying the underlying diagnosis can be very challenging. Tell your clinician about any other past or present medical conditions including bladder and bowel issues and any skin problems elsewhere on your body. For example, psoriasis anywhere on the body raises the risk of a vulvar condition known as lichen sclerosus.
This condition and others are described, below, in "Vulvar conditions and their treatment. A mouth condition called lichen planus is another cause of vulvovaginal problems. The term "lichen," as applied to skin disorders, refers fancifully to skin lesions that resemble lichen on rocks. Long-term treatment with oral steroids, immune suppressants, or antibiotics can affect vulvar skin and raise the risk infection. Your clinician will want to know how you care for your vulvar skin, which can help identify possible sources of irritation.
Even if you can't pinpoint a change, that doesn't mean your standard routine isn't the culprit. Sometimes vulvar problems are the cumulative effect of long-term practices. It's often what you've done day after day, year after year, that causes the problem. If you wear abrasive clothing and engage in abrasive activities like bicycling or spinning class and wear tight workout clothes that expose your vulva to sweat or to detergent or soap residue, eventually it might catch up with you.
Report all the symptoms that concern you, including itching, burning, soreness, discharge, bumps, and any rashes the vulva. It will also help if you can provide a history of your symptoms and recall what seems to make them better or worse.
Your clinician will examine the vulva, perhaps using a magnifying glass, and insert a speculum to inspect the vagina. She or he may test the pH acid-base balance of the vagina and take samples of secretions to examine under the microscope or culture for yeast. Remember, even if you're seeing an experienced clinician, several visits may be needed to diagnose and improve certain vulvovaginal conditions. When vaginal or vulvar itching occurs, women usually assume it's a yeast infection and treat it with an over-the-counter antifungal cream.
Often this does the trick, but not always. Instead, the cause of the symptoms might be dry skin, a sexually transmitted disease or bacterial infection, a less common strain of yeast that required special medication, or irritation by and allergic reactions to common products such as soaps, creams, and lotions. If yeast isn't the problem, an antifungal cream isn't the solution. And if your skin is already irritated, you may exacerbate the problem by introducing preservatives such as alcohol or propylene glycol and other ingredients contained in many antifungal remedies.
That's why it's important to see your gynecologist or dermatologist if a problem persists after you've tried a standard antifungal cream. Another common response of women faced with a vaginal discharge or itch is to wash the vulvar skin vigorously, on the assumption that this will disinfect the area or remove irritants.
But aggressive cleansing can add to the irritation. Until the problem is diagnosed, it's best to follow a gentle skin care routine see "Gentle vulvar care". In fact, gentle cleansing applies whether you have a vulvar skin condition or not: Wash the area gently with your fingertips or a soft cloth and pat dry with a soft towel.
Don't use a rough washcloth, and don't rub. If initial treatment hasn't eased your symptoms, the clinician may need to take a small tissue sample biopsy to make a diagnosis. The procedure, which is minor and done under local anesthesia, can be extremely valuable, often changing the diagnosis and treatment plan. Several vulvar skin conditions are familiar from other areas of the body but may be difficult to recognize when they appear on the vulva.
These include the following:. This inflammatory skin condition disrupts the skin's surface, causing red patches and thin cracks, weeping, and crust formation. On the vulva, crusts are less likely, but eczema may initiate a cycle of vulvar itching and scratching that leads to lichen simplex chronicus — thickened and intensely itchy skin. If eczema affects an area of the vulva called the vestibule, it may cause stinging and burning.
Sometimes eczema appears in early childhood and its cause is unknown. More often, it begins with exposure to an irritant or allergen see "How irritating". Many things can cause an allergic reaction or irritate vulvar skin. Here are some of the leading suspects:. Stewart, M. To diagnose vulvar eczema, the clinician will ask about your symptoms; your history of eczema, allergy, and related conditions; your vulvar cleansing habits; and any products the vulva has been exposed to.
During the exam, she or he will look for redness, scaling, cracking, and thickening. All eczema requires gentle skin care. In simple cases, patients use topical corticosteroid ointments twice a day for two to four weeks and then gradually reduce the frequency until the symptoms are gone. Severe cases may require a short course of a potent corticosteroid ointment. During treatment, you must stop scratching, so your clinician may prescribe an antihistamine usually taken at night to prevent daytime drowsiness.
A cold pack can also help relieve itching. This is a common condition in which new skin cells are produced too rapidly, leading to thickened, scaly patches of inflamed and red skin on various parts of the body.
On the vulva, skin surfaces are usually too moist for dry scaling, so psoriasis is more likely to appear in the form of pink patches with defined edges.
It most commonly affects the labia majora. If the skin cracks open, infection may result. You may have treated psoriasis outbreaks elsewhere on your body with remedies containing coal tar, vitamin D, or anthralin.
Do not apply these products to the vulva, as their harshness can worsen your symptoms. Your clinician may prescribe a topical steroid cream or ointment. If splits in the skin have opened the way for infection, an anti-yeast or antibiotic component may be added. Whether you have a vulvar skin problem or are just prone to irritation, gentle care of the area is a must. Wear loose clothing. Choose cotton underwear and go without when at home. To cleanse the area, use your fingers instead of a washcloth and an unscented, non-alkaline cleanser such as Cetaphil or Basis plain water is also fine.
Soak for five minutes in lukewarm water to remove any residue of sweat or lotions or other products. Pat dry, and apply any prescribed medication or a soothing and protective substance such as Vaseline or olive oil.
Avoid products with multiple ingredients. In the bathroom, forgo moistened wipes. If you want moisture, use a spray bottle with plain water, and then pat dry. Lichen planus. This skin condition, believed to result from an overactive immune system, can affect the vulva, the vagina, the inside of the mouth, and other skin surfaces.
In most areas of the body, lichen planus causes itchy purple bumps sometimes streaked with white. On vulvar skin, the most common symptoms are soreness, burning, and rawness. The vulva may appear pale or pink, sometimes with a white lacy pattern. If the vulvar skin breaks down, the eroded areas appear moist and red. Lichen planus often affects the vagina as well, causing a sticky yellow discharge and erosions that can make intercourse painful.
Eventually, lichen planus can affect underlying as well as surface tissues and produce scarring that alters the vulva's shape, sometimes leading to the virtual disappearance of the labia minora. Lichen planus is diagnosed by its appearance although it can be difficult to distinguish from atrophy caused by a lack of estrogen or the excessive use of steroids , and the diagnosis is confirmed with a biopsy.
The condition may start as a reaction to certain medications — thiazide diuretics, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, certain antibiotics, or antimalarial drugs — so be sure to tell your clinician about any drugs you take. The most common initial treatment is high-potency topical steroid medication. Unfortunately, lichen planus is persistent and likely to require long-term maintenance treatment. Lichen sclerosus. Although it can occur elsewhere on the body, this inflammatory skin disorder usually affects the vulvar or anal area in postmenopausal women.
By some estimates, one in 30 older women has lichen sclerosus; it's especially common in women with psoriasis. Itching is usually the first symptom, and it may become severe enough to disrupt sleep and other activities. During an examination, the clinician may notice white sometimes crinkly or shiny patches. Some may contain tears or red areas from bleeding often the result of scratching and these areas may be painful and sting.
As the disease progresses, there's a danger that vulvar tissues will scar and shrink. Lichen sclerosus is diagnosed by its appearance and sometimes by biopsies.
No matter how mild the symptoms, it should be treated to prevent progression. The usual treatment is application of a high potency corticosteroid ointment for several weeks, then slowly tapering the dose. Women also need regular examinations after treatment for lichen sclerosus because the condition can make affected skin more likely to develop skin cancer.