“Sometimes there is a cycle of itch, scratch, skin tearing or splitting and then a secondary infection. Many women are embarrassed to discuss their problem and…”.1

Umbrella
What may the Vulval Irritation Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Genital Itch
  • Vestibulitis
  • Vestibulodynia
  • Vulva/Vulval/Vulvar Discomfort/Irritation/Pain
  • Vulva/Vulval/Vulvar Skin Conditions
  • Vulvar Itching
  • Vulval Vestibulitis
  • Vulvitis
  • Vulvovaginal Discomfort/Pain

Vulva

What is the vulva?

DotS the definition of the vulva may vary. The (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health’s (JH) definition is:

“Vulva is the general name given to the external parts of the female genitals”.2

Vulval Irritation

What is vulval irritation?

DotS the definition of vulval irritation may vary. In Vulva & Vaginal Irritation: Irritation the JH explain:

“The skin of the vulva is extremely delicate, making it vulnerable to a wide range of conditions. Vulval irritation and vulvitis (inflammation) are common terms used to describe the irritation. Sometimes part of the vulva, or sometimes the entire vulva, has some of the following:
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Skin cracking or splitting (fissuring)
  • Whitening of skin (leukoplakia)
  • Associated vaginal inflammation or discharge”.3

Vulvitis

What is vulvitis?

DotS the definition of vulvitis may vary. In Vulvitis: What Is Vulvitis? the (United States) Cleveland Clinic’s definition is:

“Vulvitis is not a disease, but refers to the inflammation of the soft folds of skin on the outside of the female genitalia, the vulva”.4

Cause

What can cause vulval irritation?

In Vulva & Vaginal Irritation: Causes of Vaginal Irritation the JH note:

Vulval Irritation

“Vulval irritation can be caused by any of the following:

  • Sweating
  • Vaginal secretions
  • Skin conditions such as:
    • Dermatitis
    • Eczema
    • Lichen sclerosus (skin is often pale or whitish)
  • Fungal, bacterial or viral infections such as:
    • Candidiasis (thrush)
    • Trichomonas
    • Genital herpes
  • Some medications, preservatives and local anaesthetics
  • Tight clothing, pantyhose, G-strings
  • Allergies to substances such as:
    • Soaps, bath and hair products
    • Synthetic underwear
    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Perfumes
    • Laundry detergents
    • Scented or coloured toilet paper
    • Wax
    • Spermicides
    • Condoms
    • Lubricants used for intercourse
    • Douches (vaginal irrigation – this is never advised)”.5

Douching

What is douching?

DotS the definition of douching may vary. In Douching: What Is Douching? the Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov’s definition is:

“The word “douche” means to wash or soak. Douching is washing or cleaning out the inside of the vagina with water or other mixtures of fluids. Most douches are sold in stores as prepackaged mixes of water and vinegar, baking soda, or iodine. The mixtures usually come in a bottle or bag. You squirt the douche upward through a tube or nozzle into your vagina. The water mixture then comes back out through your vagina”.6

Is douching different from washing the outside of your vagina during a bath or shower?

Yes. Womenshealth.gov explain:

Douching is different from washing the outside of your vagina during a bath or shower. Rinsing the outside of your vagina with warm water will not harm your vagina. But, douching can lead to many different health problems. Most doctors recommend that women do not douche”.7

Vulval Clinics

Are there clinics specializing in vulval conditions?

DotC (Depending on the Country) there may be clinics specializing in vulval conditions with gynecologists, dermatologists, physiotherapists and other multidisciplinary staff.

These multidisciplinary clinics may be called:

  • Genito-Urinary Medicine Clinics
  • Multidisciplinary Vulva/Vulval/Vulvar Clinics
  • Vulva/Vulval/Vulvar Clinics
  • Vulvovaginal Clinics

Health Care Provider

What if I think I have vulval irritation?

If you think you have vulval irritation, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this. The JH encourage us to seek help and explain:

“Sometimes there is a cycle of itch, scratch, skin tearing or splitting and then a secondary infection. Many women are embarrassed to discuss their problem and symptoms can occur for many years before seeking help. Rather than try to treat the problem yourself, it is important to see your doctor”.8

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to the Vulval Irritation?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Where may I find Links related to Vulval Irritation?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Vulva & Vaginal Irritation: Diagnosis. Last Updated: 17 July 2020 | Last Reviewed 24 February 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/vulva-vagina-ovaries-uterus/vulva-vaginal-irritation Accessed: 17 July 2020
  2. Vulva & Vaginal Irritation. Last Updated: 17 July 2020 | Last Reviewed 24 February 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/vulva-vagina-ovaries-uterus/vulva-vaginal-irritation Accessed: 17 July 2020
  3. Vulva & Vaginal Irritation: Irritation. Last Updated: 17 July 2020 | Last Reviewed 24 February 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/vulva-vagina-ovaries-uterus/vulva-vaginal-irritation Accessed: 17 July 2020
  4. Vulvitis: What Is Vulvitis? Last Reviewed By A Cleveland Clinic Medical Professional on: 15 March 2018. Cleveland Clinic https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15175-vulvitis Accessed: 17 July 2020
  5. Vulva & Vaginal Irritation: Causes of Vulval Irritation. Last Updated: 17 July 2020 | Last Reviewed 24 February 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/vulva-vagina-ovaries-uterus/vulva-vaginal-irritation Accessed: 17 July 2020
  6. Douching: What Is Douching? Medical Review In 2014. Page Last Updated: 01 April 2019. Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/douching Accessed: 17 July 2020
  7. Douching: What Is Douching? Medical Review In 2014. Page Last Updated: 01 April 2019. Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/douching Accessed: 17 July 2020
  8. Vulva & Vaginal Irritation: Diagnosis. Last Updated: 17 July 2020 | Last Reviewed 24 February 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/vulva-vagina-ovaries-uterus/vulva-vaginal-irritation Accessed: 17 July 2020
Topic Last Updated: 17 July 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 17 July 2020
image_pdf