All abnormal changes in the external female sex organs are referred to as vulvar changes. These include inflammation, malformations and regression of the vulva mucosa and vulva skin, injuries, cyst formation and malignant or benign tumors. The vulva changes are often noticeable through itching, abdominal pain, pain during sexual intercourse and a burning sensation when urinating.
What is a vulvar change?
Vulvar changes include any pathological changes in the vulva or the external female genital organs. The vulva consists of the pubis, the small and large labia, the clitoris and the vaginal vestibule. For definitions of lyme disease, please visit lawfaqs.net.
Various diseases can occur in this area, the causes of which cannot always be clarified. Medicine knows the inflammation of the vulva or vulvitis, a malformation and regression of the mucous membrane or vulva dystrophy/crauroris vulvae and the formation of ulcers or Ulcus vulvae acutum Lipschütz.
The most severe form of vulvar changes is vulvar cancer. Since the term covers a large number of diseases with different causes, there is no uniform form of therapy.
Vulva dystrophy/crauroris vulvae takes a chronic course that cannot be adequately treated. Most other vulvar changes can be cured with antibiotics, hormones, or surgery.
The reasons for the vulva changes differ depending on the clinical picture. If a vulvitis occurs, it is usually due to an infection with bacteria, fungi, parasites or viruses. If craurosis vulvae is present, autoimmune reactions are suspected as the reason.
However, hormonal and genetic influences can also be considered as causes. Vulvar changes can also be expressed in the formation of ulcers. Ulcus vulvae acutum Lipschütz is usually a side effect of a severe viral infection or general disease.
Vulvar injuries also come under the term vulvar changes. A sharp or blunt force is often the reason. Other causes are sexual intercourse, the insertion of foreign bodies and childbirth. Vulvar cysts as a pathological change are caused by different bacteria. Benign vulva tumors as a manifestation of vulva changes have very diverse causes.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
Complaints related to a change in the vulva differ depending on the disease. Common diagnoses are vulvitis, ulceration, craurosis vulvae, vulvar injury and vulvar tumor. These diseases are usually associated with severe itching. This occurs in the early stages. Problems with sexual intercourse and urination are also characteristic.
The vulvitis usually causes burning pain and itching. The vulva is very red. There is a discharge from the vagina. If treatment is delayed, the lymph nodes in the groin will swell. When ulcers develop, women experience a constant burning sensation in the vulva area. In addition, increased body temperature and swelling of the lymph nodes are typical.
Craurosis vulvae causes redness and small nodules. If the disease is left untreated, tears will form. Minor bleeding can occur. Affected women typically complain of pain during sexual intercourse and urination. Vulvar injuries usually lead to bleeding.
Small tears appear on the vagina. Many sufferers complain of abdominal pain. Sometimes the symptoms spread to neighboring organs such as the urethra and rectum. Doctors differentiate between benign and malignant vulva tumors. The benign growths are usually white in color and cause no other symptoms. Malignant growths cause itching. Such a tumor can only be guessed at in an advanced stage.
Diagnosis & History
If there is a suspicion of vulvar changes, different diagnostic methods are used. The medical history is followed by a physical examination of the vulva. The type of change usually provides information about the form of the disease. A tactile examination can also provide additional information if necessary.
A colposcopy can also be considered as part of the visual examination. With a magnifying glass, the doctor can better assess the colour, extent and extent of the disease. Infection diagnostics and biopsy are also among the typical diagnostic methods. The latter type of examination is used in particular when vulvar cancer is suspected.
The course of the vulva changes depends on the existing causes. Some forms of this disease can take a chronic course. Other vulva changes can be treated without any problems.
Changes in the vulva can be very different, so that in most cases it is not possible to make a general prediction of the symptoms and complications. However, in most cases these changes lead to a very unpleasant itching. Redness or pain can also occur.
Those affected sometimes suffer from swelling and a vaginal discharge. Inside the vagina, due to the vulva changes, ulcers and thus burning pain can occur. The patients suffer from a high fever and, in some cases, pain when urinating. The pain also occurs during sexual intercourse and can therefore have a very negative effect on the relationship with the partner.
In most cases, the vulva changes also lead to psychological problems or severe irritation. Since this disease does not heal itself, those affected always need treatment. Without treatment, the symptoms will continue to worsen.
The treatment of the vulva changes can be carried out with the help of creams or ointments. There are no complications. As a rule, this completely alleviates the symptoms. Only in a few cases are those affected dependent on surgery to relieve the symptoms. The life expectancy of the patient is also not reduced by the vulva changes.
When should you go to the doctor?
The affected person should always consult a doctor if there are changes in the vulva. These changes can indicate another disease, which must be examined and treated by a doctor in any case. Therefore, the patient should see a doctor as soon as the first symptoms and signs of vulvar changes appear. In most cases, the vulva changes are visible to the naked eye, so that those affected can recognize the symptoms themselves at an early stage. It is also not uncommon for severe itching to occur in the affected areas, although redness can also indicate the disease.
Most patients also experience pain when urinating or during intercourse as a result of these changes. Severe abdominal pain can also indicate the disease if it occurs for no particular reason and does not go away on its own. In the case of such complaints, a gynecologist or a general practitioner should be consulted in the first place. Further treatment depends on the underlying disease, so that no general course can be given. The patient’s life expectancy may also be reduced as a result of the disease.
Treatment & Therapy
The treatment of vulvar changes depends on the causative clinical picture. In the case of a vulvitis, the form of therapy is determined by the type of pathogen. Ointments, suppositories or hip baths are often used.
Relevant ointments can also alleviate symptoms such as severe itching. The treatment of Ulcus vulvae acutum Lipschütz is similar. However, therapy for this disease is supported by bed rest and the use of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. Crauroris vulvae can be alleviated by ointments containing estrogen, progesterone and cortisone.
Existing vulva injuries are usually treated with local measures. A pressure bandage or cold application can help with bruising. In some cases, surgical intervention is also necessary. If there was an open injury to the vulva, scars sometimes form. These can cause pain during intercourse. A surgical intervention can remedy the situation.
Cysts are also often surgically removed to uncover the blocked ducts of the glands. If benign vulva tumors are diagnosed, surgical therapy is recommended. This is the only way to prevent vulvar cancer from developing. The treatment methods for vulva changes are therefore very diverse.
There are many preventive measures for vulva changes. On the one hand, careful personal hygiene is important. However, too frequent use of soap damages the vaginal environment. Diseases caused by viruses, fungi and bacteria can be prevented by consistently using a condom. Regular preventive check-ups at the gynecologist can protect against severe changes in the vulva.
In the case of changes in the vulva, those affected usually have only a few and only limited direct follow-up measures available. For this reason, those affected should first and foremost consult a doctor. This is the only way to prevent further complications and changes. Self-healing is usually not possible with this disease, so that treatment by a doctor is always necessary.
The earlier the vulva changes are recognized by a doctor, the better the further course of the disease is usually. Most of those affected require surgical intervention. This alleviates and limits the symptoms. After the procedure, the affected person should definitely rest and protect the body. It is important to refrain from exertion and from stressful or physical activities in order not to unnecessarily burden the body.
Regular check-ups by a doctor are also very important for changes in the vulva. The tissue should also be examined for tumors in order to detect them early and possibly remove them. As a rule, this disease does not reduce or limit the life expectancy of the person affected. However, the further course depends heavily on the time of diagnosis, so that no general prediction can be made.
You can do that yourself
Vulvar changes can occur as a symptom of various diseases. Dealing with it in everyday life and any self-help measures therefore depend on the underlying clinical picture.
As a rule, however, strict intimate hygiene is necessary in most cases. Pads and panty liners should be changed regularly. The vaginal area should be cleaned with water daily. Perfumed products, aggressive soaps and clothing that is too tight should definitely be avoided. The affected women should also pay attention to external changes in the vagina area.
If pain and bleeding occur outside of the menstrual period, it is absolutely necessary to consult a doctor. Those affected should initially refrain from sexual intercourse altogether as long as they have not yet consulted a gynecologist and do not know the cause of the vulva changes. Basically, in most cases it is advisable to use condoms, even if the diagnosis is present.
Strengthening the immune system through a healthy lifestyle is generally advisable, regardless of the underlying primary disease. Unhealthy habits such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption should be reduced. Any excess weight should be reduced.