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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Medical Symptoms > Genital Irritation in Females
      Category : Health Centers > Reproductive System

Genital Irritation in Females

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Genital irritation in females is any condition that causes discomfort in the female genitalia. The hymen or outer lips of the vagina and labia, the clitoris, and the vulva are parts of the external female genitalia. The internal female genitalia include the vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

What is going on in the body?

The female external genitalia has a rich blood supply. As a result, even minor conditions can cause irritation to the area. Irritation to the female genitalia can range from mild itching or discomfort to severe, intense pain. It may occur suddenly or last a long time.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

There are many causes of genital irritation, including:

  • chemical irritation to the lining of the genitals, such as from soaps, bubble bath, or laundry detergent
  • infection, such as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV, and herpes
  • other infections, including vaginal yeast infections, urinary tract infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, and cervical infections
  • inflammation of the genitals, such as cervicitis or vaginitis
  • conditions causing increased vaginal discharge, such as erosion, which is an ulceration of the cervical lining
  • trauma, especially to the cervix, which may be caused by intercourse, tampon insertion, or speculum insertion during a pelvic exam
  • tumors, growths, or cancer
  • certain medications, including hormones, antibiotics, antihistamines
  • hormone changes or imbalances
  • autoimmune disorders, which are conditions in which a person's immune system attacks his or her own body for no apparent reason
  • tight-fitting clothing
  • inadequate lubrication prior to intercourse
  • traumatic sexual experiences, including rape
  • previous surgery, including D&C or hysterectomy


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    Genital Irritation in Females: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Date Reviewed: 07/05/01

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