Genital Irritation in Females
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
inadequate lubrication prior to intercourse
traumatic sexual experiences, including rape
previous surgery, including D&C or hysterectomy