Causes of vulva pathology

Most complaints are caused by infections. Others occur due to changes in the skin of the vulva and are often age-related.

An overview of the causes:


The most commonly occurring infection on the vulva is a fungal infection. Bacterial or viral infections, such as herpes simplex and genital warts, may also occur. Genital warts are often treated at the colposcopy consultation.

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Contact eczema

Contact eczema is caused by irritation of the skin. It is characterised by redness and/or itching of the vulva. Irritation can be caused, for example, by perfumed toilet paper, underwear or swimwear, soap, talcum powder, intimate sprays, pantyliners, spermicide creams and condoms. Chronic scratching can cause the complaints to persist. The cause therefore needs to be removed before the complaints will disappear.

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This literally means pain in the vulva. It is often a chronic condition. It involves a burning sensation, itching, irritation and/or pain. Skin conditions sometimes also occur. The condition may affect the entire vulva or just a small part.

Pain is the major complaint, making intercourse very painful or even impossible. The pelvic floor muscles are often more tense. If the complaints have existed for a long time, treatment can be difficult.

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Lichen sclerosus

Lichen sclerosus makes the skin of the vulva white, shiny and sometimes thick and stiffer. Parts of the vulva, such as the inner labia, may coalesce, shrink or even disappear. This can affect the entire vulva and the area around the anus; it does not occur in the vagina.

Itching is usually the main complaint. Intercourse can be painful or even impossible. The cause is unknown. The condition can occur at any age and is not contagious. For a small group of women, the disorder may be accompanied by skin cancer in the long term. So you need to have regular check-ups for this.

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