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Most women believe that vulvar itching, burning, and vaginal discharge can only mean one thing: a yeast infection. But in fact, more than two dozen diseases can cause the symptoms of genital itching, burning, irritation, rawness, throbbing, urinary frequency, urinary urgency, and pain during sex.

Most physicians or nurse practitioners who provide routine gynecologic care have not received adequate training in the diseases of the vulva. In fact, a recent editorial in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology called the vulva the “forgotten pelvic organ.” In addition, most health care providers have insufficient training in the diagnosis and treatment of sexual problems, including pain during sex and decreased libido. 

Diseases of the vulva can include:

  • Vulvodynia
  • Vulvar vestibulitis (also know as vestibulodynia)
  • Lichen sclerosus
  • Lichen planus
  • Lichen aimplex chronicus
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Chronic candidiasis (yeast infections)
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Desquamative inflammatory vaginitis (DIV)
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction (also know as Vaginismus or levator ani syndrome)
  • Human papilomavirus infection (HPV)
  • VIN
  • Herpes and post-herpetic neuralgia,
  • Pudendal neuralgia
  • Endometriosis
  • Persistent sexual arousal disorder
  • Clitoral pain
  • Decreased libido (diminished sex drive)
  • Decreased arousal or decreased orgasm
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Plasma cell vulvitis
  • Aphthous ulcers/ Behcet's Disease
  • Pruritis vulvae (vulvar itching)
  • Vulvar franuloma fisuratum (recurrent tearing of the vulva)

The Center for Vaginal and Vulvar Health is located on the Summa Akron City Hospital Campus at 75 Arch Street, Suite 101. Upon request, a detailed report of your diagnosis and treatment plan will be shared with your regular physician. For more information, call (330) 762-0954.