Bumps and lesions in or near the vagina or vulva are known as female genital sores. The vaginal region and the anus may also be affected by these lesions. Some may be tender, itchy, unpleasant, or discharge may be present. Some may even have no symptoms at all.
Unexpected genital sores may appear and disappear on their own. However, some may be a sign of a sexually transmitted illness or be caused by specific skin conditions (STI).
Detecting genital sores
Small lumps and blisters that are red or flesh-colored can be the appearance of genital sores. Additionally, sores can enlarge or change in appearance, becoming crusty.
They may also be accompanied by additional signs like:
Pain at the location
In general, STIs are also linked to symptoms like:
Unpleasant sex interactions
More frequent or unpleasant urination
However, some STIs have no symptoms, making it impossible to diagnose them without testing.
Causes of genital sores in women
STIs, which can spread through oral, vaginal, or anal sex as well as the sharing of sex toys, are the most frequent causes of female genital sores.
The following STIs can result in female vaginal sores:
Genital herpes, a virus-based condition
The virus that causes genital warts
The bacterial illness chancroid
The bacterial illness syphilis
Molluscum contagiosum is a skin infection caused by a virus that causes elevated, flat pearly nodules.
Several chronic skin disorders can cause vaginal sores as well:
Eczema is a skin rash frequently brought on by allergies
Vaginal and vulvovaginal inflammation, or vulvovaginitis
Contact dermatitis, sensitivity to substances including detergents, chemicals, and scents
Even a minor scrape occasionally spreads infection and results in a genital sore. You should seek emergency medical assistance if you notice any lumps or bumps around your vulva that bleed or don’t go away. This is a symptom that you may have vulvar cancer.
Identifying genital sores
Female genital sores can have a variety of probable reasons, therefore it’s crucial to get a diagnosis from a specialist.
They will need to conduct a pelvic exam on you and inquire about your medical history. Additionally, they could draw blood or swab the affected area to check for the presence of germs or viruses.
Taking care of yourself
A doctor should examine any genital lumps or sores to identify the cause and avoid any medical issues. It’s also crucial to determine whether an STI is the root of your problem so you can be treated and stop sharing it with other people. A sitz bath can help you feel better while you wait for your appointment.
You may create a sitz bath at home by adding enough warm water to the bathtub to reach your hips while seated. Baking soda or a weak saline solution can be added to the water. A tiny sitz bath basin that you can get from a drugstore can also be used in place of a bathtub.
Getting genital sores treated
Depending on what causes the vaginal sores, there are many therapy options. For instance, some STIs, like genital herpes, are incurable, although medicine can be used to treat outbreaks.
Pain relief from the sores may be achieved with topical and oral treatments. Your physician might advise:
Drugs that fight viruses
An anti-inflammatory drug such as hydrocortisone
Other anti-itch medications
Noncancerous cysts and other genital lesions don’t always need to be treated. However, if you’d rather, you can have them taken out.
Preventing genital warts in women
The spread of STIs that result in genital sores can be halted by using condoms and engaging in safer sexual behavior. Try to be honest with your sexual partner(s) and discuss getting tested and treated if you have a STI.
As it’s possible for an STI to be passed from partner to partner, you and your partner(s) should postpone having sexual relations until the following therapy. It could be more challenging to prevent genital sores brought on by skin disorders or allergic reactions. Abrasive soaps and powerful scents should be avoided as they are known irritants.
While shaving red, swollen, or damaged areas might increase the risk of cysts and ingrown hairs, these conditions can be minimized by thoroughly cleansing the genital area.
When to consult a medical expert
The earliest possible visit to the doctor is advised. In this manner, they may correctly identify genital sores and provide a suitable course of action for treatment. Therefore, make an appointment as soon as you discover a new genital sore, a change in an existing sore, genital itching, bleeding, pain, or fever combined with sores.
It’s especially crucial to see a doctor if an STI is the root of the problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) young people who were assigned female at birth (AFAB) are particularly vulnerable to acquiring major long-term health consequences from untreated STIs.
The root cause determines the long-term outlook. Female genital sores are frequently treatable with medication. However, some illnesses, like genital herpes or persistent skin disorders, can last a lifetime and cause recurrent sores.
Your viewpoint is also influenced by when you receive treatment. For AFAB people, untreated STIs can lead to major health issues like:
Inflammatory illness of the pelvis (PID)
the reproductive organs being scarred
a higher chance of ectopic pregnancy
In order to control symptoms, reduce problems, and help prevent outbreaks, your doctor can go over long-term treatment choices for these kinds of illnesses.