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Itchy sore vulva... what is it?!(33 Posts)
For the last 3 months on and off, I have had a itchy, irritated and sore vulva and vagina. There is some redness on my vulva and what looks like a mild rash, my GP just called it irritation. Everything seems kinda dry and a little flaky
I made an appointment with my GP who diagnosed me with thrush confidently and prescribed me Fluconazole and duo action from canneston. My symptoms went away but returned not long after. I went back to my GP who did a swap for thrush which came back negative.
At this point I felt kinda worried and wanted to get things ruled out. I went to a sexual health clinic and had a pretty comprehensive screening and everything thing came back negative. This wasn’t too surprising because of my limited sexual experience(I’ve never had penetrative sex but I know some things can be spread by any sexual contact so I was concerned that I could have herpes or HPV). Although, I was told these are diagnosed through appearance and only tested for if suspected.
However, the nurse said everything looked really normal (my one bump was a blocked hair follicle)and not like typical thrush, contact dermatitis or a any other skin condition, which I had expected it could be. Also my thrush swap was ‘inconclusive’. She seemed a bit stumped but was definitely trying to figure it out which I appreciated! One of her colleagues also examined me.
I’m feeling a bit desperate now and honestly a little down because the itching is keeping me up at night! I’m going to take some more Fluconazole as prescribed to me at the sexual health clinic, as they want to rule thrush out. Then I’ll go back in a few weeks as she recommended, if I get no relief. I just don’t want them to think I’m a hypochondriac when all seems normal! Definitely not imagining this though
Does any one have any idea what this could be? as I don’t feel I’m responding to the thrush treatment now that successfully. Not knowing the cause of something stresses me out so any suggestions welcome. Thank you in advance! Sorry for the TMI
(For context I’m 22 so not menopausal symptoms)
Are you using sanitary towels like Always? They're a known irritant.
Are you using fabric conditioner? If you are you need to stop.
Stop using anything in the shower but water- just a bit a gentle soap for pits and feet!
Cotton knickers are the way to go too.
You don’t need to be menopausal to suffer with low oestrogen- get this checked out. Low oestrogen can cause vagina irritation and dryness. You can use something like Ovestin cream to improve the symptoms. It’s been life changing for me.
Could it be Lichen Sclerosis? This sounds a lot like my very early symptoms.
I found out these tips when researching what could be causing the irritation. I’ve started doing all of these - except I use E45 down below- so I might try just water for I while. Definitely doing my best to avoid irritants!
I had this and the cause turned out to be aloe Vera toilet paper.
My GP told me to cover it with hydrocortisone to stop the itching. I was but she was insistent and it worked.
100% cotton knickers. Change frequently.
Avoid Lycra tights.
Coldasicecubes it does sound similar to Linchen Sclerious. Thank you, I will ask me GP. Sorry if this is too personal but do you know if it always causing white patches because I don’t have this
Eczema? I get it and trimivate and hydrocortisone clear it up. Something must be irritating you.
I’ve had similar on and off throughout my life. I tend to use the thrush treatment once every 6 months (I do get recurring thrush). But recently I’ve been thinking that maybe that area is just dry. So I’ve been using a tiny amount of Aveeno and it’s made a huge difference. I alternated it with Sudocream every night. Obviously only apply to the vulva. Give it a go op!
Fairylee thank you! I just looked this up and apparently low oestrogen is also associated with low body weight and this currently effects me. Would never have thought of this so if things continue I will definitely try and get this checked out
PuppyMonkey oh wow! I’ll have a look at my toilet paper. Thank you
I would try non bleached toilet paper.
I have lichen sclerosis. I did not hav 2hite patches when diagnosed. Please mention it to your GP as a possibility. Mine was misdiagnosed for years.
Mine wasn’t diagnosed early, but I’m assuming at the start my vulva wouldn’t have had white patches. I have a flare up currently and the most painful part is where my skin hasn’t discoloured or scarred yet, but is very red and sore. I had like you been treating myself for thrush for years until it became unbearable. Early diagnosis is the key to keeping your vulva as healthy as possible.
Sounds irritated. Warm salt baths every evening, rub in a drop of vegetable oil morning and night, CeraVe body wash only, keep shampoo and conditioner away, cotton knickers < advice from my gyne
Def get checked for lichen! Could also be low estrogen, if you get LS ruled out the doc can give you Ovestin cream, though it's probably a good idea to heal the area first. There's a women's 'intimate' product range called 'Yes' which is excellent - my menopausal bits have benefitted (w/ oil free moisturiser and the cleanser) and I'd def expect it will help your symptoms
You can also get female/gynae specific oral probiotics which might be useful long term.
Thank you to everyone who replied! I went for my follow up appointment today as the ‘thrush’ wasn’t improving. Another swap with a ‘q-tip’ sized swap was taken and I found this very painful! because of this I’m seeing another doctor to investigate the possibility of Vulvodynia. I’m concerned this is the case but I am keen to know what’s wrong.
I had crazy itching a few years back and no one could work it out at all. Tried everything. It kept me awake at night. In the end a swab was taken and it was found to be Group B Strep. Less than 24 hours after taking antibiotics it was gone. Often this is symptomless but it can cause itching. I didn't have it a few years earlier when I had the children luckily.
I had something similar a few years ago and found this was a lifesaver! www.superdrug.com/Balance-Activ/Balance-Activ-BV-gel-7-x-5ml/p/512533
I'd had loads of swabs which all came up with nothing, in tears from the discomfort and itching. Bought this in desperation (the science for these sort of things is lacking) and within 3 days I was back to normal!
Long shot, but read a post on MN
recently where the OP discovered similar symptoms were actually down to worms. 2 ovestin tablets cured it.
I'm older than you but have had this for years. Assuming all nasty things are ruled out it comes down to managing it.
No soap, nothing in the bath. Use only water and a soft flannel. Avoid towels and panti-liners.
I struggled to find any cream that didn't make things worse but I have now found Diprobase which can be lathered on at bedtime.
Anti histamine for the itching, because itch=scratch=itch.
I had something similar for a few months. It went from slightly irritating to agonizing. It wasn't lichen sclerosis but vulval dermatitis. The best thing I did though was go to the sexual health clinic. They really know their onions (or vulvas 😉) there. I was advised to wash with nothing more than plain water or aqueous cream. They also gave me lidocaine to numb the area.
If I were you I'd go to the sexual health clinic as they really were the experts. I'm ok now but as others have said if its LS or something else you absolutely need to know asap.
I have vulvodynia and control it with medication. But also told by highly specialised consultant to wash with Dermol 500 and then use Cetraben cream. Have to do this twice a day and if I forget just once I get sore and itchy immediately.
OP, two things that helped me when I was getting recurrent thrush and might possibly help you with whatever this is: 1) for moisturising, sweet almond oil seems to be a good neutral one. I get mine from Holland & Barrett 2) May or may not be worth a try: Balance Activ BV pessaries, which keep the PH balance right, especially around period time (i.e. they balance out your good bacteria down there rather than totally nuking all bacteria, like fluconazole.)
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