Female genital sores can be described as the appearance of bumps and lesions in or around the vagina, which may or may not be associated with symptoms. Some sores may be painful, itchy, tender, or produce a discharge.
In some case, bumps or sores on the genitals sometimes appear for no definite reason and resolve on their own, with or without treatment. Some genital sores may be symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Others may be due to certain skin disorders.
Genital sores may appear as small, red, or flesh-colored bumps and may change appearance and get crusty or larger. Genital sores may also be accompanied by other symptoms, such as:
- pain or burning at the sore site
- pelvic pain
- pain when urinating
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STIs are also associated with symptoms such as:
• pain when urinating
• foul-smelling discharge from vagina
Causes of female genital sores
The most common causes of female genital sores are STIs, which can be spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Also, the sharing of sex toys can also lead to the spread of STIs.
STIs that may cause female genital sores include:
• genital warts
• genital herpes
• molluscum contagiosum
A genital sore may indicate vulvar cancer when the bumps and lumps around your vulva that do not go away or bleeds. This will require immediate medical attention.
There are some chronic skin conditions that may mimic genital sores. These conditions may produce sores and symptoms such as burning, itching, and pain. Examples include vulvovaginitis, eczema, cysts, ingrown hairs, and contact dermatitis.
Diagnosis of female genital sores
Physical examination will be required to determine the cause of female genital sores. Your doctor will perform a pelvic exam and ask you about your medical history. Blood tests or a culture of the sore will be required for proper diagnosis.
A culture involves taking a swab sample from the affected area and testing it for the presence of bacteria.
After the diagnosis has been established, your doctor will commence treatment to help relieve the sores.
READ ALSO: 7 Effective Home Remedies For Genital Warts
A sitz bath can help relieve any pain and discomfort while waiting your appointment with the doctor. To prepare a sitz bath at home, fill the bathtub with warm water. Ensure the water goes up to your hips when you’re seated. Add a mild saline solution or baking soda to the water.
If you are not comfortable with using your bathtub, you can also purchase a small basin for a sitz bath from a drugstore.
Treatment for genital sores
The exact form of treatment depends on the causes of genital sores.
Topical and oral medications may treat the sores and relieve pain. Your doctor may prescribe:
• antiviral medications
• pain relievers
• hydrocortisone or other anti-itch drugs
Preventing female genital sores
To prevent female genital sores, engage in safe sex by using condoms. This can help stop the spread of STIs that cause genital sores.
Consult with your sexual partner about getting tested and treated to avoid reinfection and spreading the disease to another partner, or even back to you.
Additionally, you and your partner should avoid sexual contact until after treatment.
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