Listed below are some of the most common types of vulval problems.
Benign Lumps, Bumps & Cysts
These are common and a simple inspection should be enough for a Gynaecologist to reassure that they are not cancerous. If the lump is causing discomfort or is unsightly, a surgical excision can be performed under local anaesthesia.
Hypo-oestrogenic Atrophy / Atrophic Vaginitis
This condition is caused by a lack of oestrogen after the menopause, with soreness, bleeding and painful intercourse common symptoms. Diagnosis is made based on the appearance and by excluding infections using a swab test. The condition is treated with oestrogen, either as a tablet or cream.
This is a chronic skin condition more common in the elderly. Itching and soreness are common and intercourse can be painful or impossible due to narrowing of the vaginal entrance. The symptoms often spread around the anal area and the skin usually has a whitened appearance. Diagnosis can usually be made from the appearances alone but sometimes it is necessary to take a biopsy. Treatment is with steroid ointments.
Vulval abscesses are fairly common and are the result of a cyst getting infected which can be very painful. In its early stages it may be possible to treat with antibiotics, but in most cases surgery will be required to drain the abscess.
This typically affects older women, with the symptom being a lump that is itchy, sore and which may bleed. Diagnosis is confirmed with a biopsy and treatment is by surgical excision, which may also involve removing lymph nodes in the groin.