Vulvitis In Women - What Is It And How To Treat It? Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Table of contents:

Video: Vulvitis In Women - What Is It And How To Treat It? Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Video: Vulvitis In Women - What Is It And How To Treat It? Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Video: Vulvar Pain Vulvodynia Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments Pelvic Rehabilitation Medicine 2023, March
Vulvitis In Women - What Is It And How To Treat It? Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Vulvitis In Women - What Is It And How To Treat It? Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Vulvitis in women: symptoms and treatment

Vulvitis is a disease that can develop not only in adult women, but also in very young girls. Among other diseases of the gynecological sphere diagnosed in childhood, vulvitis accounts for 70%. The average age of affected children ranges from 1 to 9 years. Immediately after the appearance of the first symptoms of vulvitis, it is necessary to begin treatment, since the disease threatens the development of serious complications. In the future, this may affect the quality of reproductive function.


  • Vulvitis - what is it?
  • Vulvitis classification
  • Causes of vulvitis
  • Vulvitis symptoms
  • Diagnostics of the vulvitis
  • Vulvitis treatment
  • Complications of vulvitis

Vulvitis - what is it?

Vulvitis is inflammation of the vulva. The vulva is understood to mean all external genitalia, including the external opening of the urethra, clitoris, vaginal opening, labia minora and labia majora.

As an independent disease, vulvitis rarely develops. Most often it is combined with inflammation of the vagina and is called vulvovaginitis.

Vulvitis classification

Vulvitis classification
Vulvitis classification

Vulvitis can be acute (the disease lasts less than a month), subacute (the disease lasts less than 3 months), and chronic.

Depending on the age of a person, such types of vulvitis are distinguished as:

  • Infant vulvitis (the disease develops in a child under one year old).
  • Children's vulvitis (the disease develops at the age of 1-8 years).
  • Prepubertal vulvitis (the disease develops from 8 years before the onset of the first menstruation).
  • Puberty vulvitis (the disease develops after the onset of menstruation).

Vulvitis can be caused by infectious agents, including opportunistic and pathogenic flora. Sometimes the disease has a non-infectious origin, for example, after the introduction of a foreign body into the vagina, with allergies, against the background of a burn, after an injury, with metabolic failures.

Infectious vulvitis can be specific (the cause of the development of the disease is the pathogenic flora) and nonspecific (the cause of the development of the disease is the pathogenic flora).

Vulvitis may be primary. In this case, the entry of the inflammatory factor into the body occurs from the outside. Also, the disease can be secondary. In this case, the penetration of microbes into a woman's vulva occurs from other foci of inflammation that are in the body, for example, from carious teeth, from inflamed tonsils, etc.

Causes of vulvitis

Causes of vulvitis
Causes of vulvitis

The likelihood of developing the disease in females is high, which is associated with the peculiarities of the physiological structure of their genitals. Immediately after the birth of a girl, her vagina remains sterile. Population with opportunistic flora occurs only after a week.

Before puberty, the vaginal environment will be alkaline or neutral because it does not contain lactic acid-producing bacteria.

Since there is no acid, the local protection is reduced. It is easier for an infectious flora to invade the vulva and cause inflammation. In addition, at a young age, there are few sweat and sebaceous glands in the external genital area, the genital slit is not closed to the end, and the skin is vulnerable and tender. All this increases the likelihood of developing vulvitis.

Causes of primary non-specific vulvitis

Nonspecific vulvitis develops due to the activation of conditionally pathogenic flora, which are always present in small quantities in the vagina. Fungi, anaerobic bacteria, proteus, etc. can provoke inflammation.

If a woman suffers from chronic diseases, for example, she has a pathology of the genitourinary system, hormonal disorders, diabetes mellitus, then the likelihood of developing nonspecific vulvitis increases.

As for girls, the more often they suffer from acute respiratory viral infections, tonsillitis and tonsillitis, the higher the likelihood they have inflammation of the external genital organs.

Sometimes parasites are the cause of the development of a non-specific form of the disease. In particular, pinworms are capable of carrying pathogenic flora.

The ingress of foreign bodies into the genitals, for example, grass, sand, insects - all this can lead to inflammation.

Other factors in the development of the disease include: taking antibiotics, hypovitaminosis, immunodeficiency. In general, any causes that contribute to a decrease in immunity can lead to vulvitis.

Causes of allergic atopic vulvitis

Causes of allergic atopic vulvitis
Causes of allergic atopic vulvitis

Sometimes women can develop allergic vulvitis. It is also called atopic vulvitis.

The following reasons can provoke an inflammatory reaction:

  • Eating foods that a woman is allergic to. So, citrus fruits, chocolate, strawberries are considered allergenic.
  • Use of intimate hygiene products that contain allergenic fragrances and fragrances.
  • Wearing synthetic underwear.
  • In childhood, vulvitis can be triggered by diaper dermatitis.
  • Excessive hygiene with frequent washes.
  • Failure to comply with hygiene rules, the use of common household items, such as towels.

The disease can be caused by sexually transmitted infections.

Specific agents that are capable of provoking vulvitis include:

  • Chlamydia.
  • Trichomonas.
  • Gonococci.
  • Ureaplasma.
  • Genital herpes viruses.
  • Pappilomaviruses.
  • Tuberculosis bacillus.
  • Diphtheria bacillus.
  • Fungal flora.
  • The causative agents of diseases such as: chickenpox, scarlet fever and measles.

In infancy, vulvitis may be the result of an infection that the child received during childbirth, when passing through the genital tract of a sick mother. Also, transplacental infection cannot be ruled out.

Vulvitis symptoms

Vulvitis symptoms
Vulvitis symptoms

Acute inflammation manifests itself when an infection enters the damaged mucous membrane.

The main symptoms of vulvitis are itching and burning in the labia majora and labia minora, the appearance of mucus and pus from the vagina. Because of this, a woman experiences severe discomfort, her sleep and appetite suffer, and irritability increases. If a young child is exposed to the disease, then his tearfulness increases, his general state of health worsens. With a severe course of vulvitis, the patient's body temperature rises, pains in the abdomen appear, and the inguinal lymph nodes increase in size.

Outwardly, acute inflammation is expressed in redness and swelling of the labia. The edema can spread to the perineum and inner thigh.

When pus is constantly draining from the vagina, it leads to maceration of the vulvar tissues. The skin becomes soft, swollen and loose. This aggravates the course of the disease. Also, excess leucorrhoea may begin to stand out from the vagina.

If the vulvitis was caused by Trichomonas, then the woman has intense itching in the perineum, the vulva and vagina swells. The discharge turns yellow, and foam appears in it.

Provided that vulvitis is a consequence of the pathological activity of Candida fungi, severe itching comes to the fore in the patient. The discharge will contain white crumbs and flakes that resemble curd.

If the inflammation develops due to E. coli, then the discharge becomes viscous, turns yellow-green. They give off an unpleasant odor.

The woman combs the genitals, which will lead to the formation of ulcerative defects that fester and do not heal.

If there is no treatment, then acute vulvitis becomes chronic. The main symptoms of the disease lose their intensity. Leucorrhoea continues to stand out from the vagina, but their number decreases. From time to time, the disease may worsen.

Diagnostics of the vulvitis

Diagnostics of the vulvitis
Diagnostics of the vulvitis

To determine the diagnosis, a person will need to go through the following procedures:

  • Visiting a doctor, taking anamnesis.
  • Study of the patient's medical history, diagnosis of chronic pathologies, allergies, etc.
  • Gynecological examination. During its conduct, the doctor will see swollen and reddened genitals, the presence of pathological discharge.
  • Recto-abdominal examination. This procedure allows you to identify foreign bodies in the vagina.
  • Vaginoscopy. If vaginitis develops in a virgin, then this procedure allows you to examine the genitals without damaging the hymen.
  • Delivery of urine for analysis. This will clarify the presence of inflammation of the organs of the urinary system, which is often combined with vaginitis. The analysis according to Nechiporenko, general analysis and bacteriological examination of urine are performed.
  • Blood donation for general analysis.
  • Delivery of feces for the detection of pinworm eggs in it.
  • Ultrasound of the pelvic organs.
  • Taking a smear from the vagina for pathogenic microflora.
  • If necessary, PCR and serological tests are prescribed, these methods are highly specific.

  • Donation of blood to determine the level of glucose in it.

If a woman has concomitant diseases, then she needs a consultation of narrow specialists.

Vulvitis treatment

Vulvitis treatment
Vulvitis treatment

To cope with vulvitis, the patient is prescribed complex treatment. Therapy largely depends on the cause of the inflammation.

Compliance with diet and treatment regimen

In the acute period of inflammation, you need to give up work or study. Women are shown bed rest. If the disease is severe, hospitalization may be required.

Alkalizing products are introduced into the menu, including vegetables, mineral water, milk. Exclude smoked meats, fatty broths, fried meat, pickles, fermented foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes from the diet.

If the disease is of an allergic nature, then it is required to eliminate from the menu foods that can cause an inflammatory reaction. This applies to honey, eggs, seafood, chocolate, nuts, berries, etc.

Local therapy

Local therapy of infectious vulvovaginitis involves the use of drugs in the form of vaginal tablets, suppositories or capsules.

For the preparation of disinfecting solutions, decoctions of herbs (chamomile, sage, oak bark, string, eucalyptus, St. John's wort, nettle) are used. The procedure should be carried out at least 3 times a day for 10-15 minutes.

You can also use ready-made antiseptic preparations. It can be a solution of Furacilin, potassium permanganate, chlorophyllipt. Miramistin has a pronounced disinfecting effect.

An ointment with an antibacterial component is applied to the genitals. It can be tetracycline, erythromycin, or olettrin ointment.

You can also apply chlorophyllipt oil solution to the genitals.

Taking medicines inside

Taking medicines inside
Taking medicines inside

Antibiotics for vulvitis are prescribed depending on which pathogenic flora caused the development of inflammation. In severe cases, the drugs are taken orally.

If a person has a disease caused by the growth of fungal flora, then he is prescribed antimycotics. These can be drugs such as: Levorin, Itraconazole, Fluconazole. Local processing is performed using borax in glycerin. You can also use ointments that include clotrimazole or another antifungal agent. Before starting treatment, the vulva is treated with a soda solution of 4% concentration.

If the patient has Trichomonas sowing, then she is prescribed Metronidazole, Tinidazole or Ornidazole. The course of treatment lasts at least a week. When the disease is chronic, use the Solkotrichovac vaccine. A woman is given 3 injections of 0.5 ml each with a break of 14 days. A year later, revaccination is performed with a single injection of the drug.

For gonococcal vulvitis, Ceftriaxone or other cephalosporin antibiotics are prescribed.

Broad-spectrum antibacterial drugs are prescribed for vulvitis caused by chlamydia and mycoplasma. These can be drugs such as: Sumamed, Josamycin, Doxycycline.

Hygiene measures

Key recommendations:

  • The perineum should be washed after each urination. Movements should be directed from front to back.
  • Underwear must be changed 2 times a day. It should be washed in hot water using hypoallergenic products and rinsed thoroughly.
  • You need to wash yourself with soap once a day. It is not recommended to do this more often, so as not to dry out the mucous membrane of the genitals.
  • Do not use flavored powders or oils to care for babies.
  • Linen must be made from natural materials.
  • All family members must have their own towels.

The rules of intimate hygiene must be strictly observed. If the disease has an uncomplicated course, then sometimes a high-quality treatment of the genitals is enough for a full recovery.

General recommendations

General recommendations
General recommendations

To reduce the intensity of inflammation and remove puffiness from tissues, you can use antihistamines: Suprastin, Diazolin. If vulvitis is of an allergic nature, then the drugs are used for topical application. To do this, you need to choose them in the form of an ointment or gel.

Auxiliary directions of therapy:

  • Taking sedatives: motherwort and valerian.
  • The use of enzymes to normalize the intestinal microflora: Hilak-forte, Wobenzym, Bactisubtil.
  • Taking vitamins.
  • Use of immunomodulators: Immunal, Sodium Nucleinate.
  • Use of interferon inducers: Neovir, Cycloferon.

When the disease recurs frequently, estrogens should be taken. They are used for local treatment. They contribute to the speedy recovery of damaged tissues. For this purpose, experts recommend Estriol and Folliculin.

After the symptoms of the disease can be stopped, you need to include fermented milk drinks in the menu. They allow you to normalize the microflora of the vagina and intestines.

If antibacterial drugs had to be used to treat vulvitis, then the patients are prescribed antifungal drugs.

Chronic disease treatment

It is not enough to focus only on treating vulvitis. If foci of infection remain in the body, then after a while the inflammation will repeat again. Therefore, it is important to get rid of carious teeth, cure diseases of the urinary system, etc.

If vulvitis develops against the background of parasitic invasion, then the patient is prescribed anthelmintic drugs, for example, Pirantel or Piperazine.

If there is a foreign body in the vagina, then it must be removed. Then the vulva is treated with an antiseptic solution.

Complications of vulvitis

Vulvitis cannot be ignored, since the disease threatens with serious complications:

  • Adhesion and fusion of the labia minora. This pathology requires the help of a surgeon.
  • Vaginal atresia. In this case, the labia minora and the vagina are glued together.
  • Cystitis. Inflammation of the bladder is manifested by intense pain during urination.
  • Formation of scars in the place where there were ulcerative defects.
  • Imbibition. This complication manifests itself in the blueness of the external genital organs. A woman can retain this color for the rest of her life.

The author of the article: Lapikova Valentina Vladimirovna | Gynecologist, reproductologist

Education: Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynecology received at the Russian State Medical University of the Federal Agency for Healthcare and Social Development (2010). In 2013 completed postgraduate studies at N. N. N. I. Pirogova.

Popular by topic

Interesting Articles
Gingivitis In Adults - How To Recognize And Treat? Symptoms And Treatment
Read More

Gingivitis In Adults - How To Recognize And Treat? Symptoms And Treatment

Gingivitis - symptoms and treatmentGingivitis is an inflammatory process that only affects the gums. The ligaments of the tooth and bone tissue are not affected. Gingivitis is widespread, affecting 80% of schoolchildren and 100% of the adult population

Hyperglycemia - First Aid For Hyperglycemia
Read More

Hyperglycemia - First Aid For Hyperglycemia

First aid for hyperglycemiaHyperglycemia is the main symptom of diabetes mellitus. It is characterized by a lack of insulin and an increase in blood sugar. An insufficient amount of insulin leads to starvation of body cells, since glucose is poorly absorbed by them

Hyperglycemia - Causes And Symptoms Of Hyperglycemia
Read More

Hyperglycemia - Causes And Symptoms Of Hyperglycemia

Causes and symptoms of hyperglycemiaWhat is hyperglycemia?Hyperglycemia is a clinical symptom that indicates elevated serum sugar (glucose) levels. Hyperglycemia appears mainly in diabetes mellitus or other diseases of the endocrine system