Lesions, also known as sores may occur on the genitals of the females or inside the vagina and numerous possible causes could contribute to this condition.
Many females do not seek appropriate medical advice and care of their genital sores as they are thought to affect their self image negatively. However, vaginal and genital sores should never be neglected, you can either relive the mild symptoms with home remedies or get them evaluated by your healthcare provider or a gynecologist.
Symptoms of Vaginal Sores
Vaginal sores may be visible as small, flesh colored or red bumps and blisters on the genital area or inside the vagina. They may produce no symptoms apart from being present on the genital area. However, they may also produce an array of symptoms including: pain in the area, itching, pain in the pelvis that can be persistent, burning in the area, vaginal bleeding or discharge and a general ill feeling. The sore may become larger in size or crusts may appear on them. STIs may be associated with symptoms such as pain during sexual intercourse, foul smelling vaginal discharge and pain during urination.
When to See a Doctor
You should consult your gynecologist in case: you find any unexplained sore or lesion in your genital area that is persistent or changes appearance; have itching in the genital area that is persistent and does not disappear with home remedies; you think that you may have contracted a sexually transmitted illness; or you develop symptoms of pelvic pain, bleeding from vagina or fever or any other new symptoms appear.
Causes of Vaginal Sores
1. Genital Herpes
Genital Herpes, also known as HSV infection is caused due to infection by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). It is a type of sexually transmitted infection that occurs due to having sexual relations with a person infected with the virus, even if the infected individual is symptomless. If you are infected with HSV, it will stay in your body for your entire life.
2. Genital Warts
Genital warts are also a type of sexually transmitted infection that is caused due to infection with various types of human papillomavirus (HPV). They are caused by having sexual contact with the infected person.
3. Bartholin Gland Cyst
A bartholin gland is located on each side of the vaginal opening. They secrete fluid to lubricate vaginal opening. A cyst is formed inside the Bartholin gland when the Bartholin gland duct becomes blocked and the fluid cannot be secreted outside, forming a cyst or sore.
4. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Sores, ulcers or blisters, especially in the vaginal area, may signify several different STIs. Sexually Transmitted infections, also known as sexually transmitted diseases are caused as a result of having sexual contact with a person suffering from the infection. They are caused due to infection with a variety of microorganisms. The various types of STIs are Genital herpes, Chlamydia, Genital warts, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis B, trichomoniasis, and AIDS (caused due to infection with human immunodeficiency virus). A female can anytime be exposed to an STI by having sex or close contact involving the genitals, the rectum or the mouth with a partner having the infection. The likelihood of STIs is increased in individuals who do not practice safe sex and have multiple sexual partners. The most important ways to prevent STIs is to avoid having sex with an infected partner and also by practicing safe sex.
Home Remedies for Vaginal Sores
All types of vaginal sores should be evaluated by a healthcare provider or a gynecologist. However, while you are waiting for your appointment, you can try the following home remedies for relief of symptoms.
1. Sitz Bath for Relief
Sitz bath helps in relieving the pain and discomfort associated with the vaginal sores. You can take sitz bath at home by sitting in a bath tub that is filled with warm water up to the level of your hips. You can also add baking soda or a mild saline solution to the water. You can use your regular bathtubs to take sitz bath; however, small basins can also be purchased from a drugstore.
2. How to Prevent
Sincesexual contact with an infected person is one of the major modes of transmission of infections causing genital or vaginal sores, one of the most important preventive methods is to practice safe sex by using condoms every time you are having sex. Abstinence is also an important tool especially if you are suffering from an infection or if your partner is suffering from an infection. Individuals who are suffering from sexually transmitted infection should avoid all types of sexual contact till the time their infection is treated.
Vaginal sores occurring as a result of allergic reaction or due to other skin conditions are more difficult to prevent. You can avoid known allergens such as strong fragrances, abrasive soaps, tampons etc. Wear undergarments made of cotton and keep the area dry.
Medical Treatments for Vaginal Sores
The exact type of medical treatment given in a particular case depends upon the cause of the genital sores. To relieve the symptoms of pain and discomfort in the affected area, topical creams and oral medicines (pain killers) are generally used. Your physician or gynecologist may prescribe: antibiotics in case of a bacterial infection, antiviral drugs in cases of a viral infection, corticosteroids and hydrocortisone. Medicines to relieve itching and irritability in the area are also prescribed.