The vulva is the skin surrounding the entrance to the vagina. There are a number of conditions that can cause pain in the vulva, including:
- Vulvodynia – a persistent, unexplained pain in the vulva
- Thrush – a vaginal infection that can be persistent
- Irritant contact dermatitis – sensitivity to chemicals found in certain products such as soap, bubble bath and feminine wipes.
- Dryness caused by a drop in Oestrogen levels. This is particularly common during the menopause.
- A skin condition called lichen schlerosus that can cause intense irritation or soreness of the vulva
- Sjogren’s syndrome – a rare immune disorder that causes vaginal dryness
- Behcet’s disease – a condition of the blood vessels that causes genital ulcers
- Vulval cancer – a rare type of cancer that mostly affects women over the age of 65. Only 1200 cases are diagnosed in the UK each year.