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How can I soothe my sore vulva?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 1579 Questions
I am a 36 year old female. Last week I began taking clathromyicin for an upper respitory infection. I had sex Tuesday without issue. By Friday the skin on my inner lips was raw. I don't have discharge. The skin is raw and irritated all the way to the entrance of my vajayjay. It burns when I urniate and hycrocortizone cream is not giving me any relief. Hot baths sooth the skin but the moment I get out it is sore again. I am on a new antibiotic keflex because I now have strep as well. What do you think this can be? I have a script for diflucan. Do you think this is a yeast infection? Over the counter yeast infection treatments do not work what so ever. They are so incredibly painful. My doctor told me to stay away from them and gave me diflucan. What do you think this is and what can I do to ease my discomfort?
Thu, 26 Apr 2012 in Vaginal and Uterus Health
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query.

From your symptoms it looks like vulvovaginitis to me which is inflammation or infection of the vulva and vagina. It may be caused by chafing or friction rub which occurred after intercourse which you had prior to these symptoms or the second possibility is of an infection can be caused by bacteria or yeast. However the possibility of an infection is less in your case because infection is associated with change in vaginal discharge as well and it may change in color, consistency or smell.

From the symptoms it looks like the friction rub or chafing during intercourse has caused this swelling of labia especially if intercourse was done with less lubrication. The other reason can be an allergic reaction to soaps, detergents, shower gel and condoms etc.

I suggest you to follow up with your gynecologist as you need to get a pelvic swab sample done for the cervical discharge to rule out any bacterial or fungal infection. Apply cold compresses and wear cotton undergarments. Oral anti inflammatories like ibuprofen/acetaminophen are also helpful but they should be taken after a prescription from your doctor. Till that time, follow these simple lifestyle measures:

1)     Avoid rough intercourse/ masturbation and use a water based lubricant during intercourse.
2)     Wear cotton underwear and avoid douching or using feminine products.
3)     Avoid using perfumed soaps and sanitary napkins, bubble baths and toiletries.
4)     Change the undergarment daily, wash it in hot water and double rinse (to remove any irritating detergent) and take adequate nutrition and sleep.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How can I soothe my sore vulva? 43 minutes later
I have had a yeast infection only once in my life. When a similiar issue arose the doctor checked me for both vaginitis and yeast. Both tests came up negative and I was told to use hydrocotizone cream. I DO NOT have a discharge, change in odor. The only symptoms I have are burning when I uriniate and raw skin. Since I do not have a family doctor....what is this? Do you think it is yeast? Should I take the diflucan I was given?
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 9 hours later

Thanks for writing back.

It is less likely to be yeast infection because it presents with curd like thick discharge and redness, itching and burning sensation. But there is no change in discharge in your case and hence there is a less likely possibility that it is a yeast infection.

It can be due to chafing or vulvovaginitis caused by allergic reaction to soaps, detergents, shower gel and condoms. At your age, lichen sclerosis may also effect the vulva and vagina and can cause such symptoms. Get a pelvic examination done from a gynecologist and a culture sensitivity/ KOH examination ( to completely rule out yeast infection) and diflucan should be taken only if fungal infection is confirmed.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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