The vulva is the name for the outside parts of your vagina:
There are a number of conditions that may affect your vagina and vulva. These condition can cause minor discomfort, or pain and irritation, but most are easily treatable. Vaginal/vulva conditions can include:
Whilst uncommon, cancer also can develop in the vagina and vulva.
Vulval irritation such as itching or burning is common. Good vulval hygiene can help your symptoms.
|Don’t wear g strings or tight undies
|Wear 100% cotton undies
|Use plain toilet paper
|Don’t use soap or perfumed bath products like bubble bath, oils or gels
|Pat dry after a wee
|Don’t use feminine deodorizer
|Wash off chlorine or salt after a swim
|Don’t sit around in wet bathers
|Change the brand of condom or lubricant if they cause allergic reactions
Apply a cold pack wrapped in a towel, or soak in a cool bath/ basin with bicarbonate soda or salt for 5-10 minutes.
If these things don’t help your vulval irritation you should see your GP or Sexual and Reproductive Health Service. The Doctor or Nurse can do an examination (look at the vulva) and take a swab to check for an infection such as thrush, bacterial vaginosis, an STI, or diagnose a skin condition. Depending on the condition, you may need to be referred to a Gynaecologist.
Having chronic vulva (vulvodynia) or vaginal spasm and pain (vaginismus) is complex and needs specialist care. You should see your GP or Sexual and Reproductive Health Service if you have these symptoms and they are ongoing;
Treatment for vulvodynia or vaginismus includes diagnosing and managing any medical condition that is causing the symptoms, medication, physiotherapy for vaginal desensitization (dilator therapy and pelvic floor training), and sexual counselling.
Better Health Channel: Vulval conditions
Jean Hailes: Vulva-vaginal irritation
Royal Women's Hospital: Vulva-vagina problems
Sexual Health Victoria: Vulval health
Sexual Health Victoria: Vaginal Discharge
Sexual Health Victoria: Genital skin care
What's Going On Down There
Women's Health Victoria: Labia library
Cancer Council Australia: Vaginal cancer
Cancer Council Australia: Vulva cancer