Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Women's Health

Erosive Vaginal Opening - Possible Causes?

10/21/2009

Question:

I am looking for possible causes for a horrible vaginal problem I`ve been experiencing for just over a year. It started after a D&C. So far my OBGYN has not been able to help. I hope someone here can! Here are my symptoms:

Erosive spots right near vaginal opening appear about 1 day after intercourse. Spots start out whitish and then become erosive; similar to a blister but w/o any fluid or crusting (blood tested neg for herpes). The erosive area usually resolves completely in about 3 days but always reoccurs after intercourse. Also burning after partner ejaculates. There is no itching and Estrace cream has helped but not cured. I`m only 30 so I would like to identify a possible root causes.

Also notable: When this first occurred after my D&C, I also had what was visually diagnosed as BV. I was treated with oral antibiotics. The BV discharge disappeared but the erosive problem did not. I then had a positive Strep B culture and was given antibiotics for that. There was no change in symptoms. I then developed a orderless discharge (different than the BV) that I treated with an herbal tincture. The discharge disappeared but again, the erosive symptoms did not. Since then I have used Estrace but if I back off from it the symptoms re-occur.

Any help you can offer is greatly appreciated. I`d really like to get pregnant but I feel I should resolve this first. Thank you!!!

Answer:

While many issues can cause vaginal irritation, to have skin at the vaginal surface become eroded is rare.  While this can be a sign of a complicated infection, it can also be due to a number of skin conditions unrelated to infection.  A severe allergic reaction may cause the skin to slough off, leaving an erosion. 

Two rare conditions that can cause this problem are lichen planus and Behcet's disease, both of which may also be associated with ulcers in the mouth.  Such problems may be treated with steroids, but it is very important to make sure there is no infection first.  A skin biopsy from the affected area can help to make the diagnosis.

For more information:

Go to the Women's Health health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jonathan  A Schaffir, MD Jonathan A Schaffir, MD
Clnical Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University