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Patient Review Highlights
Quite a rarity, Lichen sclerosus is a skin disease, which is typically identified as white, patchy skin that is both sensitive and thinner than the surrounding area. Although it can appear anywhere on the body, it is found to occur predominantly in the skin regions in and around the vulva, the anus and the foreskin of the penis. It is a common occurrence in postmenopausal women.
Mild cases of lichen sclerosus are usually asymptomatic, but moderate to severe cases may have any of the following signs and symptoms:
1. Itching, which may or may not be severe
2. Smooth and sensitive white spots
3. Easy tearing or bruising
4. Pain or discomfort
5. Wrinkled or blotchy patches
6. Painful intercourse
7. Blistering, bleeding or ulcerated lesions in more severe cases
Although there are no known exact causes of lichen sclerosus, here are a few possible causes:
1. An overactive immune system
2. An imbalance of hormones
3. Previous skin damage at a particular site making it tender and sensitive
A number of problems may arise from the skin disease, if left untreated. Here are a few complications:
1. Skin cancer may develop, but then again, this is a very rare occurrence
2. Lichen sclerosus on the vulva can lead to the development of vulvar cancer.
3. Sexual intercourse can get extremely painful for women in severe cases, due to intensive scratching and scarring
4. Can cause thinning and tightening of the foreskin of uncircumcised men. This can be troublesome during erections or when urinating.
If the symptoms do not show or if your genital area is not badly affected, then you may not necessarily need treatment. However, if symptoms begin to appear, you should probably consult a doctor for treatment. Treatment can help decrease scarring and itching, as well as improve your skin's appearance.
Corticosteroid ointments and creams are the most common form of treatment. Apart from this form of treatment, you should consult your doctor may also prescribe the following:
1. Immune-modulating medications
2. Ultraviolet light treatment
3. Topical sex hormones
4. Circumcision or removal of the foreskin of the penis
Cervix is the tissue that connects the vagina and the uterus and is an important part of female reproductive system. Cervical cancer like any other form of cancer refers to an abnormal growth of cells on the cervix, one that if undetected at the initial stages, can involve tremendous complications which are often fatal. It is one of the most common ailments that women suffer from, making it only more important to be taken seriously and treated immediately.
Some of the visible symptoms of this ailment are:
- Abnormal bleeding from the vagina: Though menstruation is a natural occurrence in a woman's life, often times you can suffer from abnormal bleeding from the vagina, which may precede, succeed or occur between periods. Such abnormal bleeding is symptomatic of cervical cancer and you must visit a doctor immediately.
- Pain in the abdomen: In case you are suffering from cervical cancer, clear signals will be given by your body indicating that. One such signal is a nagging pain in the abdomen or in the pelvis. Though it may appear harmless, you must not treat it lightly and consult a doctor as soon as possible.
- Excruciating pain during periods: Experiencing pain during periods is a matter of such compliance that it seldom raises any concern. However, in certain cases the pain may be more than what you generally experience. In such a situation, it must not be dismissed entirely rather must be consulted with a doctor.
The most common test is used to diagnose cervical cancer is known as a pap test. In this particular examination, a sample of cells from your cervix will be taken by the doctor for examination. If the inference is reliant on the normal or the abnormal growth of these cells, the latter confirming the onset of the ailment.
In spite of being an extremely lethal ailment, over the years various treatments have evolved that successfully deal with this problem. Some of them are:
- Surgery: One of the effective and oft availed of treatment to treat cervical cancer is a surgery. Depending on the stage on which the disease is detected, doctors may suggest for a hysterectomy or removing the pelvic lymph nodes.
- Chemotherapy: This has emerged as the most sought after way of treating any form of cancer. The abnormal growth of cells that triggers cancer in the first place is deterred in this method by administering drugs to kill destroy them.
Vulvovaginal candidiasis refers to the infection of the vagina, accompanied by itching in the vulva. It is caused by a particular strand of yeast known as candida albicans. There are several reasons, which contribute to the onset of vulvovaginal candidiasis, some of them are:
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy is a time when the body of a woman undergoes a plethora of changes. With the upsurge of certain hormones, this is also the most potent time when they tend to suffer from vulvovaginal candidiasis.
- Higher dose of estrogen: Estrogen is responsible for maturing the vagina as well as provides glycogen which facilitates the growth of candida albicans. Subsequently, older and younger women, who are less prone to estrogen disorder, suffer the least from vulvovaginal candidiasis.
- Uncontrolled diabetes: Those women who suffer from uncontrolled diabetes for a long period of time are more susceptible to vulvovaginal candidiasis. Although the accurate reason is yet to be known, according to research, the presence of excessive glucose in the blood triggers the production of yeast in the vulva and the vagina.
- Weak immune system: A strong immune system is a boon, which only few people enjoy. Consequently, the very reverse, a weak immune system is extremely fatal, one that invites several complications; vulvovaginal candidiasis being one of them.
- Stress: Excessive stress and exhaustion may also be considered as a probable reason that causes imbalance in your system.
- Hormone replacement therapy: Estrogen is commonly held as a possible culprit that causes vulvovaginal candidiasis. Therefore in those hormonal replacement therapies, where estrogen is artificially administered into the body significantly increases the risk of an impending vulvovaginal candidiasis.
In spite of its frequent occurrences, it is possible to treat this infection. Some of the ways by which it can be done are:
- Anti-fungal cream: Those creams, which negate the growth of fungus are, for obvious reasons considered as the most preferred choice to combat vulvovaginal candidiasis. There are plenty of anti-fungal creams available in the market, which can be misleading, therefore you must choose wisely.
- Diflucan: This medication works wonders in treating vulvovaginal candidiasis. This must be orally administered under the doctor's supervision to enjoy the results.
You need to apply firm pressure to the pressure points mentioned below for about 20 to 30 seconds, release and press again on the same point. This must go on for 2 to 4 minutes. You may use your fingers or a pencil with a rubber tip to apply pressure. The eight acupressure points are:
1. Kidney 1 (gushing spring): you will find this pressure point on the sole of your feet. It is below the level of the ball of your feet and falls on the midline vertically.
2. Large intestine 4 (joining valley): this fleshy pressure point is located right above the knuckle of the forefinger and in between the thumb and forefinger.
3. Spleen 6 (three yin intersection): touch the pressure point on the inside of the leg and around 2 to 3 inches above your ankle bone.
4. Spleen 10 (sea of blood): this pressure point is on the inside of your leg, around 3 inches above your knees.
5. Liver 3 (supreme rush): you will locate this pressure point on the top of your feet, right between your first and second tarsal bones, which is approximately an inch past the gap between your toes that goes towards your ankles.
6. Bladder 67 (reaching yin): this pressure point is located on the outer edge of your little toe nail.
7. Bladder 7 and 8 (heavenly connection and declining connection respectively): bladder 7 is the uterus reflex and bladder 8 is the ovary reflex and can be found on either sides of your heels between your achilles tendon and your ankles.
I feel too much pain since 2-3 days before started my period and during the period I feel normal. Also I want to get pregnant so advise me that when should we have done intercourse to get pregnant successfully?
Vestibulodynia is a disorder in which women suffer from discomfort or pain in the vestibular area of the vagina, which comprises of the Bartholin's gland known for producing vaginal lubrication, the urethra from where you pass urine, and other minor vestibular glands known to produce vaginal discharge. Overgrowth or excessive sensitivity of the nerve fibers present there is considered to be the reason why women suffer from Vestibulodynia. The symptoms have a huge impact on the sufferer as simple acts, such as sitting down for prolonged periods or walking causes discomfort. This disorder usually affects women between 20 to 40 years of age.
- The symptoms of Vestibulodynia typically lasts for half or quarter a year. However, in some cases it may last for years, and a lifetime if untreated.
- Most women realize that they suffer from Vestibulodynia during their first sexual experience since the vestibular area is so hypersensitive that even the slightest touch during sexual intercourse, moving while in tight clothing as well as inserting tampons may cause some discomfort and pain.
The degree of pain experienced by women suffering from Vestibulodynia is variable. You may experience pain even after having had comfortable sexual relationships.
- Apart from overgrowth or hypersensitivity of the nerve fibers in that region, other possible causes are tendencies of pain problems or disorders, chronic yeast infections like thrush, injuring the vestibular area during surgery or childbirth and/or extreme sensitivity to irritants like panty liners and detergent etc.
- Sometimes, the pain is due to deeply rooted psychological issues, such as sexual trauma and other factors, such as birth or while moving house.
Vestibulodynia is sometimes mistaken for a type of skin diseases. However for the best treatment, you must consult a gynecologist who will treat your condition depending on your symptoms. Mentioned below a few ways to treat Vestibulodynia:
- Vaginal dilators, which are inserted into the vagina to relax the muscles present and gently stretch that area. Vestibulodynia also causes the pelvic floor muscles to tense up which can be overcome through vaginal dilators.
- Anesthetic Gels are water based gels, which have a small amount of local anesthesia and may numb the sensitive nerve fibers present there temporarily. Rub the gel over the tender areas, half an hour before indulging in sexual activities.
- You may even consume nerve fiber blocking tablets if you experience constant pain due to Vestibulodynia to tend to the sensitive nerve endings in your skin.