Things Your Health Teacher Didn't Tell You About Vaginal Health

While formal sex education has come a long way, there’s a lot that the lesson plan leaves out. Most of these lessons focus on human anatomy, preventing STDs, and abstinence. For many women, their sex education began with menstruation and ended at abstinence and HIV/AIDS. This leaves out a lot of information, including vital knowledge about vaginal health and vulvar diseases. 

At the OB/GYN practice of Gae Rodke, MD, FACOG, we encourage you to talk openly about your sexual health and interactions. If you think you may have vulvar disease, Dr. Rodke can help.

An overview of common vulvar diseases 

“Vulvar disease” sounds like a scary term, but it’s just an umbrella for many different conditions that affect the exterior of a woman’s genitals. Many women experience vulvar disease at some point during their lives, including: 

Inflamed, itchy rashes can be startling and uncomfortable, especially when they’re affecting your private regions. However, gynecologists are experienced in diagnosing things like contact dermatitis and folliculitis, both of which are common in women — especially those who shave and wax their bikini line. 

Symptoms and causes of vulvar disease

Your symptoms can vary depending on what condition you’re experiencing, but many vulvar diseases come with the following symptoms: 

Most women who shave, wax, or use perfumed products near their vulva experience symptoms of vulvar disease at some point. However, vulvar diseases can be caused by more serious problems, like cysts, human papillomavirus (HPV), or other infections. That’s why it’s important to visit your gynecologist if you feel something is amiss. 

How a gynecologist can help 

Many women feel nervous about going to the gynecologist for vulvar disease, especially if they’re young or recently became sexually active. This shouldn’t be a concern. Gynecologists are trained to deal with conditions like this, and they can help you diagnose the cause and find proper treatment. 

Your treatment might be as simple as switching hygiene products or taking a brief round of medication. You shouldn’t leave vulvar diseases untreated, or they might worsen. It’s best to seek help as soon as you notice a persistent itch, rash, or abnormal odor. 

Want to learn more about vulvar diseases? Get in touch with Dr. Rodke by calling 212-496-9800, or visit the contact page for more information. 

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