ain during sexual intercourse, bleeding and blistering on the labia majora and labia which may appear shriveled. These may be signs of vulvar craurosis or Lichen Sclerosus. Here’s what it is and how you can intervene.
This article was created in collaboration with our medical staff
What is vulvar craurosis?
The skin of the intimate area is dry, whitish, you feel itchy, painful during intercourse or in the attempt to have it, you have noticed blisters on the labia majora and your condition puts you in great difficulty.
It could be vulvar craurosis or lichen sclerosus or scleroatrophic , a kind of premature aging of the tissues of the vulva that affects women especially in menopause that is little known and therefore often underestimated.
What causes vulvar craurosis or lichen sclerosus?
The causes of vulvar craurosis are not known exactly , one of the hypotheses can be sought in the “degeneration” of some cells of our immune system that should have the function of antibodies and – therefore – fight other infected or diseased cells but instead attack healthy tissues .
The target of these “crazy cells” become skin and subcutaneous tissues , sometimes they also attack the cavernous bodies of the external area of the vulva and in particular the clitoris.
Symptoms of vulvar craurosis
Vulvar craurosis or lichen sclerosus manifests itself with symptoms similar to other disorders typical of the age of menopause .
In particular we talk about:
- Thinning of the skin and mucous membrane of the external genital organs (vulva)
- Intimate itching especially at night
- Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia)
- Intense and prolonged burns
- Pain when urinating
- Hardening of the tissues and stiffening of the vulva
- Narrowing of the vaginal entrance (ostium)
- Formation of small ulcers or vesicles
- Frequent and repeated vaginal inflammation
When you feel a disorder similar to those listed, it is good to ask for the advice of a gynecologist experienced in menopause who with a general examination can understand if there is a condition of vulvar craurosis.
What does the gynecologist evaluate in the presence of vulvar craurosis in menopause
Symptoms of craurosis generate the most unpleasant consequences of this little-known disease . Also for this reason the gynecologist should focus first of all:
- on the identification of lichen and, subsequently, also on the extent of the affected areas and on the severity of tissue atrophy and degeneration.
- In addition to this, it is important to understand if there is – as often can happen – an ongoing vulvar vestibulitis and, if so, check the severity of the inflammation and proceed with a treatment consistent with the general picture.
- For the woman’s well-being and to try to preserve or restore an adequate and normal intimate life, it is good that the gynecologist carefully studies the state of the tissues near the vaginal entrance.
In the presence of blisters, Vulvo-Vaginal Atrophy or persistent inflammation , intimate relationships can become problematic and painful and this can severely penalize the couple’s life and the woman’s daily life.
We have stressed several times, in fact, how the psychological dimension is very important for postmenopausal women and how it also directly reflects on health and on the perception of her femininity.
- It is important to check whether the pain felt after intercourse is caused by the prolonged contraction of the pelvic floor and specifically of the levator ani muscle that extends from the inner surface of the pubis to the spine, making up the main portion of the pelvis.
This type of contraction that occurs for the purpose of defense, as if the woman were afraid of penetration, of feeling pain, causes a further narrowing of the vaginal entrance and a further rigidity, which does not allow for arousal or pleasure.
Furthermore, the prolonged contraction can generate a subsequent muscle pain , a myalgia.
Vulvar craurosis: how it can be treated and cured
The treatment of vulvar craurosis necessarily passes through an evaluation by the gynecologist so the first thing to do is undoubtedly to go to the specialist .
Once there is a certain diagnosis , an effective therapeutic path can be studied that takes into account all the consequences of Lichen Sclerosus and therefore also muscle pain, vulvar vestibulitis, any infections and any other manifestations such as itching and burning.
A treatment, evaluated together with your gynecologist and followed with care, can make a woman return to a normal daily life and a satisfying intimate life even after menopause .