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What are Genital Ulcer Sores in Female?
- An ulcer is defined as a discontinuity of skin or mucous membrane. In simple terms, the skin or mucous membrane is lost, thereby exposing the tissue underneath it
- Genital ulcers can occur in both men and women. Genital Ulcer Sores in Females may involve the skin surrounding the vulva, labia, vagina, perineum, perianal, and anal regions
- Genital ulcers can be caused due to infectious factors including sexually transmitted infections such as herpes simplex virus (HSV 2), syphilis, chancroid, lymphogranuloma venereum, granuloma inguinale (donovanosis), secondary bacterial infections (occurring after a primary infection or inflammation), and fungal infections
- The non-infectious factors that cause genital ulcer sores may include sexual trauma, psoriasis, Behcet’s disease, fixed drug eruptions, and acute reactive or recurrent aphthous ulceration following infection elsewhere in the body
- Female Genital Sores can be painful or painless, single or multiple, and they may or may not be associated with other symptoms. They usually arise from a sore area (including from blisters)
- Since sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are the most common cause of genital ulcers, evaluation and treatment of both the individual and their partner(s) should be done by a healthcare provider to rule out other associated diseases
- Treatments are available for most genital ulcer sores. However, in some cases there is no cure, but the condition can be controlled. The prognosis of Female Genital Sores is generally good. Nevertheless, the prognosis depends on the causative factor
Common causes of sores on the genitals
Most sores or ulcers on the genitals are sexually transmitted. It is difficult to know which disease is causing the sores because the ones caused by both syphilis and chancroid often look alike. For this reason, it is best to give medicines that cure both of these STIs when treating genital sores.
Syphilis is a serious STI that has effects throughout the body and can last for many years. It is caused by bacteria and can be cured with medicine if treated early.
- The first sign is a small, painless sore that can look like a pimple, a flat, wet wart, or an open sore. The sore lasts for only a few days or weeks and then goes away by itself. But the disease continues to spread throughout the body.
- Weeks or months later, you may have a sore throat, fever, rash (especially on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet), mouth sores, or swollen joints. All of these signs go away by themselves, but the disease continues. Even if you have no signs, you can still pass syphilis to others. Without treatment, syphilis can cause heart disease, paralysis, mental illness, and even death.
Pregnancy and syphilis A pregnant woman can pass syphilis to her unborn baby, which can cause it to be born too early, deformed, or dead. You can prevent this by getting a blood test and treatment during pregnancy. If a pregnant woman and her partner have blood tests that show they have syphilis, they should both be treated with benzathine penicillin, 2.4 million Units, by injection (IM), once a week for 3 weeks.
Chancroid is an STI caused by bacteria. It can be cured with medicine if it is treated early.
- one or more soft, painful sores on the genitals or anus that bleed easily
- enlarged, painful glands (lymph nodes, bubos) may develop in the groin
- slight fever
Diagnosis of Female Genital Sores
A physical examination can help determine the cause of female genital sores. Your doctor will perform a pelvic exam and ask you about your medical history. He or she may also order tests to determine the cause, such as blood work and a culture of the sore. A culture involves taking a swab sample from the affected area and testing the sample for the presence of bacteria.
Once the cause has been determined, your doctor will be able to tell you what treatment you’ll need to help relieve the sores.
See a health care provider before treating yourself. Self-treatment may make it harder for the provider to find the source of the problem.
A sitz bath may help relieve itching and crusting.
If the sores are caused by a sexually transmitted infection, your sexual partner may need to be tested and treated as well. Do not have any type of sexual activity until your provider says the sores can no longer be spread to others.
Treatment for herpes
For a first-time infection, take 200 mg acyclovir, by mouth, 5 times a day for 7 days, or 400 mg, 3 times a day for 7 days.
If you have had a herpes infection before, start taking the same medicine as soon as you notice any signs of tingling, burning, or sores, but for only 5 days.
If you have had more than 6 herpes outbreaks in 1 year, take 400 mg acyclovir by mouth, 2 times a day every day for 1 year. Then stop to see if the medicine is still needed.
Although acyclovir cannot cure herpes, it makes the infection milder, less painful and shorter.
What are the possible Complications of Genital Ulcer Sores in Female?
The complications associated with Genital Ulcers in Women could include:
- Increased risk of contracting or having other STIs, including HIV or AIDS
- Emotional stress
- If pregnant, the STI can spread to the fetus or infant and cause long-term complications in them
- Recurring, longstanding symptoms may occur in individuals infected with HSV
- HSV infection and chancroid may sometimes be complicated with urethral problems, especially those relating to urination
- Untreated syphilis may progress to secondary or tertiary syphilis, which may cause central nervous system and cardiovascular associated abnormalities
- Lymphogranuloma venereum infection can be complicated with rectal conditions or long duration inflammation and swelling of the genital organs
- Cancers may develop in the genital organs due to associated STI, especially human papilloma virus
- Scarring may result in Bechet’s disease