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Your genital area changes – it’s due to an autoimmune disease

Your genital area changes – it’s due to an autoimmune disease

There is something wrong with the patient’s genital area; she has been feeling her vulva changing for months. However, tests for sexually transmitted diseases come back negative – there is something else behind it.

Recorded by Diana Helfrich

This text comes from the stern archive and first appeared on March 20, 2023.

A while ago a woman in her mid-thirties came into my gynecology practice and said, “Can you take a look? Everything feels so tight.” At the first appointment a few months earlier, she had complained of itching. Even then, her vulva was rather pale and dry for a young woman. A swab showed a bacterial infection, which I treated with antibiotics.

When she came back, she was desperate and told me her story: For months she had felt that her vagina was changing. Recently she could hardly use her menstrual cup during her period. She had suffered from numerous fungal infections over the past five years; they had been treated with vaginal tablets and creams. She also had several genital herpes infections with blisters at the entrance to the vagina and a painful burning sensation – antiviral tablets worked every time, but the itching remained. A test for common sexually transmitted diseases revealed no further evidence. The woman felt poorly, also because intercourse became increasingly painful and she bled afterwards.

Source: Stern

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