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khagihara, OB/GYN (Doctor)
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 6590
Experience:  Trained in OB & GYN for many years.
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My vulva feels rough just inside the opening.. kinda like a

Customer Question

My vulva feels rough just inside the opening.. kinda like a cats tongue.... It's that normal....
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: OB GYN
Expert:  Dr. Pfeiffer replied 6 years ago.

yes, this may be thickening of the skin due to chronic vestibulitis. It may also be skin thickening due to a chronic skin condition or possibly due to dysplasia.

Best thing to do, because I cannot do an exam myself, is to have it evaluated by your doctor. If there is any question a biopsy can be done. That way you have a definitive treatment.

I'm happy to answer follow up questions, but please remember to click 'accept'.

thank you so much,

Dr. Pfeiffer

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
My ob says everything is looks normal.... but he can't feel that with gloves on.... i am in a relationship and I am considering becoming sexually involved.... I guess I am feeling self conscious... is it normal to have roughness..
Expert:  Dr. Pfeiffer replied 6 years ago.

Generally no. the tissue usually gets thinner and smoother with age. But there are many variations it may be completely normal depending on exactly what you're feeling. The fact that your doctor doesn't see anything and you don't have an other symptoms (itching, burning, discharge, etc) it probably is normal and you should keep an eye on it. If it gets worse to you then you can see your doctor.

Usually, anything abnormal on the vulva and vagina present with itching. if you develop itching see your doctor.

Dr. Pfeiffer

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Expert:  khagihara replied 6 years ago.
I will try to help you. You could have vulvodynia. Vulvodynia affects the vulva, the external female genital organs. This includes the labia, clitoris, and vaginal opening.
There are two main subtypes of vulvodynia:
Generalized vulvodynia is pain in different areas of the vulva at different times. Vulvar pain may be constant or occur every once in a while. Touch or pressure may or may not prompt it. But this may make the pain worse.
Vulvar vestibulitis syndrome is pain in the vestibule. This is the entrance to the vagina. Often a burning sensation, this type of vulvar pain comes on only after touch or pressure, such as during intercourse.
Do you have the symptom constantly or does it come and go?
These are the most common symptoms of vulvodynia:
Burning, stinging, or rawness
Aching, soreness, or throbbing
A burning pain is the single most common symptom of vulvodynia. Some women describe it as a knife-like pain or like an acid poured on the skin.
Although the vulva usually appears normal, it may look a bit inflamed or swollen.
Another possibility is vaginal dryness due to perimenopause. Do you have hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood swings, loss of libido, irregular periods?
When did it start? Are you aware of anything which might have brought this on? Any medical problem? Any surgeries? Any medications including OTC pills and herbs? Any family medical history?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thankyou for your reply... You seem to be right on target here..... I do have stinging burning and rawness... This came on months ago.... Some days its worse that others..... It can even shift from one area to the other in the same day.....I do not have hot flashes but my periods are becoming shorter and lighter.... I have lost quite a bit of weight lately.... Could stress be a factor???? I have recently gone through a divorce.... My anal area is also affected... Get hemorrhoids often now.... ( I've had two children) Sometimes I see a rash present other times there is no sign but the same stinging burning sensations are present..... The rough skin that I am referring to is specifically on the inside upper half of my vulvar opening... Is that called the labia???? There is nothing really visible, but it feel rough like a tongue/ taste buds is the only way I can describe it.... I'm really mostly concerned because I have been in a relationship for going on 4 months now... We are talking about becoming sexually involved and very intimate.... exploring each others bodies... if you will.... I am feeling very self conscious...
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Oh yes, You asked about medications... I am taking wellbutrin for depression... I've taken that on and off for over 1o years with no problems.... I did however start taking ritilin as I will be returning to collge and it helps my add and learning disability... Have taken it before when I was in college with no problems... I could be that the onset was close to the same time.... Not sure which came first.... The vulvodynia or ritalin.... I have been weaning myself off the ritalin to see if it helps. down to 1/2(5mg) 2Xdaily.... will only take 1/2(5mg) total today and tomorrow and stop completely.....
Also, do I press accept after our correspondence on this particular question.... I mean, do you still answer any additional questions that I might have concerning the roughness/vulvodynia issue under the same fee???? I'm a little confused on the matter....This is my first time on the site... Thanks
Expert:  khagihara replied 6 years ago.
I will answer the same issue under the same fee.
The weight loss could be due to the stress and/or a side effect of Ritalin.
Doctors don’t know the cause of most forms of vulvodynia. And there is no evidence that infections, such as sexually transmitted diseases, cause vulvodynia.
Researchers are trying to find the causes of vulvodynia. They may include:
Nerve injury or irritation
Abnormal response in vulvar cells to an infection or trauma
Genetic factors that make the vulva respond poorly to chronic inflammation
Hypersensitivity to yeast infections
Muscle spasms
Allergies or irritation to chemicals or other substances
Hormonal changes
History of sexual abuse
Frequent antibiotic use
It is not reported that Ritalin causes the symptom you are having. However, it could be the cause.
Vulvodynia treatments focus on relieving symptoms. No one treatment works for every woman, and you may find that a combination of treatments works best for you. It may take weeks or even months for a new treatment regimen to noticeably improve your symptoms. Available options may include:
Medications. Tricyclic antidepressants that may help lessen chronic pain include amitriptyline, desipramine (Norpramin) and nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor). Wellbutrin is not tricyclic antidepressant. Anticonvulsants such as carbamazepine (Tegretol) and gabapentin (Neurontin) also may lessen the pain of vulvodynia. Antihistamines such as hydroxyzine can reduce itching.
The following tips may help you manage the symptoms of vulvodynia:
Try cold compresses. Cool compresses placed directly on your external genital area may help lessen pain and itching.
Avoid tightfitting pantyhose and nylon underwear. Tight undergarments restrict airflow to your genital area, often leading to increased temperature and moisture that can cause irritation. Wear cotton underwear to increase ventilation and dryness, and sleep without underwear at night.
Avoid hot tubs. Spending time in a hot tub may lead to discomfort and itching.
Avoid excessive hygiene. Washing or scrubbing the affected area harshly or too often can increase irritation. Instead, use plain water to gently clean your vulva and pat the area dry. After bathing, apply a preservative-free emollient, such as plain petroleum jelly, to create a protective barrier.
Use lubricants. If you're sexually active, apply lubricants before engaging in sexual intercourse.
Try an antihistamine at bedtime. This may help reduce itching and help you rest better.
Look for triggers and avoid them. The triggers that can make vulvar pain worse tend to be different for each woman. Your observations of what causes you pain are important. Avoid potentially irritating soaps, clothing dyes, contraceptive devices, creams and bath products. Use only white, unbleached toilet paper and 100 percent cotton sanitary products.
Work with your doctor. Over time you can work with your doctor to identify the approaches that work best for you.
Stay active. Regular exercise can help ease chronic pain, but stay away from exercises that put pressure directly on the vulva, such as bicycling.
Accept small steps of progress. Don't expect instant cures. Have confidence that you'll feel better over time.
khagihara, OB/GYN (Doctor)
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 6590
Experience: Trained in OB & GYN for many years.
khagihara and 2 other OB GYN Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you.... Are you able to answer my question about the roughness??? I mean is some of that normal ... I'm really self conscious about beginning a sexual relationship.... I have never paid that much attention/detail to my genital area until I started having all this discomfort.... It looks normal... I feel it most when I am brushing outward along the vulvar opening.... Like I said it's like a cats tongue or something.... Or could this just be dryness as you said due to perimenopause? Just along the very edge on the lips of the vulva if you will..... I have been applying jojoba oil to the area after I shower.... Using hypoallergenic deteregents etc... Using the process of elimination... I want to try everything else before I take the tricyclic meds....
Expert:  khagihara replied 6 years ago.
You ob examined the area and said normal. It should be normal. I thought they could be genital warts or tumor (very rare), but s/he could not find anything abnormal. It could be due to vaginal dryness. You should try hormone (estrogen and progestin) cream.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you... I'll ask about that I'm assuming that is a prescription??? I am using a steriod ointment currently but honestly, I don't think that is helping... I was afraid of warts to but he said no... Plus they aren't growing... You can only feel it.... not visible to me in the mirror anyway....
Expert:  khagihara replied 6 years ago.
it is a prescription medication. They should not be genital warts.