Common Conditions Affecting Your Clitoris | Heather Jeffcoat at Giddy
- Written by Heather Jeffcoat, DPT
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Heather Jeffcoat, DPT
Common Conditions Affecting Your Clitoris
While primarily an organ designed for pleasure, the clitoris can also be a source of discomfort and pain for some women.
Pain in the clitoris can occur due to various reasons, and it's crucial to recognize and address these issues. Here are nine common clitoral conditions:
This is one of the most common reasons patients visit my practice. Clitorodynia, or pain in the clitoris, is a common symptom and can be linked to various underlying causes, such as localized conditions, nerve disorders, or hypertonic pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. Treatment may involve medications and pelvic floor physiotherapy. As I mention in the interview, this condition can result from endometriosis, hormonal insufficiences, and painful bladder syndrome.
Hypertonic pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, which can result from trauma to the pelvic floor, is another related condidition. I mention in the interview that this condition results in muscle spasms in the pelvic floor and pelvic muscles which remain tight.
Clitoral atrophy is a condition where the clitoris has shrunken which then results in less intense orgasms and lowers the abilty of arousal. This can result from low estrogen levels, often experienced by peri and postmenopausal women. Topical estrogen creams and ointments are usually recommended to alleviate symptoms.
Clitoromegaly involves an unusually large clitoris that does not return to its normal size after arousal. It can be caused by hormonal imbalances and in more uncommon situations can result in clitoral priaprism, where the clitoris is painful for days due to its enlargement. Treatment options include cortisone creams and hormone therapy.
Allergic reactions to hygiene products can cause vulvar dermatitis, leading to itching, irritation, and soreness. Using fragrance-free and hypoallergenic products is advised, and treatment may include prescription anti-itch medications and corticosteroid ointments.
Infections, such as yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis, can affect the clitoris, causing pain, burning, itching, and discomfort during intercourse. Avoiding perfumed products and maintaining good hygiene can reduce the risk of these infections. Treatment includes antifungal creams and antibiotics.
Clitoral adhesions involve the preputial skin adhering to the clitoris. Depending on the severity, clitoral adhesions can cause discomfort, difficulty with arousal, pain and muted or absent orgasms, I along with Dr. Michael Krychman state. There are treatment options. I then proceed to mention, "To treat clitoral phimosis, external connective tissue and gentle adhesion releasing techniques are utilized to improve clitoral hood mobility." Treatment options range from gentle adhesion releasing techniques to surgery in severe cases.
Conditions like lichen sclerosus and lichen planus are autoimmune disorders that can lead to inflammation, scarring, adhesion, and pain in the vulvovaginal area, including the clitoris. Discoloration, thick, and patchy skin result from this condition making intecourse painful. Steroid medications can help manage the symptoms, and surgery may be necessary in severe cases.
Pudendal neuralgia, often due to childbirth, surgery, or intense physical activities, can cause pain, burning, and urinary/fecal incontinence in the vulvovaginal area. Treatment options include pelvic floor physiotherapy, surgery in some cases, and pudendal nerve blocks.
Vulvar Intraepithelial Neoplasia (VIN):
Abnormal tissue development on the clitoris and surrounding areas can result from HPV and may lead to symptoms like itching, soreness, and painful sex. Treatment may involve topical steroid treatment or surgical removal of affected tissue in severe cases.
The Key Takeaway:
When experiencing clitoral pain or discomfort, it's important to seek professional help, including consultation with a healthcare provider, physical therapist, or gynecologist. Correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment can significantly improve one's quality of life. Additionally, maintaining good hygiene and safe sexual practices can reduce the risk of some of these conditions.
** This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. **