Women Share Their Experiences With Lichen Sclerosus and Sexual Pain

Vulvar surgery might alleviate sexual pain in women with lichen sclerosus (LS), but preoperative sexual counseling is important, according to a new Journal of Sexual Medicine study.

Lichen sclerosis is a skin condition that can affect the genital and anal areas of both men and women.

Common symptoms include:

In women, LS can lead to changes in vulvar anatomy. The vagina can narrow, and the epithelium – the layer of tissue that lines the vagina – can become thin and develop fissures (tears), especially during intercourse.

As a result, penetration is often painful for women with LS. A narrow vagina may not be able to accept a penis comfortably and friction from thrusting can aggravate fissures and cause them to bleed. Some women stop having intercourse altogether.

Treatment

Study on Vulvar surgery

The authors recommended that healthcare providers consult with couples before a woman has vulvar surgery for LS. They explained that knowing more about a couple’s sex life, communication skills, and willingness to make adjustments is important, as is addressing other medical factors that can cause pain.

“This information and checking for contraindications mentioned earlier would be necessary to estimate whether a woman with LS with a wish for vulvar surgery would benefit from it and/or whether she would be a candidate for additional sexual counseling pre- and/or postoperatively,” they wrote.


Resources

You Might Also Enjoy...

Why Can't I Have an Orgasm?

Everyone deserves a satisfying sex life. And if you can’t orgasm, sexual activity can be frustrating and embarrassing. Instead of suffering in silence, it’s time to learn more about sexual dysfunction and the treatment options to fix it.

What Can I Do About My Impotence?

Struggling to perform in the bedroom is embarrassing. But if you have problems getting or maintaining an erection, you’re not alone. Millions of men suffer from impotence — and treatment can help. Learn what your treatment options are here.

Understanding Male Menopause

Menopause is a process that every woman experiences with age, but did you know hormonal imbalance (and its symptoms) aren’t just a women’s health issue? Male menopause is triggered by low testosterone, and it can impact your life in a number of ways.

How the O-Shot® Can Improve Your Sex Life

Low sex drive. Painful intercourse. Inability to orgasm. Sound familiar? You could be suffering from sexual dysfunction. It’s a real condition, and it’s treatable. Find out how the O-Shot® — a platelet-rich plasma therapy — could help you.

My Hormones Are Out of Balance

Hormones are important chemical messengers in your body. When they’re out of balance, you could experience a range of unpleasant symptoms. Learn the signs of hormone imbalance and what you can do to relieve your symptoms.

Help! I'm Struggling With Low Libido

Low libido can make you feel embarrassed, frustrated, and angry. It’s a common problem, but you don’t have to accept it. Learn more about sexual dysfunction, what causes it, and how you can treat it to revitalize your sex life.