What to do when experiencing genital bumps and itching
Today we hear from Sam, who had sex with her boyfriend. He complains of itching and seeing small bumps on his penis. She is also experiencing some problems herself, as she smells a foul odour from her genitalia, even if she has recently had a shower. She also sometimes experiences genital bumps and itching, and asks Check Up for professional help.
My Dear Sam,
I am advising you to visit a good family doctor or gynaecologist who will properly examine your pelvic region and actually visualise what is present inside of your genitals. This could be a mixed vaginal infection and, therefore, could require treatment for more than one organism present within the vagina and on the vulva (female genital lips).
A genital rash is a skin symptom which can be caused by several health problems.
Do you use condoms? If so, your partner and you could be allergic to the type of condom used, most commonly made from latex, and could experience contact dermatitis after using condoms, resulting in a burning sensation to the penis or/and vagina with itchy skin and blisters occurring, which can ooze and become crusty.
A vaginal yeast infection can also result in itching, burning, soreness and a thick, whitish discharge, and even causes pain during sex. An odour can be present, but is not very offensive and men sometimes contract yeast from their partners, although, as yeast is not a sexually transmitted disease, this does not occur often.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) does not cause 'bumps' and is a female disorder, but it does cause a gray to green vaginal discharge which can be foul-smelling, is a cause of vaginal itching and burning during urination.
BV does not cause rashes or bumps but can be present at the same time with other organisms which adds its odour to the other symptoms. With BV the odour is often more noticeable after sex.
Trichomoniasis is a parasite which can cause a frothy, green discharge and odour as well as itching but is not associated with genital bumps. It is classified as a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Genital herpes causes burning, painful blisters and bumps to the genitalia and elsewhere that the virus comes into contact with. The infected area itches before the bumps are seen. This viral infection is an STI, but will certainly not occur recurrently after having sexual intercourse.
Pubic lice infection can result in genital itching a few days after infestation and causes a pale rash with spots over the infected region. Itching is worse at night-time.
Genital itching can also result from chemical products such as vaginal douches, and scented feminine hygiene products such as panty shields and liners, which are commonly worn and soap.
These products, should be avoided.
A doctor should evaluate any bumps or sores occurring to the genital area to treat and prevent any medical complications and to exclude a STI. In most cases treatment will result in cure, in other conditions (e.g. genital Herpes infection) cure is not possible at this time, but medication helps to lessen the symptoms and can also lessen the recurrence of the disorder.
In order to help prevent genital itching, the following suggestions are to be considered:
• Men should wash their penises properly, including the foreskin, then dry well.
• Both men and women should wear loose-fitting underwear and clothing.
• Women should keep their genital area clean and dry.
• Wash underwear with mild unscented detergent.
• Avoid staying long in wet clothing after swimming.
• Avoid unprotected sex.
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