Vulvar Diseases

There are many reasons for seeing a vulvar disease specialist. At the Center for Vulvar Diseases, treating the pain is only part of the solution. Our multidisciplinary approach at the University of Michigan ensures that women receive total care, from cutting-edge treatment options to education and counseling to meet every individual’s needs.

The Center for Vulvar Diseases was created in 1993 to better serve and treat women with diseases of the external genitalia. Our center is one of only a handful of clinics that specialize in treating these conditions. We focus on the multidisciplinary approach to help patients improve their health.

The team approach allows us to provide a higher intensity of care and expertise to women who have already demonstrated a resistant and chronic illness or an unusual vulvar condition.

Many women experience different forms of vulvar pain, including vulvodynia. Vulvodynia is pain on the lips of the vulva or upon intercourse with a normal appearing vulva. It is a burning, stinging irritation. Some patients are unable to accept sexual penetration due to muscle spasms and tenderness. Other conditions associated with vulvar pain include:

  • Lichen sclerosus or lichen planus– chronic inflammatory skin disorders
  • Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia– a precancerous condition, often associated with a virus, the human papilloma virus (HPV)
  • Hidradenitis suppurativa– a disease of the armpits and vulva, with pus filled pockets of fluid
  • Bartholin cysts– fluid filled cysts at the base of the entranceway

During your first visit to the center, you will see a physician or nurse practitioner for diagnosis and development of a treatment plan. Throughout treatment, you will meet with experts from various disciplines to best meet your specific needs.

In addition to medical treatment, we also connect many patients to additional services, which may help with your condition, including sex therapy and physical therapy.