Over the course of a lifetime, most women will have some occasional issues with their vulva. A smaller group will have severe, or lifelong problems that most people know little about; I see many of these women in my practice and reassure them that they are not alone and that there are people who care. The outer portion of a woman's genitals, or vulva, is the area containing the labia lips , clitoris and around the vaginal opening. Various lengths, thicknesses, colors and shapes are all normal. Asymmetry, freckles and textures are common. Common irritants include the chemicals and perfumes in pantyliners, menstrual or urinary pads, over the counter medications and female hygiene products and soaps, lotions and creams.
About 75 percent of women will get at least one yeast infection in their lifetime. Half of women will have two or more. While yeast infections aren't a risk to your overall health, they're completely and utterly obnoxious. And by obnoxious we mean uncomfortable and itchy as hell. Yeast infections have similar symptoms to other vaginal infections like bacterial vaginosis or vaginitis, so identifying what's going on in essential to make sure you're treating the right problem and making things better instead of worse.
Vaginal yeast infections are caused by overgrowth of fungal organisms, usually the Candida Albicans species. Symptoms are usually itching, burning, and white, cottage-cheese appearing discharge. They are caused by killing off the "good" or "healthy" bacterial vaginal flora which allows the yeast to flourish. Recent antibiotic exposure is a common predisposing cause for yeast infection, but many women experience yeast infections without a specific cause. Bacterial vaginosis is an overgrowth of one of the normal bacterial vaginal flora to the point that it becomes pathogenic and causes an infection.
Oftentimes, it results from a minor irritation. Your clitoris contains thousands of nerve endings and is highly sensitive to stimulation. This causes it to swell and become even more sensitive. Orgasm allows your body to release the sexual tension that has built up. This is followed by the resolution phase, or when your body returns to its usual state.