Have you noticed intermittent or persistent vaginal tingling, and are you worried that there is something wrong with you? We will take a look at some of the possible causes of vaginal or vulvar tingling — not to be confused with itching, which is a separate sensation.
Genital herpes, a sexually transmitted infection, stays with you for life once you have had an outbreak. Repeat outbreaks tend to strike during times when your immune system is functioning less than optimally, because you are getting ill for instance.
Anyone who has ever had a cold sore on their lips is familiar with the tingling that often "announces" the arrival of other symptoms such as blisters, pain, swollen lymph nodes, and sometimes a feeling of general malaise. Vaginal tingling can be a sign that your genital herpes is about to be reactivated, or that you have become infected with the herpes simplex virus.
While vaginal tingling is certainly not among the more commonly reported symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection, some women do say they experience it. Other symptoms to look out for are itching, thick, white vaginal discharge, soreness and redness of the vulva, and sometimes pain while urinating or having sex.
Pudendal neuralgia is a form of neuropathy, or nerve disease, affecting the pudendal nerve. This nerve is responsible for the sensations you feel in your genital region. In women, the condition can be the result of childbirth, traumatic injury, type 1 diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, avid bicycling, and other conditions.
Pudendal neuralgia almost always leads to pain in the groin region, but it can also cause numbness and tingling that can affect the labia, vulva, vagina, perineum, and anus.
Cauda Equina Syndrome
Cauda equine syndrome is an uncommon neurological condition is caused by a large disc herniation in the lower back in many cases. Symptoms may set in gradually or appear overnight, and though they may be milder or more severe, the signs of cauda equina syndrome often include:
- Severe lower back pain
- Urinary and/or fecal incontinence
- Sharp, stabbing pains in the legs
- Numbness and tingling of the legs and the groin area, including sometimes vaginal tingling
Lichen sclerosus is a dermatological condition that leads to white, thinner patches of skin — anywhere on the body, but usually on the vulva. Women who have lichen sclerosus may not have any noticeable symptoms, but when they do, the signs can include itching, pain, skin tears, blistering, and vaginal tingling.
Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder
Persistent genital arousal disorder is a serious condition that causes persistent physical genital arousal, without any mental arousal — this is a physical condition that does not mean you are in the mood for sex all the time. The arousal, unsurprisingly, leads to tingling of the clitoris and vulva in women.
This condition might sound like a "dream come true" to some, but make no mistake; it has an enormous impact on the quality of life of those who suffer from it. Arousal can set in at any time, and may last for many hours, and even days at a time. It is sometimes relieved by orgasm. It is more common in post-menopausal women and has also been linked to restless leg syndrome.
What Do I Do Now?
Any woman who suffers from frequent vaginal tingling should seek medical attention to determine the cause and receive treatment as needed.
Women whose doctors have performed a gynecological examination, perhaps ordered tests for sexually transmitted diseases and candidiasis, but then failed to determine a cause, might steer their healthcare provider in a more productive direction by asking whether it is possible that they are suffering from a neurological condition.
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