Vaginal sores

Reviewed by Frank Cockerill, MD, July 21, 2017

Vaginal sores, sometimes referred to as vaginal lesions or vaginal blisters, are small, red or flesh-colored bumps and blisters that appear around the vaginal region. These sores may also change appearance and become crusty or larger, or there may be no other symptoms aside from their appearance and prevalence around the vaginal area.

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Are there any symptoms associated with vaginal sores?

This is actually a very common question. Vagina sores and blisters are typically associated with a feeling of itchiness, pain at the site, pelvic pain, persistent pain, discharge, discomfort when urinating, bleeding, or burning in the vaginal region.

Can An STD cause vaginal sores or blisters?

Getting tested regularly is the best way to stay up-to-date on your sexual health. If you are having unprotected sex or sex with a new partner, STD testing may be the right decision for you.

Most women are surprised to learn that vaginal blisters and lesions can be a symptom of syphilis, herpes type 1, or herpes type 2.

Syphilis is curable with antibiotics if detected and treated early. As long as it's treated in the early stages, long-term risks associated with syphilis are minimal.

There is not a cure for herpes type 1 and herpes type 2. Antiviral medications can help prevent the spread of herpes type 1 & 2 but it is not a 100% guarantee. By taking prescribed medications, using condoms and notifying their partners, women who test positive for herpes type 1 & 2 can help reduce the risk of infecting others while being sexually active.

Untreated STDs can cause long term health problems for patients, so it's important to get tested if you believe you're at risk.

Before you can discuss treatment options with a doctor, you need to get tested.

Can vaginal sores be spread to other people?

The answer depends on the cause of your sores.

If your sores are caused by a sexually transmitted infection, then it is possible to infect your sexual partner. Vaginal blisters and vaginal lesions are spread through skin to skin contact, so your partner should get tested as well if you are experiencing these symptoms. Our doctors recommend refraining from any type of sexual activity until you are certain of the cause of the sores and are no longer at risk of spreading it to others.

Could anything else cause my vaginal blisters?

In some cases, other diseases and infections can cause blisters and lesions around the vaginal region. But only testing can alert you to the actual cause. Below are a few other possibilities outside of the realm of STDs.

  • Genital warts
  • Chancroid
  • Granuloma inguinale
  • Molluscum contagiosum
  • Atopic dermatitisskin that becomes red, sore, or inflamed after contact with perfumes, detergents, fabric softeners, feminine sprays, ointments, creams, douches.
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Cysts or abscesses of the Bartholin's or other glands.

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