There are some issues that moms aren't comfortable discussing even with their best girlfriends. You know, the stuff about the V-area. These are the types of issues that you would want an expert's opinion. Luckily for Dallas/Fort Worth women, one of those experts just moved to Fort Worth.
Dr. Cherie LeFevre is one of just a few dozen doctors in the United State who specialize in vulvar vaginal disorders. LeFevre' specialty, which she has been practicing for the last 10 years, is highly sought after because the medical issues that she treats often are difficult to diagnose for even the best trained obstetricians and gynocologists. When LeFevre opens her referral-only practice in August, she will be the only vulvar vaginal disorder specialist in the Dallas/Fort Worth.
LeFevre says many women suffer from some type of chronic vulvar problem. These conditions can be challenging and require a thorough evaluation and time and patience to treat, she said.
Dr. LeFevre took some time to answer some common questions about vaginal disorders with Mom2MomDFW.com
Question: Why do I get a yeast infection almost every month? It is treated, but it never seems to go away.
Dr. Cherie LeFevre: Although yeast infections are very common, and most women will experience at least one in their lifetime, some women are plagued with recurrent yeast infections. A thorough evaluation needs to be performed to determine what type of yeast is present and if it is resistant to the typical yeast medications. Lifestyle alterations in terms of diet, hygienic practices, and medications also need to be considered. Once the evaluation has been completed, an appropriate medication and treatment plan will usually help resolve these infections.
Q: I have intense itching on the skin outside my vagina. I was treated for yeast, even though I did not have any discharge, and the itching is still there. What can I do?
LeFevre: Itching on the outside skin of the vulva, which could be on the labia, clitoris or around the anus, can occur for multiple reasons. Usually, if it has occurred acutely, it is due to an allergic reaction to some hygiene product. Once the itching starts then scratching usually occurs. This chronic irritation of the skin leads to a thin build up of callous on the tissue which causes more itching. An evaluation to make sure there is nothing more serious needs to be performed, then any product that maybe acting as a contact irritant should be stopped. A medication may be needed to remove the callus and stop the itch/scratch cycle. There are other chronic skin disorders that may cause itching, and a biopsy can diagnose those dermatological conditions.
Q: Why do I have burning pain in the vaginal area, and having sex is so painful?
LeFevre: Burning pain in the vaginal or vulvar, vaginal area is a condition referred to as "vulvodynia," which means vulvar pain. This pain condition affects approximately 9 to 15 percent of all women and can be hard to diagnose. Other causes of burning must first be ruled out and then usually a simple "Qtip" test in the office will diagnose this condition (a q-tip is used to gently touch areas around the vaginal opening to determine where the pain is). Treatment of vulvodynia varies widely and needs to be tailored to each individual patient.