Genital Problems in Women

Vaginal irritation and discharge are common problems for many women. Follow this chart for help in understanding and self-treating many of these problems.

Our trusted Symptom Checker is written and reviewed by physicians and patient education professionals. Find a possible diagnosis by choosing a symptom and answering a few simple questions.

Remember, be sure to consult with you doctor if you feel you have a serious medical problem.

Step 2

Answering Questions

  • Do you have a vaginal discharge that is normal in color, consistency and smell, but has the amount increased?

  • Do you have a discharge that is white and curd-like, or are you experiencing vaginal or labial redness, itching and irritation?

  • Do you have a greenish yellow discharge with an unpleasant odor?

  • Are you experiencing abdominal pain or pain during sex?

  • Do you have a tender swelling of the vaginal opening or swelling of one labia?

  • Do you have a sore or raw area on the outside or inside of the vagina?

  • Do you have pain with intercourse?

  • Does your vagina seem dry, or are you experiencing vaginal itching and irritation?

  • Are you anxious about having sex?

  • Do you have pain with urination?

  • Do you leak urine when you cough, laugh or lift an object?

Step 3

Possible Causes

  • Diagnosis

    This is most likely related to normal hormone changes or use of oral contraceptives.


    Self Care

    See your doctor if the condition worsens or bothers you.


  • Diagnosis

    You may have a yeast infection or CANDIDIASIS. FUNGAL INFECTIONS and IRRITATION from feminine hygiene sprays can also cause a rash.


    Self Care

    See your doctor if this is the first time you’ve had these symptoms. Yeast infections may be treated with over-the-counter medicines. Wear cotton underwear and avoid tight clothing to allow the area to breathe. Fungal infections may be treated with an over-the-counter antifungal cream.


  • Diagnosis

    You may have PELVIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASE (PID), a serious infection around your fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus, or a sexually transmitted infection such as TRICHOMONIASIS.


    Self Care

    URGENT
    See your doctor right away.


  • Diagnosis

    Your discharge may be from BACTERIAL VAGINOSIS.


    Self Care

    URGENT
    See your doctor right away.


  • Diagnosis

    This swelling might be from an INFECTION in a mucous gland or an ABSCESS or infection in the labia.


    Self Care

    URGENT
    See your doctor right away.


  • Diagnosis

    HERPES infections and other SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS often start with a sore.


    Self Care

    See your doctor.


  • Diagnosis

    Painful intercourse may be a sign of INFECTION or HORMONE DEFICIENCY.


    Self Care

    See your doctor. He or she can determine the cause of your symptoms and suggest the best treatment for you. Vaginal dryness can be relieved with vaginal lubricants.


  • Diagnosis

    Painful intercourse can be due to VAGINISMUS, an involuntary spasm of the muscles around the vagina.


    Self Care

    See your doctor if you think you may have vaginismus. Treatment is available. Certain exercises, including the contraction and relaxation of pelvic muscles, may help improve muscle control.


  • Diagnosis

    You may have a bladder infection, or CYSTITIS.


    Self Care

    See your doctor. Bladder infections are treated with antibiotics. Drinking cranberry juice may help prevent bladder infections.


  • Diagnosis

    This may be a symptom of STRESS INCONTINENCE, a common condition after giving birth.


    Self Care

    Discuss the problem with your doctor. You can strengthen your bladder with Kegel exercises. Empty your bladder frequently to help prevent urine leaks. Protective shields or adult diapers may also help. Surgery may also be an option.


  • Diagnosis


    Self Care

    Discuss the problem with your doctor. You can strengthen your bladder with Kegel exercises. Empty your bladder frequently to help prevent urine leaks. Protective shields or adult diapers may also help. Surgery may also be an option.