Crohn’s disease is quite common, but vaginal Crohn’s is rare. However, if you are a victim of this condition, it can lead to a number of complications. Read on to find out. Crohn’s disease is a chronic, autoimmune disorder that affects a person’s gastrointestinal tract (GI). Since it’s an inflammatory condition, it can also lead to severe problems in other areas of the body, including the vagina. Yes ladies, you could also suffer from vaginal Crohn’s, which is also known as genital Crohn’s or vulva Crohn’s. Both men and women are equally likely to develop Crohn’s disease, but genital Crohn’s is more common among females, and therefore, it is associated with a different set of concerns.
Let’s find out the cause behind vaginal Crohn’s
Vaginal Crohn’s is a disease that can occur at any age. Dr Vijaykumar says, “Although the exact cause of this disease is not known, it is suspected that an imbalanced diet and stress can be a cause. And it can also be caused due to an abnormal immune system or be a part of your genes.”
Risk factors associated with vaginal Crohn’s
There are several things that can put you at risk of developing vaginal Crohn’s. Dr Vijaykumar says, “Confounding risk factors are also involved with this disease namely:
- Age: You are more likely to develop the disease, especially when you are young, and going through a lot of reproductive changes.
- Smoking: Smoking is injurious to health and can lead to a number of complications, including vaginal Crohn’s.
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Family history
If you’re suffering from this disease, be ready to deal with a bunch of complications.
All about vaginal Crohn’s
Dr Madhushree Vijayakumar, obstetrician and gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Bangalore explains, “Vaginal Crohn’s disease is an uncommon complication of Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease can be experienced in the vaginal area in the following ways:
- Swelling of the labia that could be inflamed
- Vulva ulcers that can be either deep or superficial
- Skin tags
- Bacterial infections
- Pain while urinating
- Unpleasant intercourse
These are some of the major symptoms that show up in vaginal Crohn’s. But don’t panic, because they might not always indicate that you are suffering from the condition. For example, bacterial infections and painful urination can be caused by several other things. However, it is important to visit your doctor, if you notice any of the above signs and symptoms.
Dr Vijayakumar also adds that apart from these symptoms, people who are suffering from vaginal Crohn’s can also experience certain symptoms like fever, diarrhoea, blood in the stool, stones in the kidney, inflammation in the skin, eyes, etc. In fact, half of such patients have menstrual irregularities as well.
Ladies, it can be a debilitating disease and needs multidisciplinary inputs. So, please talk to your doctor.