Undiagnosed Symptoms Community
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vaginal ulcers

I've been suffering from an ulcer on the inside of my vagina wall for about 8 mos. now.  It's very painful during intercourse but otherwise it doesn
147 Responses
Avatar universal
Hello there,

I was talking to a dear friend of mine today and her condition sound identical to your case. Doctors keep telling her that it's "just a cut". Well we believe it's more than just that. Problem is, we can't get a diagnosis. I was just wondering if you figured out what it is. If so please let me know. Maybe I can put an end to her anxiety. Best of luck to you and thanks for your timr. I will be waiting to hear from you!

Avatar universal
I've see 4 doctor's about my "ulcer" or whatever it is.  The first 2 said it was herpes even though all my hsv test came back neg. And if it were herpes it would of gone away when I took the valtrex they prescribed me.  The 3rd dr. said it was a "cut" that wouldn't heal. So he tried to cut the edges and stitch it back together. That didn't work. The 4th dr., I'm currently seeing, says its an aphthous ulcer. After numerous unsuccessful medicinal treatments she excised it about a week ago and stitched it up. I'm waiting to see what happens. But basically no one really has a concrete idea b/c I don't test positive for any std or the other skin tests i got. It's a mystery. I would have your friend go see a vulver specialist or a vaginal dermotologist.  Gook Luck!
Avatar universal
i have the exact same symptoms.  I got tested for all STDs and everything came out negative (although I knew it would unless my boyfriend was cheating!). The ulcer goes away if I dont' have intercourse for a while, but comes back as soon as I do. Otherwise, I dont' feel any pain or discomfort. I've seen two doctors so far who have been no help, and am going to see a specialist soon. I am so worried! Please let me know if the surgery worked, and if you found out what the problem was?  Thanks so much !!
Avatar universal
I have pretty much the same symptoms that you all have described, and am also extremely worried about it. A doctor I went to also said she thought it was aphthous ulcers but didn't act like it was a big deal and didn't tell me anything to do about it. Please let me know what you all hear about it as it seems like it is impossible to find information about it!
Avatar universal
Here is my story and I'm hoping one of you can help me. I developed painful ulcers that I suspected were an STD about three weeks ago. Went to the doctor, she looked and thought "chancroid". I have not slept with anyone besides my boyfriend. Turns out, he had slept with another girl in late June but both swear to using condoms. Anyways, my doctor took a tissue sample and also did blood for every STD known to mankind. ALL came back negative. She had put me on Valtrex the first day of the sores (just in case) and I was on three pills a day (figured she would overdo it to be safe). After 10 days of that, the sores have still not cleared up AT ALL. I'm still in major pain and the sores are no different. When I called my doctor back, she told me that first outbreaks of herpes can be much more severe and that maybe she didn't get a good enough tissue sample and that maybe I had recent exposure to it. So today, my bfs tests all came back NEGATIVE for all STDS. He has never had ANY symptoms whatsoever, and I had been tested negative before we started dating a year ago. The clinician he dealt with, heard my condition and said "it is probably Apthous Ulcers" for which she needs steroids. She then gave him a referral to a specialist. My doctor had also treated me with penicillin in case it was strep A (which my labwork revealed but we all have a degree of it in our systems) and had also given me a shot of Cetrifixin which treats chancroid. I am terrified that maybe I still have herpes. So I sit here, still on Valtrex waiting to call a specialist. What tests can they do to determine if it is Apthous ulcers and do these things just heal up on their own? I am not concerned about future problems involving sex, as at this point, I am terrified to even go there. I've never had an STD and all signs point to it not being herpes. These ulcers basically look like someone poured acid on my skin. I could not find any pictures of herpes that even resembled this. It literally looks like my skin is being eaten away. HELP. OUCH. Urinating is excruciating and I have had to take pain pills to cope. :(
Avatar universal
I am experiencing the same problem taken the same measures and gotten the same results. Nothing. Is anyones ulcers like raw spots with some bumps? It just feels raw
Avatar universal
I've been diagnosed with ultra-painful vaginal apthous ulcers as well (after being tested for all STD's and coming up negative for them all).  I have a gluten allergy and I find the ulcers flair up when I accidentally ingest gluten.  Also, it flairs up when I'm stressed out.  All I can guess is that it's auto-immune related and you should figure out your "triggers".  Also, read about mucosal disorders (such as Chrone's disease). Doctors are totally worthless with this issue.  I'm actually the "boss" when I go into the doc's office, because I tell them what to prescribe for me.  Lidocain is good for treating the pain but it doesn't make it go away.  Anyway, hope this helps, and I'm willing to bet we all have the same thing (NOT STD's) but no one knows what it is.
Avatar universal
This may sound really weird, but whenever I have an "invasive dental procedure" (Crown prep, involving lasering of the gum, etc) I get an apthous ulcer at the injection site. A day or two later, I may (not always) get an apthous ulcer on my labia on the "same Side" as the  dental procedure. They both last about a week. I too, had it checked out and there were no STD related issues. I have to agree that it is stress related.Our bodies are much smarter that we are.   : )
Avatar universal
So back in Jan I posted saying that I had the surgery to remove my ulcer and I was waiting to see the results, well they weren't good.  Not only was it still there after 8 weeks of abstinance but it got bigger.  So I've been pouring on the lidocaine to ease the pain during sex.  I just don't know what to do.  I've seen the best of the best in Boston, MA, a vaginal dermotologist.  She said it was an apthous ulcer so I got all different kinds of cortisone shots in that area and nothing has worked.  So I guess for now I just have to live with it and rely on lidocaine.  In another blog someone suggested putting peroxide on it but that sounds PAINFUL, but she said it worked.  If I get the nerve to try it I'll let you girls know how it works out.  I'm sorry you are suffereing with this terrible mystery ulcer like me, but I'm glad I have people to talk about it with.
Avatar universal
Yes, i have same symptons really sore, 5-6 years now, no one seems to care. Been tested for STD more than once too and I have only ever had one partner. Nurse said Doctors could never see the real ulcers if they dont use a clear spectrum as the ulcers are on my left side. Real patient husband sex is just a no go area.
Avatar universal
PLEASE SOMEONE HELP--Friday night (june 6th), I came down with a terrible fever and chills along with painful open sores and bumps on my vagina. The next day I went to the doctor and was "diagnosed" with Vulvar Aphthous Ulcers. Doctors are completely useless  and all they tell me to do is "wait it out for a week" and the internet does not give me any clear definition of what this condition is. My week has been up and the only thing that has gone away is the awful swelling. Everyone's medical opinion has been the same as you ladies--HERPES. But its nothing like herpes and they hurt so bad that walking is almost impossible. Urinating is like a liquid fire that no ice, cold water, clobertasol, or acyclovir can put out. I don't know how old you ladies are but I'm only 19 and I've heard this happening in girls as young as 13 with no sexual experience at all. SO I THINK IT'S SAFE TO SAY A BIG HELL NO TO THE QUESTION "IS IT HERPES". What should be my next move????
Avatar universal
I have been trying to figure out my problem just as everyone else has.  Only mine have begun within the past 5 months and I am curently in 2 days with a steroidal topical cream.  My doctor says that if this doesn't work we can try actual steroids.  I also have ulcers in my mouth as well as acid reflux.  Yogurt really helps my oral ulcers, because it has live active cultures, acidolphilous, (I have now clue how to spell that word).  But this doesn't help the ulcers down below, go figure. The first thing that the doctor was suspect to is called BECHET'S.  I'd suggest that you look this one up, symptoms can occur rapidly and can affect things you wouldn't put together to make this one disease.  I have also had all the blood work and a biopsy.  The blood work is negative of STD's of any sort and the lab workers decided that it does and doesn't look like Bechet's.  I live in the middle of nowhere but we have extremely good doctors, but still wiling to see a specialist.  These guys are hard to find.  I'm traveling to a couple of large cities here soon and like to get in to see a specialist, so if anyone can help on fiding these specialist people please tells us how.  I don't believe it's herpes either.  It has to be a type of autoimune disease.
Avatar universal
I came across this forum in search of info on pain possibly due to cervical erosions, and thought I might suggest something I've recently found as a treatment.

Sea buckthorn oil is a natural oil you can buy that is very good at healing ulcers and lesions - with no known adverse effects.  For cervical erosions/ulcers, you can soak a tampon in the oil and leave it in overnight for 5-12 nights depending on the severity.

Google it for more info..and there's info on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_buckthorn_oil

Avatar universal
I had the same EXACT thing happen to me...9 years ago.  The ulcers only lasted for about two weeks...but I never got an accurate diagnosis and for whatever reason, it still terrifies me to this day.  I felt a weird tingly pressure in my lower vagina and then they came. They started as blisters and then became large, painful ulcers.  I had to urinate in the bathtub because doing it the "regular" way was excrutiating.  I saw infectious disease specialists, regular doctors, gynocologists, you name it.  All of them suspected herpes.  All tests were negative. Luckily, mine went away and have never returned.  Have had so many negative std tests, I can't even count.  If any of you figure out what you have/had let me know.  I'd love to finally get some peace about it.

Take Care!
Avatar universal
The same thing has happened to me.. I'm from the UK (guessing majority of you are from the US?) I had an ulcer type lump come up a few months ago, it looked like a cut and went away after about a week.

Yesterday I felt that it was quite sore after going to the toilet and looked to find 2 ulcers - nightmare!!!! They are swollen and both on the right side of the vagina. I'm 10 years old, and haven't had sex since March! I called NHS Direct and spoke to a nurse, she was very helpful in carming me down but said she obviously couldn't diagnose me over the phone. I also have an appointment with my doctor 5pm Monday. Am just worried that it's an STD that I have had since the beginning of the year!

Obviously reading what everyone has written here, I'm feeling hopeful that it isn't this, but if not - then what it is?? Once I have been to see my GP, if there is any diagnosis I can report back if anyone is interested, I have just been worrying myself that I was all alone with something 'down there' with no one to talk to until Monday..
Avatar universal

Just read what I posted - I am not 10 years old, I am 20 years old.. Sorry for the terrible typo!!
Avatar universal
Hi Lara,

My symptoms are almost identical - Last Tuesday I had sex with my boyfriend, and in the morning it felt like I'd ripped a little. There was a little blood so I used a tampon (hindsight, a pad would have been better?!) and the applicator scratched (VERY painfully) the lower parts of my labia as I was inserting it (I was in a rush and not being careful how I was doing it!). Anyway, the next two days were agony to pee, as the amonia stung the cuts - but when I checked again on Friday, the cuts had become small ulcers! I went to my GP yesterday who said he didn't suspect herpes (no other symptoms and have had 'vaginal trauma' as he described it!) but just him saying the word has frightened me....he gave me some antibiotic cream but the ulcers are worse today not better so I'm getting scared. Boyf and I are both STI free (as far as I am aware anyway!) but I keep reading you can only test positive for herpes if the virus is active, so previous herpes tests would be negative anyway as I've never had symptoms of this before????

I have made myself feel worse as all I have done is look on the internet, read all the symptoms, and convince myself I've got them all.........argghhh!!!

What did your GP say?
Avatar universal
I am having the same issues it happened after I had sex with my boyfriend of 11 years. I am interested in finding the sea buckthorn oil. Can someone tell me where you can buy it or do you have to order it online?
Avatar universal
I am 22 years  old since i was 14 or the last i can remember I have been having ulcers, they are mostly in my mouth.. its hard to explain them they look like craters that are pus filled.. and very painful to touch or anything. I get them in my mouth daily sometimes 1 to 4 or 5.this is very painful it got so bad sometimes i couldnt eat which would lead to me losing weight and made me feel very fatigue. I thought that was hell.. well then i started getting ulcers in my vagina of course the doctors assumed is was herpes when i  tested it came out positive for herpes 1 but not 2 which cause genitial ulcers.. so this left me confused... since then it has only gotten worse. I have been tested for everything well all std and they have all came out  negative. IM very confused and lost and feel alone. The uclers in my vagina can vary from small to larger like the size of a quarter.. and are covered with a coat looks pus filled i usually only get one but depending on my body and how i feel determines how bad they are. For instance with in these last two weeks i have been getting sick like cold flu like symtoms.. running nose nasal congestion cough.. and i got an ulcer down there and is got as big as a quarter and that hasnt happened in months atleast 4 or 5 that i can recall. and the previous week to that i had a really uncomfortable ucler in between the vagina and the anus .. and my anus started breaking out . . and currently im recovering from all this .. my anus is still hurting and the big ulcer which is located on the inner lip of my vagina is still there .. the doctor saw it and basically said it was a large ulcer  ... no ****... well he tested me for herpes and trich.. bacteria vaginosis.. yeast.. and syphilis which ive been tested for before and i know it cant be that.. but i give up these are all very painful sometimes i cant walk and its hard not to get depressed ..ive been using the cream to numb the pain so i can atlease urinate .. which is hard to do every 20 sec.. does ANYONE i mean ANYONE have any advice... please
Avatar universal
I had a break out of vaginal ulcers a little over a week now. When it first came up, I booked an appointment with my Dr. and before I could see my Dr. I developed a fever so I went to the ER and the Dr. that I saw said it was herpes. I told her I don’t cheat and as far as I know my husband does not ether. She said that I need to be tested anyway to make sure cause that is what it looks like and sent me home on acyclovir and vicodin. Urinating was so painful I had to sit in water just to go and even then I was screaming and crying. Three days later the test came back inconclusive. I saw my ob. she said the same thing herpes and she retested and im waiting on the results of that test. If it comes back positive im getting a devoice if its negative I guess I just boarded a boat with a lot of other women suffering from whatever this is. I found photos of herpes online and it does not look like the photos I saw but who knows. I have been taking the meds they gave me and I also started taking vitamin c, iron, lysine, zinc, and I have been applying oil of oregano if you try the oil of oregano make sure it is the real deal and only put one drop into four tablespoons of vegi oil and apply directly to ulcers it stings a little but really helps you can also get empty gel tab pills and put it in those and take it orally I am also taking a multivitamin all of this is to boost my immune system to help fight whatever this is. So far it is helping. my ob told me to used dermoplast it is a spray on over the counter pain reliever and it works great I use it about every two to three hours and I put it on about twenty minutes before I go to the bathroom and I can now pee pain free and I will never take peeing pain free for granted again my ob also told me to take four quarts of water and boil four chamomile tea bags and pour it in to the tub and add two cups of baking soda to help with discomfort she said it will also clean the area and to NOT use soap cause it could cause an infection and further irritation. I hope this info is helpful. If  anyone does actually have herpes I looked up some research on line and Duke university is working on a cure and hope to have it ready to clinical trials in five years and I herd they have begun some test in the UK. For now I am praying for a good outcome.
Avatar universal
My daughter had her 1st case of genital ulcers at 12 during a case of stomach flu/sore throat--basically very painful genital canker sores. Doctor of course prescribes herpes medicines--didn't work--but it spontaneously cleared in a week. Four years later she had the flu and laryngitis and it happened again. This time for 2 years she had a relapse 3 times a year-- when she was stressed and developed high fevers. She had all kinds of diagnostic tests--tested negative for everything--except that her IgA for autoimmune disease was high. When she is stressed and near her period she gets canker sores in her mouth (we thought it might be bechets), followed by a high fever due to some respiratory illness. Within hrs to days she develops small pinpricks of blood in her genital area which become multiple genital ulcers--sometimes they fuse into large ones. Excruciatingly painful to walk or urinate or sit. She too has had to sit in a tub of water to pee--still the screams of pain broke your heart. Pieces of labia have fallen off so she has ended up with scarring. One time the damage was so extensive that her healing labia fused together--she had to have surgery but that was no where as painful as the ulcers! She has had another 4 yrs without a case until today--shes 23. Again she has the flu, high fever and lots of stress (college) but we know better how to handle this. Her malady is called Lipschutz Ulcer or Ulcus vulvae acutum. The symptoms are handled with lidocaine gel and painkillers (prescription strength at times) along with steroids or steroid creams (clobetasol propronate). Also they may prescribe antibiotics and antibiotic creams and recommend disinfectants and sitz baths.Course with treatment will run 1 to 3 weeks depending on severity. We have found that taking omega 3 (1800mg EPA minimum ) everyday along with good nutrition (lowfat meats & vegetables & fruits--high fat & sugar/carbs bad for inflammation)/nutritional supplements are important to help to keep this at bay--also managing stress that triggers this autoimmune ailment. Here is a link to a site with pics and much more info:http: //www1.mf.uni-lj.si/acta-apa/acta-apa-07-4/7.pdf  Hope this helps someone....
Avatar universal
Hello, I am experiencing similar problems.  My first vaginal ulcer was the weekend of my senior prom in high school.  Went to the gyno and he put me on some strong antibiotics.   After a lot of pain and nasty pus, it finally went away.  The doctor suspected that the ulcer came about because I had been wearing a pad on a hot summers day and friction irritated me. A year later I worked as a waitress running up and down flights of steps in hot temperatures, that's when the second ulcer came about, much less painful than the first, thank god.  I basically just waited for it to go away.  Now, I feel a little bump outside of the labia and am scared an ulcer is forming on the labia.  Every time I go to the gyno he says everything is normal and find and to avoid getting too sweaty "down there".  Not sure of what to do for pain relief or how to prevent sweating!  I'm just really confused.
Avatar universal
For the past few years, I've noticed that each time I am sick (cold, flu, bug, etc) I also get vaginal bumps or irritations. At first I thought it was herpes or an STD, so I started going to the gyno each time. I've had samples taken, blood tests and urinary tests, and all come back negative for all STDs.
Sometimes the bumps are open, sometimes they're just swollen bumps. I've been doing a lot of research each time, and found out that sometimes taking medications or drugs can bring this out - especially ibuprofen, so I've stopped taking that completely.
Yesterday I was sick with a 24 hour flu bug, didn't take any ibuprofen, just Tylenol, but woke up today with really painful red swollen bumps around my vaginal opening -- again!
Each time I'm sick, have a high fever, or take medications for a few doses this happens to me!
Do you think this could be the same ulcers you guys are experiencing? Sometimes they last a day or two, sometimes about a week.
Doctors don't seem to take it seriously at all, instead just treat it like herpes every single time, despite me testing negative several times. They've even put me on herpes medication to see if it would help, but it didn't.
When I explained to one doctor that it was painful to pee, it burns, they suggested peeing through a small cup, so the urine wouldn't touch my skin. How does that help? Am I supposed to carry a cup around everywhere?
Sometimes when I get to the doctor, the bumps have already disappeared and they seem confused when I try to explain it to them. I just don't understand why it falls on my shoulders to keep going to the doctor multiple times and taking tests to prove I don't have STDs. Shouldn't they be trying to get to the bottom of this and find a solution for their patient? It sounds like we're all in the same boat with the same feelings from doctors. They just want to write it off as an STD and not get to the bottom of it and really help us out. In the meantime, we're living with the symptoms and pain.
Avatar universal
What I, and others on this page have described, has absolutely nothing to do with syphilis. Every single one of us wrote that we've been tested multiple times for STDs and the tests came back negative.


Yes, there may be a bump at the beginning of syphilis, but it is painless. What we are describing is not painless. We also don't have rashes on our hands and feet, and other symptoms listed on the provided website.

What about the woman whose daughter was 12 when this first started happening? I also had my first ulcer when I was 17 or 18 and was not sexually active yet. Those can't be explained away as syphilis, even if the symptoms matched - which they DON'T.

If you can't provide us with help, then you have no business commenting here and giving poor information and possibly scaring somebody who is looking for legitimate answers.
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