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Women's Health

Desquamative inflammatory vaginitis

05/04/2009

Question:

I have been diagnosed with desquamative inflammatory vagingitis. There is very little information regarding this condition, and after two years, almost 10 doctors, and more treatments than I can count, I am searching for a specialist in this field to help me. I am looking for imformation regarding this condition, is it cureable, and any information for potential health care professionals that are familiar with treating this condition.

Thank you.

Answer:

Desquamative inflammatory vaginitis, or DIV, is a poorly understood cause of vaginal irritation. It can cause the same symptoms as vaginal infections, which is why many women are treated for chronic yeast or bacterial infections before this diagnosis is made.

However, it is more likely caused by an inappropriate activation of the body's immune system rather than any infectious agent. There is much overlap with a condition called lichen planus, and some authorities think DIV is a form of this ailment, which primarily affects mucous membranes of the genitals and mouth.

Treatment of both is usually with a combination of topical (locally applied) steroid and clindamycin, an antibiotic with anti-inflammatory properties.

It may be difficult to find a specialist familiar with this ailment. However, there is a good deal of overlap between treating chronic vaginal inflammation and chronic vulvar pain. The National Vulvodynia Association has a list of providers who specialize in this condition, and you can find information from them at www.nva.org.

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Response by:

Jonathan  A Schaffir, MD Jonathan A Schaffir, MD
Clnical Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University