Tingling, itching, discomfort, chaffing or pain of the vulva, accompanied with lower back pain are indications of a progressive infection. Vulvitis, also known as inflammation of the vulva, when accompanied with lower back pain, also mirrors more severe ailments such as vulvar cancer.
The vulva is an external trichotomy of the woman's lower anatomy including the major labia, minor labia and clitoris. The perineum or partitioning skin that separates the vaginal opening from the anus, is also considered a part of the vulva. In this regard, the vulva consists of the "vaginal lips" (inner, outer), clitoris and all of the soft surrounding tissue to the vagina, excluding the vagina. On occasion, the vulva might become inflamed or even infected; this is called vulvitis and can be mild or severe if left untreated.
Vulvitis and Back Pain
According to Merck Manuals, vulvitis is inflammation of the vulva exclusively. However, when both the vagina and the vulva are inflamed in tandem, vulvovaginitis has occurred. Vulvitis can be caused by a myriad of internal or external factors. Allergic reactions to topical substances or materials that touch the vulva, such as soaps, bubble bath, fabrics and perfumes, can produce dermatitis. Yeast infections and sexually transmittable diseases, such as herpes, also induce inflammation of the vulva, as does the infestation of pubic lice (Pediculosis pubis). When left untreated, vulvitis can cause inflammation of the lymph nodes located near the groin. Asymptomatically, groin and lower back pain may occur. According to MedicineNet.com, "Candida may be normally present in small numbers in some women and not cause disease. The presence of Candida without symptoms of infection does not require treatment."
Vulvar Cancer and Back Pain
According to Canceranswers.com, the earlier stages of vulvar cancer are void of symptoms. As the disease progresses, however, symptoms may include the visible appearance of a lump or bump on the vulva. The lump also can appear as a lesion or open sore, enlarging over a course of time. Vulvar carcinoma also includes intense itching (pruritis), localised pain and swollen lymph nodes within the pelvic area (lymphadenopathy), which is an indication of infection. Urinary and bowel irregularities, bleeding and lower back pain may also exist with spreading of the cancer to the "para-aortic lymph nodes, along with bone pain," Canceranswers.com states.
Diagnoses, Treaments and Prevention
As of 2010, there is no precise method for prevention of lower back pain associated with vulvitis or vulvar cancer, though it is presumed that adopting the practice of safer sex can minimise one's risk of acquiring vulvitis. Diagnosis of lower back pain and vulvar discomfort begins with a thorough inspection of the vulva, urine analysis and a Pap smear to rule out infection. Treatment for simple vulvitis includes external application of vaginal creams and/or internal suppositories purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by a gynecologist (for stronger strengths), with or without oral antibiotics. If a lump or bump is present, the gynecologist may suggest a biopsy in order to rule out vulvar carcinoma. Treatment for vulvar carcinoma includes similar treatments for other bodily cancers (radiation, surgical removal). Cancer of the vulva is rare, yet those at risk should perform routine checks for unusual lumps and bumps in the vulva.
General Vulvar Irritation
According to Merck Manuals, vaginal irritation and/or infection may be caused by bacteria, yeast and an overabundance of other microorganisms. Reduced acidity (increased pH) in the vagina aggravates the vagina, as well as poor hygiene, which perpetuates bacterial formation of the vulva and vagina. Tight, non-absorbent underpants causes an entrapment of moisture, which results in bacterial growth, yeast. Tissue damage also causes irritation (cracks, sores, scratches), which if not treated, can cause infection.
General Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is not an uncommon symptom among women. Premenstrual syndrome, pregnancy, stress, strain, ovarian cysts (cancer) and other diseases generate lower back pain. Application of a heating pad or hot water bottle to the affected area, along with a muscle relaxer can minimise some of the tension from the back. For more intense pain, consultation with an OB-GYN is suggested.