How Your Clitoris Can Disappear

Imagine this. You feel that things aren’t quite right ‘down there’, so you grab a mirror to take a look at yourself, and this is what you see. Your labia have reduced in size by half, at the top of your labia the skin has sealed over and worst of all, you can’t see your clitoris anymore. In fact, the whole architectural structure of your vagina has changed completely.

This terrifying and devastating experience happened to Isabel, who opened up to me about her condition called Lichen Sclerosus for NetDoctor.

“It started with a really bad itch in the vaginal area”, she tells me, “and I thought it was a common bout of thrush. But when it didn’t go away after the usual treatment and I started bleeding from all the scratching, that’s when I realised that things down there were very wrong. Soon after that I was diagnosed with Lichen Sclerosus”.

Lichen Sclerosus is a rare skin condition affecting the genitalia. It most commonly occurs in women of menopausal age (but prepubescent girls as well as men can suffer from it too). It can best be described as the body trying to absorb its own genitalia. Symptoms include itching plus thinning and shrinkage of the genital area.

Read Isabel’s full story here, where she shares how living with this condition has affected her, how she copes with it from day to day and where she tells me about the operation she had in an attempt to restructure her vagina.

Laetitia Tempelman

I am a freelance journalist whose specialist area is women and their extraordinary lives and achievements. Additionally I am a PR manager for a Bristol-based creative media agency. I’ve held several Journalism and PR roles at Reuters, Future Publishing, Gartner and currently at Publicity Matters. Originally from the Netherlands, I studied English Language and Literature at the University of Plymouth (BA Hons). I subsequently finished a Masters in European Journalism at Cardiff University.

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