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Genital lesions

Symptoms & Signs of Genital Sores

Genital lesions, or sores, are areas of reproductive tissue that are damaged due to disease or injury. The sores may be raised areas or bumps, and may be itchy, red, painful, or bleeding.

They may change in appearance, increasing in size or becoming crusty. They can appear on the vulva or deeper inside the vagina. They can cause painful urination and pain during sex (dyspareunia). They are not necessarily a sign of sexually transmitted disease, although the main feature of herpes is genital lesions. They may also be due to other STIs or skin conditions (dermatitis) caused by allergens, irritants, or other conditions.


Typical symptoms that accompany the appearance of genital lesions or sores include: Itching; pain around the lesion or elsewhere in the pelvic area; sensation of burning or discomfort during urination; bleeding; painful intercourse (dyspareunia); heavy discharge or discharge with a strong odour.


Genital lesions or sores are most commonly caused by sexually transmitted diseases, although this is not always the cause.

The STIs that cause lesions are genital herpes, genital warts, syphilis, and bacterial or viral skin infections (such as chancroid, which starts as a bump and develops into an ulcer, and molluscum contagiosum, a viral infection with a main feature of painless papules that develop into pearly nodules).

Non-sexually transmitted conditions that cause lesions include vulvovaginitis, which is an inflammatory condition affecting the vulva and vagina, contact dermatitis, caused by allergic reaction, and atopic dermatitis, where the skin becomes inflamed due to allergy. In rare cases, genital lesions are a sign of cancer.

What to do next

If you are experiencing any symptoms, come in and speak to one of our doctors. We have a highly experienced team who can help you get the results you need. Call us to book an appointment with one of them

  • 02073231023Harley St Area


Are genital lesions a symptom of sexually transmitted disease?

Not always. There are some STIs that have symptoms of lesions (this is the main symptom of genital herpes, and of syphilis) but genital lesions can be caused by allergens and other conditions.

What are the non-sexually transmitted causes of genital lesions?

Vulvovaginitis, and contact or atopic dermatitis can both cause genital lesions and are due to inflammatory conditions usually due to allergy. In some very rare cases, genital lesions are a sign of cancer.

What are the other symptoms of genital lesions?

You may also notice burning, pain or discomfort on urination, irregular bleeding, painful intercourse, or unusually heavy discharge.

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