Clitoris Pain: Medical Causes and Related Symptoms

Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
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What is clitoris pain?

Clitoris pain can result from damage or injury to any of the structures of the vulva (external genitalia), including the inner and outer labia, the vaginal opening, and the clitoris. The symptoms may be constant or variable and may improve or worsen with movement or sexual activity. Clitoris pain may be described as a raw sensation or a burning, itching or stinging feeling that ranges in intensity from mild to severe. Sometimes, pain perceived in the clitoris is actually referred pain that originates from injury, disease or infection elsewhere in the vulvar region.

Pain and discomfort in the vulva (vulvodynia) is a common cause of clitoris pain, as are skin irritations from rashes or household chemicals. Recurring infections or cancer may also cause clitoris pain. In other cases, clitoris pain may be related to a chronic underlying disease that affects other regions of the body. Other causes of clitoris pain include vaginal yeast infections and sexually transmitted diseases.

The duration and course of clitoris pain vary widely, depending on the cause. Symptoms caused by injury, such as those following sexual abuse, often have a sudden onset. In other cases, clitoris pain may come from an infection that may develop slowly and persist or worsen over time.

Clitoris pain alone is rarely a serious medical condition; however, it may be associated with symptoms of a serious medical condition. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you have high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit), severe pain, chills, or rapid heart rate.

If your clitoris pain is persistent or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.

What other symptoms might occur with clitoris pain?

Clitoris pain may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the clitoris may also involve other body systems.

Vulvar symptoms that may occur along with clitoris pain

Clitoris pain may accompany other symptoms affecting the vulvar region including:

  • Bleeding
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Raw sensation
  • Stinging
  • Throbbing

Other symptoms that may occur along with clitoris pain

Clitoris pain may accompany symptoms related to other body systems including:

  • Bloody or pink-colored urine (hematuria)
  • Difficulty urinating (dysuria) and urinary retention
  • Fever and chills
  • Nerve problems that cause pain, numbness or tingling
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Rash in other areas of the body

Symptoms that might indicate a serious condition

In some cases, clitoris pain may occur with other symptoms that might indicate a serious condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have clitoris pain along with other serious symptoms including:

  • Abdominal, pelvic, or lower back pain that can be severe
  • High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)

What causes clitoris pain?

Infections and skin disorders may cause clitoris pain. Disease or injury of any of the structures in the vulvar region can also result in clitoris pain. Further, clitoris pain can stem from underlying conditions that involve the body as a whole, such as diabetes. Peripheral neuropathy (disorder that causes dysfunction of nerves that lie outside your brain and spinal cord) associated with diabetes can lead to damage of one or more of the nerves in the vulva region, resulting in clitoris pain, itching, tingling, or a burning sensation.

Common causes of clitoris pain

Common causes of clitoris pain include:

  • History of surgical procedures in the vulvar region
  • Injury from sexual abuse
  • Irritation to the nerves in the vulvar region
  • Rashes in the vulvar region
  • Recurring yeast infections
  • Repeated sexually transmitted infections
  • Skin irritation from chemicals, such as detergent, soap, or feminine hygiene products

Serious or life-threatening causes of clitoris pain

In some cases, clitoris pain may be a symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition that should be immediately evaluated by a health care provider. These include:

  • Cancers
  • Serious infections

Questions for diagnosing the cause of clitoris pain

To diagnose your condition, your doctor or licensed health care practitioner will ask you several questions related to your clitoris pain including:

  • How long have you felt clitoris pain?
  • When do you feel clitoris pain?
  • Do you have any other symptoms?
  • What medications are you taking?

What are the potential complications of clitoris pain?

The potential complications of clitoris pain depend on their cause. Getting prompt treatment of injuries or infections can help you avoid serious complications, such as deformity or widespread infection. Clitoris pain associated with serious medical conditions, such as infection or diabetes, may have long-term and even potentially life-threatening complications.

Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, it is important for you to follow the treatment plan that you and your health care professional design specifically for you. Left untreated, conditions that cause clitoris pain may lead to the following complications:

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2021 Jan 9
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