Q&A: My Clitoris And Vulva Are Fusing Together. Is This Okay?

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QUESTION: If the clitoris and the vulva are starting to fuse together and are appearing as one, what should be done? Is this okay or will it have to be pulled apart by a doctor?

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Photo: max_thinks_sees (flickr.com)

The glans clitoris sometimes seems to fuse to the clitoral hood. Changes to the structre of the vulva, whether to the clitoris or the vaginal lips, can occur as part of menopause, when estrogen levels decrease, or as a result of a genital skin condition such as one called lichen sclerosus.

I think it’s pretty fantastic that you are looking at your own genitals and have a sense of what is normal or not normal for your own body. Not all women have seen their vulva even once or know the names of their genital body parts, so it’s impressive to me that you know these things.

The Clitoris: The Basics

The clitoris is bigger than it looks from the outside. Although about ¼ to ½ an inch of the glans clitoris can be seen externally, there are two branches of the clitoris that go backward into the body.

The glans clitoris – the part that can be seen from the outside – sometimes seems to fuse to the clitoral hood. The glans may even appear to be trapped inside the clitoris.

Changing Bodies

Changes to the structre of the vulva, whether to the clitoris or the vaginal lips, can occur as part of menopause, when estrogen levels decrease, or as a result of a genital skin condition such as one called lichen sclerosus. And while this commonly happens to adult women, it can also happen to infant girls or to children or teenagers.

If you have questions about your genital appearance, I would encourage you to check in with a gynecologist or a dermatologist who has expertise in genital skin health and disease.

You can find such a specialist through the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease’s web site.

What Can Be Done

In some cases, treatments such as topical creams may be used to reverse changes to parts of the vulva. Treatments may be more effective if a medical condition is caught early or treated.

In some cases, if a problem has been allowed to persist without treatment, it can be more difficult to restore through the use of creams. That is why I would encourage you to check in with a specialist sooner rather than later just in case.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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Comments

  • cmgypsy

    I have labial fusing and have liveed with the pain of sexual intercourse for years. Lately, last fall a OB PA put me on cream. Not only didn't it not work, the fusing is extending upwards. I bleed everytime we make love and to say the least my husband of 25 years (13 years my junior) is not thrilled with causing me pain. I am wondering if I can't give it a squirt of lidocane and just snip snip it in a V. I mean what is the difference in that and tearing in childbirth or an episiotomy. Other than my husband is a chicken and wants me to pay for it. I can't see the need. Tried the lidocane and it does numb me up marelously. Your down to earth advice. I already probably know your professional advice. fyi: 18 miscarriages, 1 live birth (C-section) and 4 laps and 1 salpingectomy. I feel like grand central with the track blocked off.

  • jodiecadieux

    if you have sex two or three days before your expected period can you concive?? and if u do will it cause problems with pregnancy tests??