Dr. Goldstein describes aphthous ulcers and shares the symptoms.
An aphthous ulcer is an ulcer of the vulva and in the mouth which typically they are called canker sores in the mouth, but these are deep ulcers that can cause pain. We are not sure of the cause. We think that sometimes they can occur because of viral syndromes such as Epstein-Barr virus or cytomegalovirus or CMV virus, but also, we also think that they can occur because of stress. They frequently occur in young, adolescent women.
However, if a woman is having recurrent aphthous ulcers in both the mouth and the vulva, it could be part of another syndrome called Behçet’s disease, which is a more complex and dangerous disorder. Therefore, a woman should see her gynecologist who may refer her to a rheumatologist to make sure that she does not have this rare disorder called Behçet’s disease.
About Dr. Goldstein, M.D.:
Dr. Andrew T. Goldstein, M.D., graduated from the University of Virginia and the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He pursued his internship and residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the Beth Israel Medical Center. After completing his residency, Dr. Goldstein moved to Annapolis, Maryland and started the Sexual Wellness Center which is devoted to the treatment of female sexual dysfunction. In 1999, he joined the faculty at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and became the Director of The Centers for Vulvovaginal Disorders in Washington, D.C. and New York City in 2002.