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Shrinking sensation in genital area — Ask Dr Jean

Ask Dr Jean 23 Jul 2018
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When it comes to women's health, there is no such thing as a silly question. Do you have a question you want answered, but have been too afraid or embarrassed to bring it up with your GP? Or you forgot to ask while you were in the doctor's surgery? Now, you can 'Ask Dr Jean'.

This question has been answered by Jean Hailes medical director and gynaecologist Dr Elizabeth Farrell AM (pictured).


I am 66, married and had one child. In the last week I have experienced a feeling which I would describe as a shrinking sensation in my genital area. It is not painful; it just seems like my body is suddenly getting shrink wrapped. I have since noticed I can replicate the feeling when pulling a jumper on or off over my head – so I suppose it is a sort of stretching. The only thing that has changed lately is that I commenced the 5- 2 diet on May 28 – it is proving manageable and I am maintaining my weight around 54kg. I am 5'2" tall and am reasonably active. I use my vibrating platform every day and have done for over 8 years. I ride my horse usually twice a week, and play golf at least once a week, weather permitting. Is this a sign of my body just ageing?

Dr Elizabeth Farrell


The shrinkage may be related to the weight loss and loss of some of the fatty tissue that lies in and around the vulva.

Your GP may be able to check that there is no other cause for this shrinkage. Shrinkage can occur in some skin conditions of the vulva, such as lichen sclerosis. In lichen sclerosis most women experience associated itching or irritation, but in some women they have no symptoms.