Conditions Treated

Dr. Katherine Williams at the Southern Institute for Women’s Sexual Health is an expert at diagnosing and treating vulvar and pelvic discomfort. Some of the diseases she treats are:

Common Diseases Treated

  • Vulvodynia – Chronic vulvar pain or pain of the labia
  • Vulvar Vestibulitis (or Vestibulodynia) – Constant severe pain of the vulva
  • Provoked Vestibulodynia (PVD) – Severe pain of the vaginal entry during penetration
  • Lichen Sclerosus – Thin patchy white skin around the vulva that may result in severe scarring
  • Lichen Planus – Skin disorder that causes pain, burning, and itching; results in vaginal narrowing making intercourse painful
  • Lichen Simplex Chronicus – Itchy skin disorder often misdiagnosed as yeast infection that leads to thick brownish leathery skin
  • Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (or Vaginismus or Levator Ani Syndrome) – Dysfunction of the layers of muscles that involve the bladder, bowel, and uterus
  • Interstitial Cystitis – Recurring pain and pressure in the bladder and surrounding pelvic region
  • Desquamative Inflammatory Vaginitis (DIV) – Inflamed vaginal lining with a greenish-yellow discharge and painful intercourse
  • Human Papilloma Virus Infection (HPV) – Genital warts that can become cancerous over time
  • Herpes and Postherpetic Neuralgia – Lingering nerve pain due to the herpes virus
  • Pudendal Neuralgia – Pain in the genitals or anal-rectal area caused by the pudendal nerve that runs through the pelvic region
  • Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD) – Spontaneous, unrelenting genital arousal with or without orgasm
  • Plasma Cell Vulvitis – Very rare chronic bright-red mucosal lesions of the area just outside of the vagina
  • Aphthous Ulcers/Behcet’s Disease – Recurrent painful ulcers on the area just outside of the vagina that are non-sexually acquired
  • Pruritus Vulvae – Itching of the area just outside of the vagina
  • Pruritus Ani – Itching of the anal opening; anal itching; anal pruritus
  • Vulvar Granuloma Fissuratum – Recurrent tearing of the area just outside of the vagina

Common Symptoms Treated

While there are countless symptoms unique to many women, below are some of the symptoms frequently reported by SIWSH patients.

  • Sexual Pain – Pain that occurs just before, during, or after sexual intercourse
  • Dryness – Lack of vaginal moisture can occur at any age, frequently with menopause
  • Anal Itching – Itching of the anal opening, also called anal pruritus or pruritus ani
  • Scar Tissue – Fibrous tissue that replaces normal tissue after an injury such as a vulvar tear
  • Sexual Dysfunction in Cancer Survivors – Might include pain with intercourse, low libido, vaginal dryness, damaged vaginal skin
  • Decreased Libido – Lack of sexual desire; might be affected by biological, psychological, and social factors
  • Vulvar Itching – Itching in the area just outside the vagina
  • Recurrent Tearing of the Vulva – Tearing of the inner or outer labia
  • Chronic Pelvic Pain – Persistent pain in the area below the belly button and out to the hips
  • Clitoral Pain – Very localized, aching pain of the clitoris; cause might be metabolic, traumatic, or unknown
  • Persistent Genital Arousal – Spontaneous, unrelenting genital arousal
  • Complications from Herpes – Includes bladder problems and rectal inflammation
  • Abnormal Growth of the Vulva – Skin growth on the outside genitalia
  • Recurrent Vaginal or Yeast Infections – Experiencing three or more infections in a year
  • Pelvic Floor Dysfunction – Can cause disturbance of urination and bowel movements, pain or pressure in the vagina or rectum, radiating leg pain, etc.
  • Decreased Arousal or Decreased Orgasm – Lack of a response to sexual stimulation due to physical or emotional factors
  • Incontinence – Inability to control the flow of urine


Information Request

Prospective patients can request more information about SIWSH using our New Patient Information Request Form.