About Us

About the Center for Vaginal Health

The Center for Vaginal Health (CVH) was created to help women overcome chronic vaginal conditions. Ryan Sobel, M.D., an obstetrician/gynecologist and founder of the center, is a specialist in the treatment of vaginitis.

At present, the CVH is one of only a half-dozen or so centers nationwide dedicated to the treatment of vaginal disorders.

Current medical training emphasizes the most common kinds of vaginal infections, and family practice physicians and gynecologists usually do a good job recognizing and treating them. But not all vaginal symptoms are caused by infections. In fact, fewer than half the women referred to vaginitis specialists actually have an infection.

More often, their symptoms come from other inflammatory processes or even from common allergies. These other conditions often go undiagnosed, and women who have them, despite having seen numerous physicians, continue to endure discomfort and disruption to their lives.

Successful treatment depends upon a proper diagnosis. By using the knowledge and techniques common to specialists in infectious diseases, pathology, dermatology, and gynecological expertise, vaginitis specialists are able to identify the specific cause of a vaginal condition. The CVH implements diagnostic testing not available to primary care practitioners and gynecologists, and uses a variety of diagnostic algorithms to more accurately pinpoint the cause of vulvovaginal symptoms. Once a cause is determined, the appropriate treatment is prescribed.

As a result of their multidisciplinary approach, vaginitis specialists have great success in controlling and curing chronic vaginal conditions.

Practitioners from all the disciplines relevant to curing these disorders have been sharing information since 1970, when the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD) was formed. The North American chapter of the ISSVD was established only in 2009, reflecting that a specialization in vaginitis is an emerging field in the U.S. Dr. Sobel recognizes the need for such a center, and the CVH, with offices in Center City and South Philadelphia, fills a significant gap in the delivery of women's health care in the Philadelphia area.

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"At present, the CVH is one of only a half-dozen or so centers nationwide dedicated to the streatment of vaginal disorders."