If you are experiencing pain down there, don’t be afraid to seek help from your healthcare provider.
Women sometimes don’t feel comfortable discussing intimate health topics with others. One of those topics could be a condition known as vulvodynia. There is not much known about the cause of vulvodynia but those women that it affects may struggle to carry out everyday life activities. Read on to learn more about what vulvodynia is.
What is Vulvodynia?
Vulvodynia is chronic pain of the vulva, which is the outer part of the female genitalia, including the labia, clitoris, urethra, and vaginal opening. The pain is considered chronic if it has lasted three months or longer and it is usually described as a burning, stinging, irritation, or rawness.
What is the Cause of Vulvodynia?
Healthcare professionals are not exactly sure what causes vulvodynia. They believe it could have to do with one or several of the following factors:
- Nerve damage
- Unusual response to environmental factors
- Hormonal expression
- Weakness or spasms of the pelvic floor muscles
What Does Vulvodynia Feel Like?
The main symptom of vulvodynia is pain, but the sensation of that pain is different for everyone. The pain of vulvodynia has been described as burning, stinging, irritation, rawness, itching, aching, soreness, and throbbing. The pain could be constant, intermittent, or triggered by something such as sex, exercise, or inserting a tampon.
What is the Treatment for Vulvodynia?
The treatment for vulvodynia will depend on medical history, the type of pain you are having, and preferences. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider. Before diagnosing vulvodynia, your healthcare provider will want to rule out any other causes of pain down there such as infection. Treatment options for vulvodynia include:
- Topical medications
- Oral medications
- Physical therapy
- Biofeedback therapy
- Changes in diet
If you are experiencing pain down there, reach out to make an appointment with your healthcare provider. Don’t be ashamed to talk about intimate health topics with your healthcare provider, they are there to help and will honor your privacy.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Vulvodynia. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Retrieved February 8, 2023