Pelvic pain is mostly a reproductive-age women’s problem, involving 15% to 20% of women aged 18 to 50, although it can also afflict peri- and postmenopausal women. Even though the aetiology of persistent pelvic pain is unknown, it is characterised as discomfort in the pelvis, front of the abdomen, lower back, or buttocks that is severe enough to induce impairment or necessitate medical attention. Can Vulvodynia Cause Pelvic Pain, the best approach to deal with it is a point of contention. Chronic pelvic discomfort is of relevance because it frequently causes pain or pressure during sexual activity.
What Is Pelvic Pain?
Pelvic pain is considered chronic when it persists for six months or more and does not respond to therapy. Pain in the pelvic region, vagina, and vulva can be caused by a variety of factors or have no obvious reason. You may have pain in your lower back and abdomen. Alternatively, you may simply have discomfort in your vaginal or vulva, the exterior part of the female genitalia. A faint aching or a strong throb might occur. There may be stinging, burning, and itching if the vulva is involved. Pelvic discomfort can sometimes be linked to internal scar tissue (adhesions) that occur after an accident or illness.
Vulvodynia is vulvar discomfort that lasts three months or more without a known reason. Any discomfort felt deep within the body during intercourse might be a sign of an underlying medical condition that needs to be investigated by a doctor. Pelvic inflammatory illness (typically caused by a sexually transmitted infection), endometriosis (a condition that is generally discovered before menopause), pelvic adhesions (mentioned above), bowel or bladder disease, and ovarian cysts are all possible causes of pelvic pain during sex.
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Symptoms of Vulvodynia in Chronic Pelvic Pain
Pelvic discomfort is notoriously difficult to treat. It’s a perplexing disease with seemingly unknown reasons that causes a lot of discomfort and interrupts your life in many circumstances. Pelvic discomfort can sometimes signal a disorder called vulvodynia.
The vulva is the female genital area’s exterior. Vulvodynia is a condition characterised by pain and other unpleasant sensations in the external genital region.
Here are several symptoms that your pelvic pain may be vulvodynia.
1. Certain activities worsen pain.
Women experiencing pelvic pains may have it on a regular basis or it may be intermittent and come and go. Irritation can arise in reaction to contact in some instances.
Some women realise that particular activities, such as sitting for long periods of time or having sexual intercourse, make their discomfort worse.
2. You have a lot of itching or burning
Symptoms of a yeast infection are undoubtedly familiar to you. It feels like the entire vaginal area, including the vulva, is on fire. Yeast infections, however, are distinguished by a thick, white discharge in addition to the stinging and burning symptoms. If you feel itching and burning but no discharge, it’s possible that you’re suffering with vulvodynia.
3. Sexual intercourse is unpleasant.
Many women suffer from sex-related pain or discomfort, which can be caused by a variety of circumstances. Yeast or bacterial infections, sexually transmitted illnesses, diabetes, or the genitourinary syndrome of menopause are all possible reasons of pain during sex.
Sex may be uncomfortable for you if you have vulvodynia, especially if your vulvar discomfort is near your vaginal entrance or clitoris. If you have discomfort during sex on a regular basis, it may cause automatic tightening of the pelvic floor muscles when penetration is attempted, making the agony worse.
4. Detergents and Perfumes Increase the itching.
When you have vulvodynia, fragrances and detergents might irritate your vulvar region even more. Scented tampons or pads, as well as scented undergarments, might aggravate your symptoms.
Switch to 100 percent cotton or unscented tampons and pads to avoid these irritations. Always wash cotton underwear with a scent-free, dye-free detergent. Douching disrupts the bacterial equilibrium in the vaginal and vulvar areas. Wearing underwear while sleeping helps your vulva to breathe without being pressed against it.
5. Stress intensifies your symptoms.
The vulvodynia agony isn’t entirely in your brain. However, many elements of human health, including vulvodynia, involve mind-body connection. Stress, like many other health problems, exacerbates your symptoms. You may try stress-relieving practices like yoga or meditation, or talk to a therapist about cognitive behavioural therapy.
What Should I Do If I Have Vulvodynia?
Yes. There are various options for reducing pain and discomfort:
- Chronic pain can be controlled with antihistamines, steroids, anticonvulsants, and antidepressants.
- Numbing creams or ointments having a local anaesthetic given before starting sexual intercourse may provide temporary relief, but they may also cause your partner to feel numb when they come into touch with these creams.
- Biofeedback treatment can help you relax, which can reduce your pain. It is possible to learn how to manage your body’s reactions to vulvodynia symptoms. When the human body anticipates pain, it contracts involuntarily to prevent it, generating the same agony it is attempting to avoid. This discomfort becomes persistent over time. This vicious spiral can be broken by biofeedback, which allows the pelvic muscles to relax and reduce the natural tension and pain.
- Injections of nerve blocks can help with persistent pain.
- Pelvic floor treatment helps to relieve pelvic floor muscular stress. These muscles support the bladder, uterus, and colon, and their relaxation can help with vulvodynia.
Many women find that removing the tissue and skin damaged by vulvodynia or vestibulodynia (vestibulectomy) relieves their discomfort.