Vulvodynia is a persistent pain disease that affects a woman’s vulva, or vaginal opening, and lasts three months or more. This discomfort can be excruciating and has been characterized as burning, stinging, and scorching. Vulvodynia frequently arises without obvious cause or rationale. The most common symptoms of vulvodynia is continuous discomfort in the external genitalia, as well as redness, rawness, burning, and itching.
It can afflict women of any age, while it is more frequent in women under the age of 35, and it is not associated with any race or ethnicity. Vulvodynia can have a significant influence on a woman’s quality of life, making sexual intercourse, typical physical exercise, or simply sitting for extended periods of time unpleasant.It can affect women of any age, although it is more common in women under the age of 35, and it is unrelated to race or ethnicity.
Vulvodynia can have a significant influence on a woman’s quality of life, making sexual intercourse, typical physical activity, or simply sitting for long periods of time painful. Persistent discomfort in the external genitalia is the most common vulvodynia symptom.
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What to look out for
The following are some of the most prevalent symptoms of vulvodynia:
Sign 1: Pain
Vulvodynia is characterized by pain in one or more areas of the vulva. The intensity of your pain might range from intense to dull, and it can be light, moderate, or severe. Your pain may come and go or be pretty consistent; it may occur in reaction to certain events or arrive for no apparent reason.
Inserting a tampon, getting an internal exam, or vaginal penetration during sex are all common discomfort causes.
Sign 2: Itching, burning, or stinging
Vulvodynia can cause itching, burning, and stinging, among other symptoms. They might occur on their own or in response to certain conditions or triggers.
Sign 3: Discomfort while sitting
Long durations of sitting can be quite unpleasant for women who have vulvodynia. Wearing tight jeans or using a tampon or pad during your period may make the pain greater.
Sign 4: Pain during sex
Irritation, burning, itching, and other symptoms of vulvodynia might make it difficult to engage in sexual activity.
Sign 5: Discomfort with clitoral stimulation
Increased blood flow generated by sexual stimulation of your clitoris or orgasm may cause pain or other discomforts in your clitoros or surrounding tissue.
What does vulvodynia look like?
Vulvodynia might appear as nothing at all or as swelling and redness. Vulvodynia can manifest itself visually in a variety of ways.Vulvodynia does not have a single cause. It might be triggered by a variety of events and irritants. You should be able to treat the underlying problem if you can determine which trigger pertains to you.
Vulvodynia affects at least 3 percent to 7 percent of women. According to a 2012 research, just around 1% of women with vulvodynia have been identified – partly owing to women not seeking care, partly due to clinicians misdiagnosing.
Is vulvodynia contagious?
No, vulvodynia is not contagious. It is not a sexually transmitted illness, however it can happen during or after sexual contact due to genital pressure.
TYPES of Vulvodynia
Vulvodynia can appear in a variety of ways. Among these are:
- Localized vulvodynia: Pain is restricted to a specific spot in the vulvar region in patients with localized vulvodynia. Vestibulodynia, or pain of the vestibular tissues near the vaginal entrance, and clitirodynia, or pain of the clitoris, are both included.
- PVD (provoked vestibulodynia): PVD is induced by pressure on the vestibule, such as during sexual intercourse, tampon implantation, or a medical checkup. Primary PVD occurs when discomfort occurs at the initial attempt to access the vestibule. Secondary PVD occurs when the discomfort builds gradually over time.
- Generalized vulvodynia:Generalized vulvodynia causes discomfort across the vulvar area, with brief moments of respite.
What are some therapies for vulvodynia? Treatment for vulvodynia is primarily determined by the underlying cause of the vulvar discomfort. However, various therapy approaches for vulvodynia have been demonstrated:
- Topical medications: To treat vulvodynia, creams or ointments containing anesthetics (e.g., lidocaine), antibiotics, or nerve-stabilizing drugs can be applied to the vaginal region. These can be used immediately before intercourse. (Always consult your doctor before using OTC ointments for yeast infections.)
- Oral medications: To treat vulvodynia, your doctor may give tricyclic antidepressants or anticonvulsants.
- Nerve block: AA nerve block is a medical injection that prevents pain signals from reaching the brain. If various therapies have failed to relieve long-term vulvar discomfort, women may benefit from local nerve blocking injections.
- Physical therapy: Physical therapy is widely used to treat vulvodynia, either to strengthen pelvic floor muscles or to do myofascial release. Many vulvodynia patients have tension in their pelvic floor muscles, thus exercises to relax those muscles may aid with vulvar pain alleviation. Biofeedback may be used by a physical therapist to enhance results.
- Counseling:Because vulvodynia can influence body image, sexual relationships, self-confidence, and quality of life, your doctor may prescribe therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy may also be included or recommended by a counselor.
- Surgery: A vestibulectomy can remove vestibular tissue in situations of localized vulvodynia and vestibulodynia. Vulvar discomfort has been demonstrated to be relieved by this surgical technique. Surgery is usually reserved as a last option.
How can you get rid of vulvodynia? The following natural therapy techniques and lifestyle adjustments may help relieve vulvodynia pain:
- Reduce your everyday stress levels. Stress, like other medical disorders, is a major risk factor.
- Diet anti-inflammatory
- Avoid wearing clothing that is overly tight or pantyhose.
- Use no deodorant tampons or pads. Deodorant is a typical source of irritation.
- Replace your tampons with organic cotton tampons.
- Wear 100% cotton underwear, preferably organic. Nylon is a frequent allergen.
- Try sleeping without your underpants on one night.
- Maintain a regular sleeping routine.
- Consider taking a chasteberry supplement, which can aid with estrogen regulation.
- Hormonal fluctuations are a risk factor for vulvodynia.
- Discuss adjusting your HRT regimen with your doctor. If you are perimenopausal or postmenopausal, hormone replacement treatment and low hormone levels might cause vulvodynia.
- Use cold compresses or gel packs to relieve pain. To relieve discomfort and irritation, apply them immediately to your external genital region. Don’t put too much strain on.
- Lubricants having a taste, alcohol, or a cooling/warming feeling should not be used during sex.
- If possible, avoid sitting for lengthy periods of time. Sit on a foam donut cushion to relieve strain on the vulva.
- Avoid activities that put pressure on the vulva, such as biking or horseback riding.
- Contraceptive creams, which may be irritating, should be avoided.
- Do not dry your genital region with a hairdryer.
- Wash the affected area carefully with warm, not cold, water.
- Use no soap in the genital region. Don’t be a douche, either.
- Sit in clean, lukewarm or cold water with magnesium sulfate bath salts for 5-10 minutes 2-3 times each day.
- Avoid using hot tubs and taking hot baths. A common irritation is hot water.
- Seek therapy for IBS if you have it. Vulvodynia is commonly associated with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).