It is a common health condition in women that causes unexpected pain around the region of your vagina or vulva . Many women experience vulvodynia in some parts of their lives. The condition of vulvodynia may last up to 3 months or sometimes even for a longer period. Do not let embarrassment and taboo get in the way of seeking medical help. Vulvodynia is common in women who are between 20 to 40 years old.
What is Vulvodynia?
Vulvodynia is a sudden pain and burning sensation and discomfort around the opening of your vagina, i.e., vulva. Burning, throbbing pain is often associated with vulvodynia.
The exact cause of vulvodynia is unknown.
What are the symptoms of Vulvodynia?
Here are some common symptoms of vulvodynia:
- Burning sensation
- Pain near opening of the vagina
- Stinging feeling
- Throbbing pain
- Soreness around vulva
- Chronic pain
- Painful intercourse
- Increased sensitivity
You may experience persistent pain or an occasional one. The pain may be located at a certain spot or can have a generic location.
What causes Vulvodynia?
The exact cause of vulvodynia is not known yet. However, it is believed that certain things may be responsible for causing vulvodynia:
- Injury to private parts
- Irritation in the affected area
- Sitting for longer hours
- Wrong insertion of tampons
- Use of fitted clothes
- Pressure due to sexual intercourse
- Muscle weakness or spasm in the pelvic floor that supports the uterus, bladder and bowel
- Hormonal imbalance
When to see a doctor?
If you experience discomfort and chronic pain in your vulvar region, get in touch with your doctor .
Do not ignore the signs and symptoms of vulvar pain and irritation. It may indicate bacterial infections, skin conditions, diabetes, or other hormonal health issues requiring urgent care.
A doctor may ask you about your signs and symptoms, duration, and other health conditions.
What are the health complications for Vulvodynia?
Untreated vulvodynia may cause numerous complications such as,
- Fear of having an intercourse
- Sexual dysfunction
- Change in body image
- Problems in your relationships
How to deal with vulvodynia?
Dealing with vulvodynia needs some positive changes in your lifestyle. Here are some things you can do to deal with vulvodynia and increase your quality of life,
- Avoid using synthetic fabrics. Wear loose-fitting clothes made up of cotton.
- Avoid frequent douching. Minimize the use of scented soaps, liquid washes, or perfumes around your vulvar area.
- Do not use harsh chemicals to clean your vagina.
- Apply cold compresses to your vagina if you experience burning or soreness
- Use petroleum jelly before jumping into a pool.
- Find a comfortable sex position instead of completely giving up on sex.
- Use a cushion if you are going to sit for a longer duration.
- Maintain hygiene to avoid any infections
- Do not self-medicate during fungal or bacterial infection. See a doctor.
- Massaging can help reduce stress and promote good health for your muscles.
- Use lubricant to deal with dryness during sexual intercourse.
- Avoid hot tubs.
What is the best treatment for vulvodynia?
Vulvodynia may need a multi-disciplinary approach for treatment. An exact cause of this health condition is not known; therefore, managing symptoms may relieve pain in most cases.
- Pain relief medications: Your doctor may prescribe pain relief medications to manage the symptoms. In most cases, pain medication can work well.
- Pelvic Floor strengthening therapy: Weak pelvic floor often causes pain. Exercises to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor can help in long-term symptom management of vulvodynia.
- Biofeedback: It is an effective therapy to relax your muscles. Biofeedback can train your body to control your responses.
- Nerve block injections: Use of nerve block injections may work as an effective option for pain that does not respond to other therapies.
- Surgery: In certain cases, a doctor may recommend surgery options to deal with affected skin. You may find great relief in this condition after surgery.
- OTC creams: For pain management, a doctor may prescribe lidocaine ointment. It is recommended to apply it 30 minutes before the intercourse.
Vulvodynia can be chronic and may affect your quality of life. Therefore, it is important to get treated to manage your symptoms. Use relaxation techniques, CBT to deal with vulvodynia.
With some lifestyle changes, you can manage the symptoms of vulvodynia.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is it okay to exercise during an episode of vulvodynia?
Regular exercising can help with vulvodynia. Certain exercises and muscle relaxation techniques can strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor.
Does Vulvodynia go on its own?
In many cases, vulvodynia goes on its own without the need for any treatment.
However, symptoms of vulvodynia may last up to three months.
Can low estrogen lead to vulvodynia?
Low levels of estrogen in your body may cause vulvodynia. In addition, hormonal imbalance is often linked with vulvar pain.