Vulvodynia: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Vulvodynia is a chronic pain in the vulva. The vulva is the external part of a female genitalia that protects the internal genitals. The external female genitalia includes the perineum, clitoris, mons pubis, labia majora and minora.

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A number of factors can be responsible for vulva pain, but vulvodynia is connected to a hypersensitivity of the nerve endings in the skin.

Symptoms of Vulvodynia

Some symptoms of vulvodynia includes:

  • Itching, burning, stinging, irritating of the vulvar tissue
  • Throbbing, aching, and swelling
  • Pain may be localized on a particular spot or centralized
  • Discomfort may be felt in the urethra and the top of the legs and inner thighs.
  • Neuropathic pain (comes from abnormal signals from nerve fibers in the vulval area
  • Pain may be persistent or recurrent

Vestibulodynia, formerly called vestibulitis, involves a pain that is triggered by light touch, or provoked pain.

Symptoms may aggravate while sitting, walking, exercising or during/after sexual intercourse. It can occur when inserting a tampon, or during horseback riding. Vulvodynia is not deadly, but the pain can prevent a woman from carrying out normal daily activities.

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Causes of Vulvodynia

Vulvar pain can be triggered by some certain conditions such as:

  • Infections
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • neurological disorders
  • neoplasms, such as squamous cell carcinoma.

The exact cause of vulvodynia exact cause is unknown. It is not caused by a sexually transmitted diseases, cancer, or skin disease, although these can also cause pain.

Factors that may raise the risk of vulvodynia include:

  • Damage of the vulva nerves
  • A high density in the vulval area
  • High levels of inflammatory substances in the vulval area, for example, because of inflammation
  • genetic susceptibility
  • pelvic floor muscles are weak or unsteady
  • unusual reaction to infection, trauma, or another environmental factor
  • changes triggered by hormones

Other factors that can cause vulvodynia include:

Provoked vestibulodynia could result from:

  • gynecologic exam or screening
  • sexual intercourse
  • inserting tampon
  • prolonged sitting
  • wearing tight underclothes or pants
  • activities such as cycling or horseback riding

Most times, vulvodynia can be mixed up with other vulvovaginal problems like vaginismus (chronic tension or spasm of the muscles of the vulva).


Vulvodynia can cause problems in relationship because it makes sexual intercourse to be painful..

Some women who have vulvodynia can have a normal pregnancy, and pain levels fall during pregnancy, according to studies. However, women with the condition are more likely to give birth through cesarean delivery.

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The objective of treatment is to relieve painful symptoms. Since the cause is unknown, finding a solution that works may be problematic.

  • Medications to block pain may include, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
  • Other solutions include lotions, creams, lotions, and anesthetic gel for applying to the vulval area.
  • Topical hormone creams prescribed by a doctor and containing estrogen and testosterone can also be applied.
  • Surgery to remove the painful tissue may be appropriate if no other method works.

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Home remedies

Some home remedies that do not involve medications can be taken.

  • You have to stop using irritants, such as perfumed soaps.
  • A change in menstrual products like switching from synthetic to cotton-based items may help.
  • Cool gel packs may offer instant, short-term pain relief.
  • Pelvic floor muscle exercises may help relax tissues in the pelvic floor and releasing tension in muscles and joints.
  • Another option that is being explored is acupuncture and cognitive behavior therapy.


A change in diet may help relieve symptoms. Items that commonly trigger a reaction include:

  • sugary foods
  • caffeine
  • acidic foods
  • processed foods

Source: medicalnewstoday

Article source: healthjade



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