Vulvodynia is a serious concern for many women. The chronic condition causes pain and discomfort near the vulva, and unfortunately, there is often no specific cause. Vulvodynia can last for a long time, and the pain can lead to some serious sexual concerns for women.
Vulvodynia is a form of sexual dysfunction. Do you suspect you have vulvodynia? Read on to learn more about the condition and how you might be able to seek treatment for this issue.
What Is Vulvodynia?
This condition is highly mysterious, and many women do not even realize that they have the condition. Possible causes of vulvodynia include previous vaginal infections, irritation to the nerves in the area, hormonal issues, sensitive skin, allergic reactions, and pelvic floor weakness.
What Are the Symptoms of Vulvodynia?
The symptoms of vulvodynia include soreness in the vulva, intense burning, raw skin surrounding the vulva, a throbbing feeling in the area, itching, and pain when having sexual intercourse. Some people only experience these symptoms when the area is touched or stimulated, and some people experience these symptoms all the time or at random.
Additionally, the symptoms of the condition can be localized or general to the area. For many women, the pain only appears during sexual intercourse, health exams, sitting for long periods of time, tampon insertion, and wearing tight pants. In some cases, the pain is centered on the clitoris instead of near the opening to the vagina. Targeting the location of the pain can be helpful for telling your doctor about your symptoms.
What Treatments Are Available for Vulvodynia?
Some women swear by creams and over-the-counter medications that ease sensitivity and pain, but it is always a good idea to speak to a medical professional before using these items.
One way some women treat vulvodynia is through pelvic floor strengthening. Some exercises, including yoga poses, can help you build strength in your pelvic floor. The pain you experience there may decrease as a result.
Some issues can actually complicate vulvodynia, and it may be necessary to treat these issues at the same time to actually see results. These issues include depression, anxiety, sleep issues, body image, self-esteem, relationship issues, and other types of sexual dysfunction (including vaginismus).
What Should You Do If You Have Vulvodynia?
If you believe you have vulvodynia, it is important to talk to a professional. An OBGYN may be able to help you find ways to comfort and soothe your symptoms. Make an appointment today with a sexual dysfunction service to make a plan for pain relief.