Unexplained Vaginal Pain: Vulvodynia symptoms, treatment, and tips

Vulvodynia refers to chronic pain of the vulva that lasts at least three months. This vaginal pain does not have a clear cause, such as infection or cancer. It can also make some activities, such as sitting for long periods or sexual intercourse, unbearable. Keep reading to learn more about this type of disorder and how you can practice self-care while experiencing discomfort.

What is the vulva?

The vulva is external female genitalia. It includes the labia (the folds of skin at the opening of the vagina), the clitoris, and the vaginal opening. The vulva protects the woman’s sexual organs, vestibule, vagina, and urinary opening.

What type of discomfort do you experience with vulvodynia?

Vulvodynia is described as stinging, burning, irritation, or rawness of the vulva. However, it can be described in more detail or more specific, depending on the individual. For instance, it could be a generalized pain or discomfort felt over the entire area, or it may be felt only in one place on the vulva. Several acts may trigger vulva pain, such as using a tampon, having sex, having an exam, or wearing tight-fitting pants.

“While you’re in pain, it’s important to keep on living your life the best you can. You should talk about your condition with close friends, family and your partner, give yourself enough time to relax, think positively, and keep a pain diary. I really hope that you will feel better soon.”

What are the causes and treatments of vulvodynia?

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Knowledge of the causes of vulvodynia is limited. While the specific cause is unknown, suspected causes range from inflammation to hormonal factors to genetic problems. Other risk factors include anxiety, depression, PTSD, and a history of abuse. No single treatment is appropriate for all vulvodynia cases. It may take time to alleviate vulvar pain and finding what works for you and your discomfort. Current treatments include:

  • Discontinuation of irritants
  • Nerve blocks
  • Pelvic floor muscle therapy
  • Surgery
  • Oral “pain-blocking” medications

Self-care is also incredibly important in vulvodynia cases. You’ll want to ensure that your hygiene and activities can help your body heal. Here are some tips to help:

  • Wear loose-fitting pants and skirts
  • Remove wet bathing suits and exercise clothes prompting
  • Do not use fabric softener on undergarments
  • Use soft, white, unscented toilet paper
  • Urinate before the bladder is full
  • Use 100% cotton menstrual pads and tampons
  • Wash the vulva with cool to lukewarm water only (avoid any soaps or scented products)
  • Urinate after sexual intercourse
  • Use water-based lubricants
  • Do not use contraceptive creams or spermicides
  • Avoid exercises that put direct pressure on the vulva
  • Avoid the use of hot tubs
  • Use a foam rubber donut for long periods of sitting.

Final thoughts

Although vulvodynia has many unknowns surrounding it, don’t give up trying to communicate to your physician your symptoms if you’re experiencing any. Vulvodynia can potentially impact a woman’s sexual relationships and emotional well-being. Reach out to your healthcare provider, and don’t hesitate to see a psychologist or couple’s therapist if it’s impacting your relationship. Several combinations and forms of treatment exist that could work for you and your goals of living a pain-free life. Support groups and communities of other women sharing your story could be a great place to start for guidance.


About Vulvodynia. (n.d.). Retrieved May 2, 2020, from https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/vulvodynia/conditioninfo

Self-Help Tips. (n.d.). Retrieved May 2, 2020, from https://www.nva.org/for-patients/self-help-tips/

Vulvodynia Treatments. (n.d.). Retrieved May 2, 2020, from https://www.nva.org/what-is-vulvodynia/treatment/

Vulvodynia; Causes, Symptoms, Management & Treatment. (n.d.). Retrieved May 2, 2020, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17878-vulvodynia

There are no comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Start typing and press Enter to search

Shopping Cart