What is Vulvodynia?
Vulvodynia is defined as chronic pain in the vulva. Many women who suffer from vulvodynia also have a syndrome known as vulvar vestibulitis, which is pain in specific points of the area surrounding the entrance to the vagina.
Vulvodynia is not a disease, but rather a condition. The basic types of vulvodynia include:
- Generalized vulvodynia: pain may occur in more than one area and can be a constant, steady pain or it may ebb and flow.
- Vulvar vestibulitis: pain is localized to the area surrounding the entrance to the vagina and occurs when touch or pressure is applied.
The causes of vulvodynia are not entirely known, but contributing factors include:
- Injury to vulvar nerves
- Infection or trauma to the vulva
- Yeast infections
- Muscle spasms in the pelvic area
There is no cure for vulvodynia; however, there are many ways to treat it, including:
- Local anesthetics
- Nerve blocks
- Topical creams
- Discontinuation of topical substances that can cause irritation
- Pelvic floor therapy
- Changes in diet