Vulvar Disorders

Vulvodynia is the term used for chronic pain in the vulva. Pain in specific points of the area surrounding the entrance to the vagina is vulvar vestibulitis. Both conditions have a profound impact on a woman's quality of life. It can affect sexual activity, daily functions such as sitting at a desk, exercising and physical activities.

These limitations can cause depression and negative self-esteem, leading to isolation and withdrawal.

The exact cause and the exact cure has not been found. As a result, many kinds of treatments have been tried. The most effective is a combination of treatments depending on your specific symptoms.

  • Antibiotics - if a bacterial infection is indicated
  • Hormone treatment - to raise or lower a hormone level
  • Physical therapy - pelvic floor muscle relaxation and retraining
  • Anti-depressant - to raise the dopamine level that controls pain perception
  • Anti-inflammatory - to reduce swelling, possibly breaking the pain cycle
  • Pain medication - for chronic, disabling pain
  • Diet - eliminate foods known to cause irritation and add foods that have healing indications
  • Nutritional supplements - some reduce itching and inflammation
  • Counseling - stress management, pain control, and personal problems
  • Keeping a diary of your symptoms and pain will help your provider determine which treatment plan would be best for you

Remember, you are the most important part of your care. Being flexible and open-minded will help you achieve pain relief and ultimately get you back to enjoying life.

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