Vulvodynia is basically a chronic disease which has no known causes for the moment. It is characterized by pain in the area around the opening of the vulva (vagina). The pain or irritation in this particular area is usually located at a single point or at multiple points which could cause great difficulties while sitting or having sexual intercourse. Vulvodynia symptoms can make you feel uncomfortable for months or years. One of the reasons that the number of women suffering from vulvodynia is increasing is due to the fact that they are too shy to discuss it with their doctor.
Signs and Symptoms of Vulvodynia
There are various vulvodynia symptoms and signs. One of the commonly known symptoms is pain around your vulva which can be in different forms like burning, soreness, rawness or itchiness. The issue with the pain is that it could be occasional or even constant and it can go on for years. Don’t underestimate this kind of pain and consult your doctor if you notice anything strange into your genital area. There is nothing to be embarrassed. You also need to take care of the fact that the pain may be at a single point or around the whole vulvar area. Your vulva would look almost normal even if you are suffering from this disease. Sometimes a swelling in the area is noticed (Read more: Swollen Vaginal Area).
Yes, definitely the moment you feel constant or occasional pain in the vulvar region you should go and see a gynecologist because there are treatments available to relieve the pain. The doctor can find out few reasons like the problem with your skin, bacterial infections or any yeast infection of the genital area, etc. First, the doctor needs to diagnose the underlying cause of vulvodynia so he/she could suggest a treatment option for you.
There are few generally known causes like a vaginal yeast infection. Sexual abuse can also be one of the reasons behind this disease. Nothing hasn’t been confirmed yet, as the reason of vulvodynia. You should know that this is not a transmitted sexual disease and it is definitely not a form of cancer so you must not be afraid (Read also: STDs Prevention). Instead, you should go and consult a doctor.
How to Fight Vulvodynia Symptoms?
As this is one of the diseases that refrain you from having normal sexual contact with another person or even sit for a long period of time it can be really discomforting. When the discomforts last for months and even years it can be extremely disappointing and depressing for the affected person. Vulvodynia symptoms can lead to depression, anxiety and could cause many relationship problems. You can only fight it by talking about your problem with your doctor, getting an appointment and a detailed gynecological examination. Once diagnosed with vulvodynia, especially once when the cause of vulvodynia is determined, your doctor will suggest you a treatment plan so you can get rid of this uncomfortable feeling and continue to enjoy your daily life activities and your sexual life just as you did before. The only way to cure it is by starting the treatment as soon as possible.
What Are the Treatments for Vulvodynia?
Once diagnosed with vulvodynia, the treatment aims to relieve its signs and symptoms. The treatment options depend from the underlying cause of vulovdynia and from the respond of the affected women. No treatment will work for every woman. Some will have a relive of the signs and symptoms just with over the counter painkillers while others might need nerve blocking in the affected area and sometimes even surgery.
Treatment options of vulvodynia include:
- Medications – like pain-killers, steroids, anticonvulsants and even antidepressants are prescribed. Itchiness is reduced by antihistamines.
- Local anesthetics – like a lidocaine ointment is prescribed for relieving pain usually during sexual intercourse. Women will vulvodynia should apply the lidocaine about 30 minutes before having sexual intercourse in order to reduce the discomfort and pain.
- Nerve block – ongoing pain in the vulvar region sometimes requires a nerve blocking of the affected area. Local injections are administrated in order to relieve the pain and other vulvodynia symptoms and signs as much as possible.
- Pelvic floor therapy – which tends to relax the muscles of the pelvic floor are sometimes helpful when it comes to relieving the pain and other signs and symptoms of vulvodynia.
- Surgery – as always is the last treatment option, during which a vestibuleectomy is performed in order to relive the pain in some women. Vestibuleectomy includes a surgical removal of the affected skin and tissue.