Vulvodynia Symptoms and Treatment
What Is Vulvodynia?
Vulvodynia is a chronic severe discomfort in a woman’s vulva’s. This has no known cause and it is not yet recognized as disease and even now, this still has no diagnosis. As it is, there is not much information about vulvodynia. Researchers are still studying it to develop a proper treatment.
Women in their early teens can develop vulvodynia. As there is not much information about this, there is no way of knowing how far-spreading this disease is but there is an estimation of about over six million women suffering from this condition.
Suffering this disease has a big effect on a woman’s life. This will make her unable to enjoy intercourse which will affect her social life or work.
The vulvodynia symptoms sometimes might go unnoticed until suffered for months, some even a year, before rapidly developing into the disease. The initial sign of this sickness is that there will be rawness, soreness in the vulva and it would probably be uncomfortably itchy. The vulva is swollen and it would throb, burn and hurt so much. This is like being stabbed by a knife or being skin burned by an acid.
What confuses the doctors more is the fact that not all women who have vulvodynia share the same vulvodynia symptoms. Some feel lesser pain than the others. Some don’t feel pain at all unless they have an intercourse or doing some sexual activities. Some women feel discomfort in an area of the vulva, while some feel the pain in the whole area.
As aforementioned, vulvodynia’s cause is still unknown so these are theoretical causes of vulvodynia. Some studies showed that a nerve injury might trigger this disease or an infection that causes a particular reaction from vulvar cells. Genetic factors are also considered as one of its cause. Yeast infection in women might cause hypersensitivity reactions. Of course, no researcher would rule out chemical reactions nowadays.
As always, if something cannot be explained, it might be hormonal imbalance. A history of being sexually abused is also looked upon as a cause as well as muscle spasms and the frequency of taking antibiotics. What the researchers ruled out is vulvodynia as a kind of STD (sexual transmitted disease).
There is nothing yet that the doctor can prescribe as a cure. The best thing a woman could have is a vulvodynia treatment that will give a respite to the soreness in her vulva. The treatments will not give the same result to all woman and that is why a woman suffering from vulvodynia must recognize what vulvodynia treatment suits her well.
It is important that a woman learns for herself what best course of action she should take. She may try all the recommendations or mixture of the treatments until she will be able to know what is the best way to have the relief she needs. She must record everything during the treatment process in order to know which treatment worked and which didn’t.
Here are some few things women can do to improve the symptoms of vulvodynia.
1. Don’t irritate the vulva. Avoid chemicals as much as possible, like those found in shampoos, soaps and medications. Use something that is prescribed by doctors. Be careful in the detergent used to wash your panties. No fragrance for toilet papers. Use cotton not only for your underwear but for your tampons or pads as well. Do not shampoo anywhere near in the vulvar surrounding area and no contraceptive creams. Never swim in pools with chlorine and rinse with water after an intercourse or urination. Do not eat food that makes the vulva get irritated like berries or chocolate and nuts. Wear loose pants or skirts and most importantly, keep the vulva dry and clean.
2. Take the pressure off from the vulva. There should be no activities that put pressure in that area like riding a bicycle of a motorcycle. Sit on a soft chair or foam.
Important To Know
Many woman might confuse vulvodynia with vaginismus and vice verse. One of the ways to differentiate between and vulvodynia and vaginismus is to notice that the pain is not always present solely with sexual intercourse or vaginal penetration (vaginismus ) but typically also occurs during everyday activities (vulvodynia).