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Vulvodynia

Vulvodynia

WomanCare Clinic

Meriter WomanCare Clinic
20 S. Park Street, Suite 450
Madison, WI 53715
Telephone: (608) 417-5433 or 1-888-409-3852

UW Health - OB/GYN
20 S. Park Street, Suite 307
Madison, WI 53715
Telephone: (608) 287-2830

Definition

       
Vulvodynia is a condition involving chronic pain and discomfort to the vulva.

Symptoms that indicate a woman has Vulvodynia include vulvar:

  • Burning
  • Stinging
  • Irritation
  • Rawness
  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Aching
  • Soreness
  • Swelling

Symtoms also may occur after physical contact with the vulva, such as tampon insertion, intercourse, or wearing tight-fitting underwear. Symptoms also may be felt during exercise or after urination.

Common Causes of Vulva Problems:

  • Infections
  • Spasms of the muscles that support the pelvic organs
  • Allergies to certain chemicals or substances
  • Hormonal changes
  • Damage or irritation of the nerves in the vulva
  • Skin Disease

What is Vulvodynia?

         
Vulvodynia is known as chronic vulvar pain. The pain may be constant or intermittent, localized or diffuse. Vulvodynia can affect a woman at any age.


Sexual intercourse is usually not an option for women suffering from vulvodyina. If intercourse is possible, it is often not physically enjoyable. This can cause a strain on both partners. Women should ask their doctor about the multiple treatment options for patients who have vulvodynia. The patient’s doctor will recommend the type of treatment that best fits the patient’s needs.

The two most common types of vulvodynia are:

       
Vulvar Vestibulitis Syndrome The pain is localized and felt only in the opening of the vagina. It occurs when pressure is applied to the area during sexual intercourse and tampon insertion.


Generalized Vulvodynia The pain is generalized and can be felt in the entire vulva area. Pain is relatively constant, but there may be occasional periods of relief. Pressure on the vulva is typically what triggers the pain.