What is Vulvodynia?
Many women experience discomfort and pain in their outer genital area (vulva), without any apparent reason. When this health condition persists for a duration of 3 months, it’s called Vulvodynia. Unfortunately, up till now, the exact cause of it is still unknown. However, it is considered as one of the reasons of indulging in painful intercourse, in women. Scientists and researchers are looking for ways to uncover its root cause and find and offer, the best possible medical treatments.
Vulvodynia or Vulvar pain types
Vulvodynia can be of four major types:
1. Generalized Vulvodynia
In generalized Vulvodynia, the patient feels pain which starts normally across different parts of the vulva. This type of vulvodynia occurs once in a while and can last for a month, at max.
2. Localized Vulvodynia
Localized vulvodynia is observed when a central area of the Vulva and its immediate surroundings experience extreme pain. It produces a burning sensation as a result of constant touch or pressure exerted after prolonged sitting or during sex.
3. Cyclic Vulvodynia
As the name indicates, in this type of vulvodynia, discomfort is linked with the woman’s menstrual cycle. Every month, before the monthly menstrual cycle starts, women tend to start experiencing Vulvopain.
The vulvar pain occurs at the opening “lips” of the vagina.
What are basic symptoms of Vulvodynia?
It starts from extreme vulvar pain which further aggravates into:
- Vaginal swelling
- Pain may fluctuate or remain constant.
There are no special tests to diagnose vulvodynia. During a visit to the gynecologist, they may ask few questions concerning;
1. Your surgical, medical and sexual history
2. Detailed pelvic examination
3. Cotton swab test
4. Biopsy- a process in which a small tissue piece is cut to examine abnormalities
What causes Vulvodynia?
Till date, the exact reasons for having vulvodynia is still unknown. However, this problem is not contagious nor spreads via sexual activity. Also, don’t think that it is a sign of cancer. Researchers have developed a relationship between vulvar pain and some factors in woman such as;
1. Repeated Yeast Infections
In recent researches, while trying to understand the after effects of yeast infections, scientist used mice as their primary subjects. It was found that those mice who have been affected by yeast infections were 3 times more likely to develop Vulvodynia symptoms than mice without infection. Additionally, it was hypothesized that multiple yeast infections may increases the production of nerve fibers in the mice brain.
2. Sexual or physical trauma
During sexual abuse, child birth and physical abuse vulvar nerves/ tissues are damage and develop a high risk of Vulvodynia.
Personal care products such as soaps, shampoos, gels and female deodorants can cause allergenic reactions which leads to develop inflammation, irritation and itching in the vulvar area.
4. Hormonal medications
Women who are taking hormonal medications or contraceptives may have a chance to develop Vulvodynia.
5. Genetic disorders
Women who are born with genetic disorders, their cells are more sensitive to inflammation or hormones. As a result, if inflammation happens in the vulvar area, tissues starts to swell, fill up with blood, and patients feel severe pain.
How we can treat Vulvodynia?
There are different medicinal and home treatments that can be used to treat vulvodynia.
1. Medicinal treatment
Generally, anti-inflammatory creams or antibiotic course are prescribed by the doctor. If any specific product that causes allergenic reaction, your doctor will recommend you to avoid using it. Furthermore, creams containing lidocaine can be directly applied to the skin. Low dosage of antidepressants can also be used to provide relief to pain receptors. Light massage to relax the sore or tight muscles is also suggested.
In rare cases, gynecologist may recommend surgery for women who develop vaginal vestibule. In that procedure, infected tissue will remove through vestibulectomy.
3. Home based remedies
Home based remedies are always the best option, free from any side effects and you can easily minimize the risks of havingVulvodynia. Try these;
- Always use 100% cotton made undergarments and sanitary pads
- Avoid applying creams, deodorants and soaps in the vaginal area
- Stay away from pools or tub baths with a lot of chlorine
- Don’t use scented toilet paper
- Avoid using fitted pants
- Wash your vulva with clean water after having sex or use washroom
By maintaining good hygienic conditions, you can avoid diseases like Vulvodynia. Always seek help from a specialist gynecologist that can treat you according to your health condition. If you want to know more details, consultbest obstetrician in Lahore at MARHAM.PK.
click here for more interesting article