| Tara Langdale
Women who live with pain in the vulva often ask, can Vulvodynia ever go away? The quick answer is treating Vulvodynia is possible, regardless of whether the problem is chronic or a vulvodynia flare-up. In this article, we'll explore the causes, symptoms, and treatments of Vulvodynia. So that you can live without vulvar pain and have a healthy sex life. In essence, we will show you how to eliminate the pain and suffering from Vulvodynia.
What is Vulvodynia?
The National Vulvodynia Association defines Vulvodynia as unexplained vulva pain that lasts longer than three months. The vulva is the area of a woman's anatomy that includes the external genitals, including the clitoris, vaginal lips and opening, and urethra. It's above the perineum (space between the vagina and anus) and anus.
The female genitals are sensitive without being inflicted with chronic pain due to vulvodynia. In the vulva are nerve endings that respond to touch or pressure. If the pudendal nerve is compressed or spasmodic, it may cause weakened pelvic floor muscles, further aggravating the vulva.
Women with vulvodynia experience severe emotional impact and have difficulty remaining sexually active because vaginal pain may be severe.
Types of Vulvodynia
Obstetricians and gynecologists break down vulvodynia into two main pain conditions during diagnosis and treatment.
Generalized vulvodynia is chronic pelvic pain that encompasses the entire vulva. It may be ongoing or intermittent, but the pain seems to afflict the whole area, not one specific focal point. The condition can be aggravated by wearing tight clothing, horseback riding, sitting for long periods, or pressure. It may feel as if your entire female genitals are on fire.
Localized vulvodynia is still in the same area as generalized, except it's one or two distinct points in the vulva that burn or sting. The vaginal muscles supporting the vulva may have become sore or stretched, resulting in feeling like you've torn a muscle. Pressing one spot makes the pain worse or produces burning pains in that area, while the other parts of the vulva feel fine.
Conditions Connected to Vulvodynia
Vulvodynia is a multifaceted condition, which means other vulval conditions may be present as well. Some of these subsets include the following:
- provoked vestibulodynia (caused by pressure or touch in the vaginal lips and opening)
- vulvodynia vestibulitis (pain around the vaginal opening)
- cyclic vulvovaginitis (flare-ups around menstruation or before intercourse)
- essential vulvodynia (usually appears postmenopausal)
- vulvar dermatoses (presents as excessive itching)
According to a study published in the American Family Physician Journal, vulvodynia and subsets are often misdiagnosed; however, these conditions' commonality may be as high as 15% of American women. (1)
Symptoms of Vulvodynia
The kind and strength of vulvodynia symptoms vary from woman to woman. For some, chronic pain comes from painful sex or weak pelvic muscles. However, women can experience one or more of the following symptoms at one time.
Vulvodynia symptoms may stop or start without warning. You may go months without a vulvodynia flare-up and suddenly fall into chronic pain. Some women suffer for years in pain without much relief.
Causes of Vulvodynia
The most common definition of vulvodynia usually entails not knowing the exact cause of the vulval pain. This is one of the biggest reasons vulvodynia can be hard to treat. Also, vulvodynia may have specific factors working together, so you have to diagnose multiple causes at once for effective treatment. However, according to the American Colleges of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, diagnosis usually looks at the following reasons. (2)
- Compressed nerve damage in the vulva
- Vulva inflammation causes (skin irritation, reaction to birth control or hormone creams)
- Result of long-term vaginal infections (yeast infections, urinary tract infections)
- Food sensitivities that cause pain and inflammation
- Bacterial vaginosis (inflamed vulva and vaginal muscles)
- Pelvic floor dysfunction or muscle weakness
There is also evidence that anxiety and depression may lead to vulvodynia. Or that vulvodynia may lead to depression and anxiety. Indirectly, vulvodynia also can cause infertility because it results in fear of sex.
There is no strong link between sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and vulvodynia. Also, sexual abuse or trauma can result in vulvodynia. Yet women who’ve never been sexually active or undergone trauma can still experience the pelvic pain.
Treatments for Vulvodynia
Treating vulvodynia isn't easy due to its complexity, lack of research, and sensitive nature. Yet vulvodynia can go away. It's possible to find medical and home remedies to relieve pain. Remember, you're not alone and help is possible.
Invasive treatments options include everything from surgery to taking tricyclic antidepressants. Noninvasive therapies include the following:
- Biofeedback (strengthen and relax pelvic floor muscles)
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Gel packs to each pain and inflammation
- Dilation therapy with vaginal dilators
One of the best home remedies for vulvodynia is dilation therapy. The pelvic floor physical therapy uses a medical device to stretch and strengthen vaginal tissue inside and outside the vaginal opening. You can order them online without a prescription.
VuVa Dilators are available at www.vuvatech.com
Physical therapists trained in dilation therapy can help you relax your muscle spasms to overcome vulvodynia. It's important to note that you don't actually have to see a physiotherapist to receive the same benefit. You can use a vaginal dilator at home at a pace right for your body and schedule. After applying a vaginal lubricant, the dilator is slowly inserted into the vagina. For more detailed instructions, check out how to use dilators.
In a clinical trial by the Physician Care Clinical Research, women using the VuVa™ magnetic vaginal dilators reported an 80% reduction of overall pain. This is significant in showing that vaginal wands can make vulvodynia pain go away.
If you've received a vulvodynia diagnosis, you may be heartbroken and looking for a solution to your physical and emotional well-being. You may want to experience sexual intercourse without pain. All of which is understandable. If you suspect you have vulvodynia, make an appointment with your family health provider. In either case, know that overcoming vulvodynia is possible, and you're not alone.
Do you need to order vaginal dilators so you can start your pelvic floor therapy process? Made in the USA. Visit www.vuvatech.com
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Tara Langdale Schmidt is the inventor of the VuVa Dilator Company. She has pelvic floor dysfunction herself and wanted to create a dilator set that is made in America that women can trust. VuVatech has been in business since 2014 and has helped over 40,000 women all over the globe. She patented the Neodymium Vaginal Dilator, that is clinically proven to help with blood flow and nerve pain.