| Tara Langdale
Pain in the clitoris is something most women don't expect to happen, much less discuss. The clitoris, located above the vaginal opening and hidden under the clitoral hood, stimulates intense pleasure during sexual activity. The whole reason for being part of a woman's body is to help her reach orgasm.
Yet, what if you experience stabbing pain in the clitoris or suffer from ongoing chronic pelvic pain. Your pleasure center becomes a source of agony. It then becomes Clitorodynia.
Symptoms of Clitorodynia
Clitorodynia is a subset of localized Vulvodynia. Vulvodynia is a chronic pain issue that affects the vulvar area or external genitals, including the clitoris. The pain can be provoked (tight clothing or touch) or unprovoked clitordynia (unknown cause). (1) Many women have vulvodynia flare-ups that cause serious clitoral pain as well.
Regardless of the cause of the chronic pain condition, the symptoms may include one or more of the following:
- swollen clitoral tissue
- sharp pains
- vulvar itching
- vaginal itching
- burning or searing pain
- stabbing pain
- scratching sensation when touched
Causes of Clitorodynia
The cause of clitoral pain can come from many different factors or due to many conditions working together. (2)
Fluctuating hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone, may be the cause of clitoral and vulvar pain. Low estrogen may cause vaginal atrophy (dryness) and other physical problems. Hormones are the body's messengers to control everything from fertility to bone growth.
Hypertonic pelvic floor muscle dysfunction
Hypertonic pelvic floor muscle dysfunction is the unnatural tightening of the pelvic floor muscles and the inability to relax. The tightening of the pelvic floor muscles may lead to painful sex, constipation, and other pelvic health conditions, including clitoral pain. (3)
It's a dysfunction in your pelvis and genitals that leads to numbness, pelvic pain, or severe discomfort. The reasons for pudendal neuralgia vary, but one common reason is pudendal nerve damage. (4) This nerve runs outside your pelvis to the bottom of your vagina or penis, before branching to other nerves.
Persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD)
PGAD is feeling sexually heightened all the time but with no outlet or release of genital arousal. (5) While this may sound like a problem without pain, it can lead to burning, stinging, wetness, and soreness that never seems to subside.
Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN)
VIN is a superficial or non-invasive lesion on the vulva. It can be a precursor (beginning) of skin cancer that develops in the skin's middle and outer layers. VIN is usually not life-threatening but can be aggressive. (6)
Lichen sclerosus is an uncommon, chronic skin condition in the genitals characterized by patchy, white skin that's thin and sensitive. This skin concern can sometimes be confused with lichen planus, a common painful skin condition that affects the hair, nails, and mucous membranes of the mouth and vagina. Both issues aren't contagious but do require medical care. (7)
Vulvar vestibulitis is dyspareunia (painful sex) at the vagina's entrance or right at the clitoris. (8) Chronic vulva vestibulitis can have continuous flare-ups for years due to sexual intercourse, touch, or even inserting a tampon. Or the clit pain can be ongoing and throbbing with little relief.
Other Clitorodynia causes
If none of the above causes are the reason for your Clitorodynia, the following may be the genesis.
- yeast infection
- sexual abuse
- interstitial cystitis
- sexually transmitted diseases
- hypo-active sexual desire disorder
- contact dermatitis
- uterine fibroids
For Clitorodynia diagnosis, speak to your doctor or healthcare provider about your vaginal pain symptoms.
Treatments of Clitorodynia
The specific treatment for stabbing pain in the clitoris depends on the cause of the problem. You may need to try one or more of the conventional Clitorodynia treatments before you find pain relief.
Physiotherapy with vaginal dilators
Relieving clitoral pain is possible with vaginal dilators. It is recommended by doctors and physical therapists to relieve chronic vulvar and pelvic floor pain. One of the best home remedies to ease a swollen and stinging clitoris, vaginal dilator treatment, is on-demand and at your own pace.
The vaginal dilator gently yet firmly massages the hood of the clitoris and external genitalia. The intent is to retrain the vulvar and pelvic floor muscles to relax and let go of the tension causing the stinging sensation that accompanies Clitorodynia.
Clitoral pain causes severe issues with women's health. It's essential to help ease the pain with good feminine hygiene. Rinse the inflamed area with warm water and use natural personal care products on sensitive skin.
If tight clothes or using tampons cause you pain, modify your choices to avoid a Clitorodynia flare-up. As with any health condition, it's necessary to take care of yourself.
Speaking to a sex counselor or a cognitive behavioral therapist about your condition may help ease a painful clitoris. While the cause may be physical, it can take a toll on your mental health. Or the origin of the condition may have come from past physical trauma or abuse. Being brave enough to begin therapy may be the answer you need.
Living each day with chronic clitoris pain places significant weight on your mental and physical health. Women with Vulvodynia and Clitorodynia tend to suffer in silence. It's time to speak up and begin your journey to a life free of clitoris pain.
Other VuVa Helpful Links: