Understanding Vulvodynia

Vulvodynia is a condition that affects women and characterized by chronic pain or burning sensation that is felt around the vaginal opening or the vulva. The pain and the burning can sometimes make it difficult for women sit for long periods or even having sex. This condition can last for months and even years.

Main Causes

The main causes of vulvodynia still remain unknown even to doctors. What they do know is that there might be certain factors that might help contribute to the said condition. One of them might be injury or irritation of the nerves that surround the vulvar region. Past vaginal infections can also be seen as a contributing factor to vulvodynia.

Allergies and other skin sensitivities may also contribute to the condition. There are also some women who suffer from vulvodynia who have a previous history of sexual abuse. Some women who suffer from the condition may sometimes not show any of the above signs to help doctors determine possible causes.

Common Symptoms

Vulvodynia comes from the word that literally means "painful vulva". The main symptom that can be associated with this condition would be pain surrounding the vulvar area. Other associated symptoms include a burning or itching sensation felt on the same area, soreness, throbbing as well as painful intercourse. The pain can either be constant or may happen intermittently. Some can last for long period or they can disappear as suddenly as they start. There are times when the vulvar tissue may also appear slightly inflamed or swollen.

Treatments

Since the main cause of vulvodynia remains unknown to doctors, treatment for the condition usually revolves around relieving the symptoms felt. Different treatments may work with different women as their condition and the contributing factors may vary. Use of local anesthetics may sometimes be given to provide temporary relief of painful symptoms. Use of tricyclic antidepressants may also help lessen the pain. Biofeedback therapy can also help in relieving the pain by teaching women control certain physical responses to decrease the pain sensation.