Kegel8 Glossary - Medical terms without the jargon
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Vulvodynia

What is Vulvodynia?

Vulvodynia is a condition causing vulval burning and soreness in and around the vulva with no obvious infection or skin condition, usually due to an irritation or hypersensitivity of the nerves in and around the vulva area. It is not infectious or contagious so you can't pass it onto your partner, nor is it related to cancer.

What is Unprovoked Vulvodynia?

A persistent burning and soreness of the vulva, even without touch is known as unprovoked vulvodynia (formerly dysaesthetic or dysaesthetic vulvodynia).

What is Provoked Vulvodynia?

Provoked Vulvodynia (formerly Dysaesthetic vulvodynia) refers to pain from light touch, this may be from making love or when inserting a tampon.

Vulvodynia Symptoms?

The pain is often described as a burning, aching nature that can vary from mild discomfort to a severe constant pain. Pain can be evident even while sitting and can radiate throughout the pelvic area including the thighs, tops of the legs, anus and urethra. There can also be pain when toileting and love-making.

Localised pain to just the clitoris is known as clitorodynia, and pain on one side only hemivulvodynia.

Vulvodynia Treatment?

  • Drugs: Nerve pain of this nature is usually treated with tricyclic antidepressants. This prescription medication alters the way the nerve fibres send pain sensations to the brain.
  • Creams & Lotions: Many sufferers benefit from topical treatments to the area of creams and lotions applied to the vulval area which do act as soothing agents. Some woman find that topical oestrogen cream helps. Topical oestrogen therapy thickens the skin and encourages blood flow to the area. John J, Willems, M.D says "The healing process is slow. It often takes at least six weeks for improvement to begin. However, definite progress should be seen within the first six months. As the condition begins to resolve, increased itching may occur, I caution my patients that this is not a yeast infection and they should not use steroid creams or anti-yeast medication but to persevere until the symptoms subside. Itching is a sign of healing. Flare-ups or setbacks will continue for a while but gradually, good days will outnumber bad days, and symptoms less severe. Oestrogen cream must be used on an on-going basis, discontinue it entirely, they have relapses. Many women, however, are able to decrease the dose to one application a day, then every other day, and so on, until they find their individual maintenance levels."
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  • Biofeedback and other therapies: John J, Willems, M.D goes on to say '"Since 1993, I have referred nearly every new vulvar pain patient to a biofeedback therapist for evaluation of pelvic floor musculature. Most vulvar pain patients have pelvic floor muscle tension in reaction to their chronic pain. Rehabilitating the muscle is critical in resolving pain when muscle spasms are present. Chronic spasm, or tension, of the pelvic floor muscle is an automatic response to intense pain in the genital area. Since muscle spasm itself causes pain, effective treatment for vulvar pain may not be realized until the muscle is stabilized. Biofeedback for pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation has been used for many years to resolve urinary and faecal incontinence, and other pain syndromes in the pelvic floor muscle. The same skills applied to alleviate vulvar pain have proved quite successful in recent years." Kegel8 Pelvic Toners have programmes to help with the pain experienced by vulvar pain patients

Read More:

  • Read more about pelvic pain and tension, and how the Kegel8 Pelvic Toner can help with pelvic relaxation and treat pelvic pain.