Vulvodynia is a common condition that affects as many as 1 in 10 women, and it can affect women of all ages, from around 20 onwards. Vulvodynia can be really distressing, and can cause daily pain and prevent women from going about their daily activities – this is known as chronic pain. Find out more in our Kegel8 Guide to Vulvodynia.
What is Vulvodynia?
Vulvodynia is the name given to persistent or chronic pain in the vulva. This might either be a pain all the time – this is called unprovoked vulvodinia, or the pain may only be triggered when the area is touched, for example with a tampon or during sex.
Vulvodynia may either feel like a burning or stinging sensation, or the skin may even feel raw.
What causes Vulvodynia?
Doctors still aren’t 100% sure what causes vulvodynia, but think that it may be caused by nerve damage, allergies, genetic factors, overuse of antibiotics or muscle spasms. It could be that different things trigger vulvodynia in different women.
It’s rare, but vulvodynia can be a sign of vulvar cancer, so if you are suffering from vulvar pain, it’s important to see your doctor.
Vulvodynia may feel different to every woman, but common symptoms are:
- A burning or stinging feeling, or the skin may feel raw
- Pain when trying to have sex or insert a tampon
- A constant aching feeling in your intimate area
There are different types of vulvodynia. Some women experience pain in different areas of the vulva at different times, this is called Generalised Vulvodynia. Other women only feel pain at the entrance to the vagina when touched, this is called Vulvar Vestibulitis.
Some women with vulvodynia find that they also develop vaginismus, which is where the vaginal muscles tighten whenever penetration is attempted.
There are things you can do to relieve vulvodynia pain, and different women find that different treatment for vulvodynia work best for them.
- Avoid irritation – avoid perfumed soaps & shower gels
- Wear 100% cotton underwear and try natural menstrual pads & tampons
- Wear loose fitting trousers or skirts to avoid rubbing the area
- Use plenty of lubricant
- Avoid cycling and horse riding because this puts a lot of pressure on the vulva
There is no one magic cure for vulvodynia, so it’s best to try out different techniques and see what relieves your pain best.
The Kegel8 Ultra features pain relief programmes which can help with the pain of vulvodynia.
The new Kegel8 Ultra can be used with skin electrodes on either your stomach or back to help relax your muscles and relieve your pain. To begin with, you may not be able to insert a probe because of your vulvodynia, but by relaxing your muscles with the skin electrode pain relief programme, you can get relief from vulvodynia.