Vulvodynia is a medical condition from which many women suffer, but never seek treatment. The condition can impact everything from your sex life to sitting. Here is what you need to know about the condition and when to talk to your ob-gyn.
What Is Vulvodynia?
Vulvodynia is a condition that causes chronic pain around the vulva. Scientists have been unable to pinpoint a cause for the condition. However, it is thought that factors, such as past vaginal infections and hormonal changes, can be a contributing factor to the condition.
Some women do not seek help for several reasons, including embarrassment and the absence of visible symptoms. Regardless of the reason, it is important to seek treatment from an ob-gyn.
Although everyone does not have visible symptoms of the condition, some do. The symptoms can include soreness, painful sexual intercourse, itching, throbbing, and burning sensations. Some women experience symptoms on an occasional basis, while some can have ongoing symptoms that last months or years.
How Is It Treated?
Since there is no concrete proof showing exactly what causes vulvodynia, doctors usually focus on alleviating the symptoms. Unfortunately, you might have to go through a trial and error period before you find the right treatment for you.
Treatment can include the use of medications, such as anticonvulsants and antihistamines for itching. If this proves unsuccessful, your ob-gyn can recommend alternative treatments, such as biofeedback therapy.
Biofeedback therapy focuses on how you respond to pain. During therapy, you will learn how to ease the contractions of your pelvic muscles to reduce the pain you can feel.
If you suffer irritation as it is usually confined to one area, your ob-gyn might recommend surgery to remove tissue that has been affected. This can help alleviate some of the pain and discomfort felt.
What Can You Do at Home?
Your ob-gyn might rely on home remedies at first to treat the symptoms of vulvodynia. For instance, soaking in a sitz bath a few times a day can help alleviate the pain sometimes.
Lifestyle changes, such as avoiding nylon underwear and tight fitting pantyhose, can sometimes help. You might also have to forgo activities like horseback riding, which can put more pressure on the affected areas.
Even if your symptoms only last a few days or weeks, it is important that you talk to your ob-gyn. He or she can eliminate the possibility of another condition causing your problems. You can also start focusing on ways to alleviate your symptoms so that you will not what does and does not work in the future. For more information, contact a clinic such as Women's Healthcare of Illinois.