Vulvodynia is pain of the vulva that lasts more than three months.
The vulva is made up of the:
The cause is not known. It may be due to:
Vulvodynia is more common in women who are 20-40 years of age.
Other factors that may raise your risk are:
The main symptom is pain that lasts more than three months.
You may have:
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. You may also have a pelvic exam. The area may need to be closely checked. This can be done using a colposcope to magnify the area.
Your bodily fluids and tissues may need to be tested. This can be done with:
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. This may mean:
You may be given:
Therapy can help strengthen and relax the pelvic muscles. This will ease muscle spasms. A doctor who specializes in pelvic floor issues may be needed.
The following steps can help ease pain:
Suggested treatments for vulvodynia include:
Vulvodynia can't be prevented.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
National Vulvodynia Association
Canadian Women's Health Network
Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 93: Diagnosis and management of vulvar skin disorders. Obstet Gynecol. 2008;111:5):1243-1253. Reaffirmed 2013.
Vulvodynia. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/vulvodynia.html. Updated April 1, 2014. Accessed July 26, 2018.
Vulvodynia. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T128775/Vulvodynia. Updated September 18, 2018. Accessed July 26, 2018.
Vulvodynia. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development website. Available at: http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/vulvodynia/Pages/default.aspx. Updated January 31, 2017. Accessed July 26, 2018.
What is vulvodynia? National Vulvodynia Association website. Available at: http://www.nva.org/what-is-vulvodynia. Accessed July 26, 2018.
4/7/2014 EBSCO DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance. http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T128775/Vulvodynia: Reed BD, Legocki LJ, et al. Factors associated with vulvodynia incidence. Obstet Gynecol. 2014;123(2.1):225-231.
Last reviewed June 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Kathleen A. Barry, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.