by Krisha McCoy, MS
Vulvodynia is chronic pain or discomfort of the vulva. The vulva includes the:
The cause of vulvodynia is not known. Some possibilities include:
Risk Factors TOP
Factors that increase your chance of developing vulvodynia include:
Symptoms may include:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. It may include a pelvic exam. The affected area may need to be examined closely. This can be done using a colposcope to magnify the area.
Your bodily tissues and fluids may need to be tested. This can be done with:
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options include:
Therapy can help you strengthen and relax your pelvic muscles. This will ease muscle spasms. You may be referred to a doctor who specializes in pelvic floor issues.
Suggested treatments for vulvodynia include:
There are no current guidelines to prevent vulvodynia.
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.
What is vulvodynia? National Vulvodynia Association website. Available at: http://www.nva.org/whatIsVulvodynia.html . Accessed June 26, 2013.
Vulvodynia. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydocto... . Updated August 2010. Accessed June 26, 2013.
Vulvodynia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what . Updated September 25, 2013. Accessed June 26, 2013.
Vulvodynia. National Institute of Child Health & Human Development website. Available at: http://www.nichd.n... . Updated April 3, 2013. Accessed June 26, 2013.
Last reviewed March 2013 by Andrea Chisholm, MD
Last Updated: 5/11/2013
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.