Vulvodynia is chronic pain or discomfort of the vulva. The vulva includes the:
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The cause of vulvodynia is not known. Some possibilities include:
Factors that increase your chance of developing vulvodynia 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:
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