Vaginal Pain and Vulvodynia

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Vaginal pain and vulvodynia facts

  • Vulvodynia refers to pain in the area of the vulva and vaginal opening for which no cause can be identified.
  • Vulvodynia is not related to sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs).
  • The exact cause of vulvodynia is not known.
  • Symptoms include a burning, throbbing, or aching pain that can be localized to one area of the vulva or more widespread.
  • Vaginal itching may be associated with vulvodynia.
  • Vulvodynia can be treated with medications and/or self-care (home remedy) measures. No one treatment is effective for all women.
  • Local anesthetics, local estrogen creams, antidepressants, and anticonvulsive drugs are examples of medical treatments for vulvodynia.
  • Biofeedback, exercises, and nerve blocks may benefit other women.
  • Vulvodynia is not associated with cancer or serious medical conditions, but it can be a source of long-term physical and emotional discomfort.

What are vaginal pain and vulvodynia?

Vulvodynia refers to pain in the area of the vulva and vaginal opening. Vulvodynia is considered to be pain for which there is no known cause. It is different from pain that is located deep in the pelvis or internally in the vagina. This article focuses on pain in the vulvar region and at the opening (introitus) of the vagina.

Vulvodynia can be chronic and can last for years in some women. The degree of severity varies among women. It often occurs in the absence of physical signs or visible abnormalities. It can be severe and can interfere with sexual activity and cause painful intercourse ( dyspareunia).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/5/2013

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Vaginal Pain and Vulvodynia - Medications Question: What medications or other medical treatments have helped your vaginal pain (vulvodynia)?
Vaginal Pain and Vulvodynia - Home Remedies Question: What home remedies have been helpful in relieving your vaginal pain and vulvodynia?
Vaginal Pain (Vulvodynia) - Symptoms Question: What were your symptoms associated with vulvodynia?
Vaginal Pain (Vulvodynia) - Diagnosis Question: Please describe the tests and exams you received that led to a diagnosis of vulvodynia.
Vaginal Pain (Vulvodynia) - Prognosis Question: Have you found a remedy for your vulvodynia? How have you managed the symptoms?

Vaginal Pain Symptoms

Pain in the vagina or the female external genital organs (the vulva, which includes the labia, clitoris, and entrance to the vagina) most commonly is a result of infection. Vaginal pain during sexual intercourse is referred to as dyspareunia. Infection of the vagina is referred to as vaginitis.


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