What is it?
Vulvodynia refers to chronic pain in the vulvovaginal region. Many people liken the symptoms to that of a yeast infection, however, with vulvodynia there is no infection present.
Symptoms often include:
- Stabbing pain at the vaginal opening
- Pain with intercourse
- Discomfort with wearing tight clothing
- Sensitivity with touch around the vulva
Symptoms can be generalized and affect the entire vulva or localized to a specific region. For example, one subset of vulvodynia called vestibulodynia describes a condition where pain is localized to the vaginal vestibule.
How can Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy help?
Research shows that Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy is often superior to medication use and is highly beneficial in treating myofascial tension that contributes to pain. Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy can also address the imbalances of the autonomic nervous system which becomes extra-sensitive in the presence of chronic pain, thus prolonging and/or worsening symptoms.
Although the cause of vulvodynia is unknown, women who have experienced frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs), sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), and/or yeast infections are often at greater risk for having long-term pain. Education about vulva skin health, toileting positions and habits, and proper diet can help to treat the underlying causes of vulvodynia.