Vulvodynia is chronic pain or discomfort of the vulva. The vulva includes the:
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The causes of vulvodynia are not completely known, but may include:
Factors that increase your chance of developing vulvodynia include:
Vulvodynia causes the following symptoms of the vulva:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. It may include a pelvic exam. Tests may include:
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment 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 College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
National Vulvodynia Association
Canadian Women's Health Network
Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
What is vulvodynia? National Vulvodynia Association website. Available at: http://www.nva.org/whatIsVulvodynia.html Accessed March 13, 2013.
Diagnosis and Management of Vulvar Skin Disorders . The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Practice Bulletin No. 93; 2008 (Reaffirmed 2010).
Vulvodynia. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/vulvodynia.html . Updated August 2010. Accessed March 13, 2013.
Vulvodynia. National Institute of Child Health & Human Development website. Available at: http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/vulvodynia/Pages/default.aspx . Updated November 30, 2012. Accessed March 13, 2013.
Last reviewed March 2013 by Andrea Chisholm, 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.
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