Vulvodynia is chronic pain or discomfort of the vulva (the area surrounding the outside of the vagina) that lasts for three months or longer without any evidence of other skin or gynecological causes. Vulvodynia is usually characterized by burning, stinging, irritation or rawness of the area. The most common complaint is a burning sensation.
There are many options to treat this condition, including pharmacological (i.e. drugs), surgery and non-pharmacological methods (i.e. physical therapy). It is how for women to be persistent in seeking an accurate diagnosis so they can receive appropriate treatment. We highly recommend you determine if vulvodynia is the cause of your symptoms as there are some treatments available conservatively.
As Physical Therapists, we strive on treating many conditions associated with pain without the use of medications and strive on keeping the community out of surgery! There are obviously many people who need drugs and surgery, but, majority of the time, symptoms can improve with a detailed physical therapy assessment and treatment.
This is especially true for Pelvic Pain and Women’s Health issues. Just recently, Rosen et al in 2019 wrote an article in Drugs magazine with the following conclusion for treatment of vulvodynia:
There is strong evidence to support and recommend non-pharmacological interventions including psychological therapy, pelvic floor physical therapy, as well as surgery (i.e., vestibulectomy for provoked vestibulodynia) for the treatment of vulvodynia.
As you can tell, there are many options to treat this condition. If you are looking for a Women’s Health specialist in Wake Forest, NC, we hope we can be of service to help you with your pain and improve your life!
Dr. Danielle Vaughan is a Women’s Health Specialist focusing on Pelvic Physical Therapy in Wake Forest, NC. She is co-owner of PhysioFit of North Carolina, alongside her husband. They offer their 1:1 treatments with specialized care, as well as group studio classes of Yoga, Pilates & Tai Chi.