Vulval pain, also referred to as vulvodynia is an incredibly common problem for many women. This is when women suffer from unexplained and persistent pain in their vulva, which is the skin around the vagina. Vulval pain can affect women of any age. This is often a chronic condition in which medical help is needed to resolve this constant pain.
What are the symptoms of vulvodynia?
The most common symptom is that of persistent pain, with no obvious changes to the vulva. The pain can present as a burning pain, constant soreness or produce a stinging sensation. Most often pain becomes worse when pressure is applied to the vulva, such as during sex or even when sitting. This type of chronic pain can cause difficulties within a relationship, and with self esteem issues.
When you should see a doctor
If you are suffering from constant vulval pain, then you really must seek medical advice. It’s important that a clinician can diagnose what is causing the vulval pain, as not all pain is related to vulvodynia. There are other vulva disorders that can cause discomfort, so always seek medical advice.
Treatments options for vulvodynia
There are a number of treatment options that are available to women. Firstly, self care is recommended as a first step. Changes such as wearing loose fitting clothes and cotton underwear can help. It’s also best to avoid bubble baths and feminine wipes. Applying a cool pack and sitting on a round shaped cushion can also help to relieve pain. Applying a lidocaine based gel can also give some relief.
There are also some types of medication that can help. The antidepressant, amitriptyline can help, as can gabapentin, which is an anti-epileptic drug.
Other reasons for vulval pain
There are other vulval disorders that can cause vulval pain, so any pain needs investigating. Vaginal thrush can cause pain and discomfort, as can changes associated with the menopause. Sjogren’s syndrome, that affects the immune system can also cause vulval problems.
If you are suffering from vulval pain and would like to seek help and advice from a female gynaecologist in London, then please do give us a call today.