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Vulvodynia is chronic pain around the opening of the vagina (vulva) – it can occur in the labia, clitoris, and vaginal opening. Vulvodynia usually lasts more than 3 months in duration, without an identifiable cause.

How many women does vulvodynia impact?

An estimated 6 million women have experienced vulvodynia.

What are the symptoms of vulvodynia?

The hallmark symptom of vulvodynia is pain in the vulva. Women may also experience:

  • Itching, burning, aching, soreness, and throbbing
  • Pain with sex, tampon insertion, or sitting for a prolonged period of time

Treatment Options

Many treatment options are available for vulvodynia. Treatment options can be used to alleviate the symptoms of vulvodynia, and will generally depend on the root cause of vulvodynia.

Some treatment options include:

  • Topical creams
  • CO2 laser therapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Trigger point injections
  • Pain medications
  • Radiofrequency and microneedling
  • Counseling
  • Physical therapy

What to expect on your visit

During your visit, you can expect your care team to listen to and address all of your concerns in a safe and trusted space. A consultation for vulvodynia may include:

  • A history and physical examination
  • Labs
What are the types of vulvodynia?

Vulvodynia is generally broken down into 3 categories: hormonally associated (pain mainly started with the use of hormonal contraceptives), inflammatory (inflammatory processes, including infections, cause the pain), and neuroproliferative (vulvodynia was present at birth or is acquired as a result of certain conditions).

Is it true that women who have a hypersensitive belly button have a type of vulvodynia?

Yes, this is correct. About 60% of women with neuroproliferative vulvodynia will have a hypersensitive belly button

Will surgical removal of my vestibule be necessary?

Although surgery is necessary for some patients with vulvodynia, it is considered a last-resort treatment option, after other conservative treatment options have been exhausted.

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