Vulvodynia Treatments

A pain in the vulva area of women is described as vulvodynia. It is unknown what exactly causes vulvodynia but it is believed to be a series of factors. An injury or irritation to the nerves in and around the area can cause it. It can also be due to a woman’s likelihood of getting yeast infections or from an allergic reaction linked to some chemicals in the soap or detergent that women use. Women with a past history of sexual abuse may also get this condition. The easiest of tasks can become difficult for individuals with this condition since the pain can last for a couple of months.

Diagnosis of Vulvodynia

It can be difficult to diagnose this condition and most of the time other illnesses are eliminated first. A careful examination of the vulvar and vaginal areas will be done during a physical examination. Doctors do this to rule out sexually transmitted diseases, infections or other skin disorders first. Then a Q-tip test is done in which as swab of the area is taken. This helps find the area where the pain is the most severe. A piece of tissue from the area may also be removed for a biopsy to examine under the microscope. A colonoscopy may be done in some cases to help examine the vulva area.

Symptoms of Vulvodynia

Pain, a sensation of burning, irritation or rawness in the vulva area are the main symptoms of vulvodynia. Commonly a rash will develop in the area that is sore and painful to the touch. Psychological symptoms such as depression may also be experienced by some individuals.

Treatments for Vulvodynia

There is no cure for vulvodynia, but there are some treatment options available. A doctor may first prescribe antibiotics. These will help treat the bacteria and any secondary infections.

Next a doctor may give anti-convulsing drugs. If the pain is thought to be a result of some nerve damage then these drugs are given. You will have to watch for the side effects associated with them since they are taken in high doses.

Doctors may also give antidepressants. This can help with the depression that can be caused by vulvodynia as well as the chronic pain.

Anxiolytics can also be given. These are sedative type drugs and can help reduce the anxiety. They help decrease the amount of anxiety and stress that the illness causes.

Anti-inflammatory drugs can also be used. These are usually the first option and they are the least expensive. Many of them can even be purchased over the counter. Some home treatment options for this include zinc lotion, ointments, Vitamin E oil and cold compresses. These options will help with the irritation, burning and rash.

Acupuncture may be recommended in some cases. The person performing the acupuncture doesn’t need to know exactly where the pain is since acupuncture is designed to relieve pain in all parts of the body.

Local anesthetics such as lidocaine can be given to individuals for temporary relief of the pain.

Sitz baths in the area of the vulva with a saline solution can ease the soreness and irritation that comes with this ailment.

Exercise causes your body to release endorphins which man help manage the pain. Some exercise can be difficult to do with this condition, but some exercises such as stretching can be beneficial.

In severe cases surgery may be used. There is scalpel and laser surgery. For the scalpel surgery the sensitive part is removed and the skin around it is pulled over. The recovery period is few weeks for this type of surgery. Laser surgery removes the damaged area, but the recovery time is longer and it is much more painful. Although surgery is only used as a last resort in severe cases.

For individuals suffering from vulvodynia there are many treatments available, but there is no specific treatment that works in every case. A combination of treatments is needed to attack and alleviate all of the symptoms associated with the condition. Working with your doctor is the key and you should be honest about what you are feeling. Tell your doctor if something isn’t working so that another option can be tried.

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