By Dr. Pallavi Vasal, Gynaecology
Vulvodynia is a common phenomenon afflicting too many women across the globe. It refers to a condition in which females experience pain and discomfiture around their vulva. The vaginal area can also be affected by such a twinge. Women of any age group starting from early teenage could be facing this problem. Vulvodyina needs serious attention. Early diagnosis, care and immediate treatment should follow as it can otherwise impede a female’s sex life. It is indeed that disabling.
The fact that medical conditions such as this are limited to the clinical ambit of patient-doctor interactions can be attributed to the lopsided tenets of an orthodox society.
Pay heed to the causes of Vulvodynia-
1. Traumatic sexual experiences could result in pain. If a person was ever a victim of sexual abuse, her chances of contracting Vulvodynia are more.
2. Vulvar pain could be a persistent problem in women who are overly sensitive to yeast infections.
The warm yet moist environment of the groin could lead to the formation of yeast. The presence of yeast in small proportions is natural but it may result in an infection among those who suffer from hypersensitivity.
3. Antibiotics known for their efficacy come along with a fair share of side effects. If a woman has been taking antibiotics for a long duration, she is likely to find her vulva dry and itchy.
4. Frequent muscle cramps in the pelvic area could also be the reason behind stinging pain.
Take a look at the symptoms of Vulvodynia-
1. Extreme pain during or after sexual intercourse.
2. A constant throbbing sensation that could prevent you from walking briskly or from exercising.
3. A single point or the entire vulva could feel dry and tender. This will affect all kinds of penetration. In such a situation, inserting tampons is troublesome too.
4. Your vulva could feel a burning sensation in sudden bouts making you frantic for something cold and soothing.
A variety of treatment options are available:
- Topical medications, such as lidocaine ointment (a local anesthetic) or hormonal creams
- Drug treatment, such as pain relievers, antidepressants, or anticonvulsants
- Biofeedback therapy, intended to help decrease pain sensation
- Physical therapy to strengthen pelvic floor muscles
- Injections of steroids or anesthetics
- Surgery to remove the affected skin and tissue in localized vulvodynia
- Changes in diet (for example, some physicians may suggest a diet low in oxalates, which can form crystals in the body if they aren’t filtered out by the kidneys)
- Complementary or alternative therapies (including relaxation, massage, homeopathy, and acupuncture)