The Evaluation and Treatment of Vulvar Pain
Vulvar pain can affect women at any age, for a variety of reasons. Regardless, it should never be pain that a woman should suffer from in silence. Receiving a physician’s proper evaluation, education and treatment regarding vulvar pain is a step in the right direction toward decreasing any displeasure.
The vulva is defined by a woman’s external genitals. Although it’s not a common problem thankfully, vulvar pain has been known to affect roughly 200,000 women throughout the country. The pain is usually chronic and persistent. Burning or itching, and sometimes both can accompany this pain.
Types of Vulvar Pain
Typically, there are two broad categories of vulvar pain. The first is defined by an extremely severe and painful reaction – oftentimes in the form of a stabbing sensation – if pressure is applied to the vulva or the opening of the vagina, referred to as vulvar vestibulitis syndrome (VVS). Dysesthetic vulvodynia (DV), on the other hand, is chronic pain that occurs with no cause or warning. Regardless of which type of vulvar pain a patient is experiencing – symptoms often overlap.
One of our physicians will be sure to take note of any and all symptoms when a patient reports any vulvar pain. During an initial appointment routine internal and external examinations, and careful history will be critical to start figuring out the causes. Vulvodynia, yeast infections, exposure to herpes, soap products that irritate the skin, skin disorders – and a variety of other factors – must be ruled out, so that a proper treatment plan may be administered.
When it comes to vulvar pain treatment, we hope that some lifestyle modifications can relieve a lot of discomfort. Eliminating any form of irritation – pants that fit too snugly around the area, for instance – is a number one protocol for our patients. If the pain does not cease by ruling out any and all irritants, women can receive a topical anesthetic, anti-inflammatory or anticonvulsant drugs. Patients can also perform daily exercises that enhance the pelvic floor muscles. Dietary changes may also be needed.
If you feel that you could benefit from our efficient and effective treatment for your vulvar pain, please contact Women First Health Center’s office at 1 (973) 669-5711.