What is vulvodynia?
Vulvodynia is a term used to describe chronic pain or discomfort of the vulva.
Health care providers do not know what causes vulvodynia. It is diagnosed when other causes of vulvar pain, such as infection or skin diseases, are ruled out.
NICHD-funded research estimates that as many as 16 percent of women suffer from chronic vulvar pain at some time in their lives.
What are the symptoms of vulvodynia?
The main symptom of vulvodynia is pain. The type of pain can be different for each woman.
Vulvodynia can cause burning, stinging, irritation, or rawness of the vulva. Pain may move around or always be in the same place. It can be constant, or come and go.
What is the treatment for vulvodynia?
There is currently no cure for vulvodynia. But there are treatments for some of the symptoms. Some current treatments include local pain relievers (medications), physical therapy, changes in diet, and drug treatment.
Because each woman’s symptoms may be different, no one treatment works all the time or is right for everyone. If you have chronic vulvar pain or discomfort, talk to your health care provider about possible treatments.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. "Vulvodynia." August 8, 2006. http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/Vulvodynia.cfm. (April 28, 2008)