Vulvodynia, a chronic pain condition of the vulva, affects up to 15 percent of women at some point in their lives. For some women, it resolves itself with treatment or gradually improves over time, but a lot of women have it permanently.
• Pain at the vulva (the opening to the vagina) and the surrounding areas.
• A specific sore area on the vulva that is more painful than other areas. If you imagine a clock face over the vulva, this sore area is usually at the 5 o clock point
• Shooting or stabbing pains in the vulva.
• Pain when wearing tight clothing, such as jeans.
• Contact pain (pain when cycling, sitting on hard chairs, trying to insert tampons)
• Pain when attempting sexual intercourse.
• Sore, dry skin.
• Feeling as if the area is swollen even when there is no visible sign.
• Redness when there is no infection or other cause.
• Itching, irritation.
If the usual treatment of anti-depressants to alter nerve function is not having an effect on you, there are other ways to ease the pain of vulvodynia and get your life back.
Get Tested for Infection
A lot of vulvodynia sufferers test positive for E-coli and candida bacteria. Some have repeated infections that do not respond to treatment. Some specialists believe that vulvodynia is caused by chronic candida or an over-sensitivity or allergy to candida. If in doubt, ask your gynaecologist for a series of swabs to check for its presence. You can also be tested for candida antibodies that would show whether you are allergic.
Long term treatment with an anti-thrush drug may then be given. This should be in tablet form, rather than topical as the topical creams can actually trigger vulvodynia.
Some women have found that using tea tree cream regularly on the affected areas eases their symptoms. Tea tree and neem pessaries are available from some online stores and natural health shops. They are very antiseptic and can prevent infections and reduce or stop symptoms like burning when urinating.
Get Your Hormone Levels Tested