Vulvodynia is chronic pain or discomfort of the vulva. The vulva includes the: Female GenitaliaCopyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Causes

    The cause of vulvodynia

    is not known. Some possibilities include:

    • Injury or irritation of vulvar nerves
    • Inflammed tissue
    • Abnormal response to infection or trauma

  • Definition

    Vulvodynia is chronic pain or discomfort of the vulva. The vulva includes the:

    • Labia majora and labia minora
    • Clitoris
    • Vaginal opening

    Female Genitalia
    si55550966 96472 1 vulva.jpeg
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. It may include a pelvic exam. The affected area may need to be examined closely. This can be done using a colposcope to magnify the area.

    Your bodily tissues and fluids may need to be tested. This can be done with:

    • Tests to check for bacteria and/or yeast
    • Biopsy

  • Prevention

    There are no current guidelines to prevent vulvodynia.

  • Risk Factors

    Vulvodynia is more common in women who are younger. Other factors that increase your chance of developing vulvodynia include:

    • History of vulvodynia
    • Chronic pain or disorders associated with chronic pain
    • Sleep disturbances
    • Some mental health disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder

    • Recurrent
      yeast infections
    • Frequent use of antibiotics
    • Irritation to the genitals by soaps or detergents
    • Genital rashes
    • Previous treatment or surgery to the external genitals
    • Pelvic nerve irritation or muscle spasms

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms may include:

    • Pain, which may come and go
    • Burning
    • Stinging
    • Irritation
    • Rawness

  • Treatment

    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options include: