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What is Vulvodynia?

Vulvodynia means painful vulva. The vulva is the external female genitals, including the clitoris and labia. It includes the mound of tissues over the pelvic bone that becomes covered with hair at puberty.

Vulvodynia can last for days, months or years. It can be constant, intermittent, localized or widespread. Vulvodynia can vanish as suddenly as it started. It is not a life threatening condition.

Symptoms of Vulvodynia

The most common symptoms of vulvodynia are:

  • burning or stinging vulva
  • irritation, itching of the vulva
  • rawness in the vulvar area

What Causes Vulvodynia?

The exact cause of vulvodynia is unknown. However, physicians speculate that it may be caused by the following:

  • an injury or irritation of the nerves that supply and receive input from the vulva
  • a localized hypersensitivity to yeast
  • an allergic response to environmental irritants
  • high levels of oxalate crystals in the urine
  • spasm and/or irritation of the pelvic floor muscles

There is no evidence that vulvodynia is caused by infection or that it is a sexually transmitted disease

How is Vulvodynia diagnosed?

Vulvodynia is difficult to diagnose. The most important part of the diagnosis is to rule out STDs and infections. Sometimes, vulvodynia may have not visible signs and the pain may come and go.

Can Vulvodynia be treated?

Vulvodynia can be treated . The treatment will focus on relieving symptoms. Medication may be prescribed. Application of cool compresses to the genital area may help improve symptoms.

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