Vulvodynia is a general term used for chronic vulvar discomfort or pain, especially characterized by burning, stinging, irritation, or rawness of the female genitalia. The precise cause of vulvodynia is unknown, but it is divided into four types: vulvar vestibulitis, dysesthetic vulvodynia, cyclic vulvovaginitis, and vulvar or mucous dermatoses. Many doctors are still not familiar with vulvodynia and, as a result, patients may go misdiagnosed or undiagnosed for a long time. The newer, more specific terminology is vestibulodynia.
If you answer ‘yes’ to several of the following questions, you may have a vulvodynia disorder:
- Are GYN exams painful?
- Does the physician need to use a pediatric speculum?
- Does external pressure by touch, tampon insertion, tight pants, bicycling, or horseback riding cause pain or discomfort?
- Does it hurt to sit or walk?
- Are you unable to have intercourse or are you unable to have intercourse without pain?
- When pain occurs, do the sensations include: burning, dryness, raw, or tight skin feeling?
- Do you have a history of yeast infections?
- Do you have a history of antibiotic treatment, but the physician ‘could never really find anything’?
- Do you have a history of birth control pill use?
At Orthopedic & TMJ Physical Therapy Center, we will work with you and your healthcare provider to implement a personal treatment program to meet your specific needs and lifestyle. Self-help skills are taught such as biofeedback, stress reduction techniques, dilator use, and exercise. Gentle manual therapiesmay be used to release trigger points and soft tissue restrictions. We place a high priority on education and safe treatment in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere.