Pain around the opening of your vagina, also known as the vulva, can be frustrating and life-disrupting. Don’t tolerate the condition; instead, consult OB/GYN Dr. Maryam Ardalan at Women Elite Care, Inc. in Valencia, California, for evaluation and treatment. Call her office or book an appointment online to learn how you can minimize vulvar pain.
Vulvar pain, also called vulvodynia, is any pain or discomfort you feel around your vagina. Usually, you don’t have a clear cause, such as an infection, and the pain lasts for three months or longer.
Often, vulvodynia lasts for months or years and makes even the simplest tasks, such as sitting for long periods, uncomfortable. You may avoid sexual intercourse due to the discomfort. Long-term vulvodynia can lead to self-consciousness, embarrassment, and depression.
Vulvar pain and soreness is the number one symptom of vulvodynia. You may describe sensations such as:
The pain may be constant or come and go; sometimes the pain is only evident when the area is touched. Some swelling or inflammation may be present, but in many cases, the vulva appears completely normal despite your discomfort.
The reason for your vulvar pain can be hard to determine. Possible causes include:
Weakness in the pelvic floor, specifically in the muscles that support the uterus, bladder, and bowel can be another reason for your pain. Sometimes vulvar pain is accompanied by urinary incontinence, or trouble controlling your urine flow, due to this weakness.
Dr. Ardalan does a thorough pelvic exam and tests for infection to pinpoint the reason for your vulvar pain. Her treatment emphasis is on relieving symptoms. Some women find relief from certain medications, including steroids and antihistamines to relieve itching. Local anesthetics can also provide temporary relief.
Pelvic floor therapy that helps strengthen or relax the muscles of the pelvic floor can help with vulvar pain and urinary incontinence.
For some women, minimally invasive gynecological procedures help relieve pain. These include minimally invasive gynecological surgery to remove the affected skin and tissue. A procedure known as uterine artery embolization temporarily blocks blood supply to the region to relieve pain.
Find relief for pain in the vulvar region by calling Women Elite Care, Inc. or booking an appointment online.