Consultant Gynaecologist and Specialist in Pelvic Floor Surgery

Vulvodynia (Vulval Pain)

What is Vulvodynia?

Vulvodynia is a term to describe pain arising in the area around the vaginal opening (vulva) for which there is no identifiable cause.

The pain, burning or irritation associated with vulvodynia may make sitting for prolonged periods or having sex quite uncomfortable.

It is common in sexually active women between 20 and 40 years of age.

What are the symptoms?

Pain in the genital area, which can manifest as:

The pain may be constant or intermittent and chronic or short lasting in duration.

It may be brought on by touch, insertion of tampon or during penetrative sex.

Pain can occur passing urine or after physical activity such as bike riding

What Causes vulvodynia?

The exact cause is unknown but it reflects hypersensitive nerves in the affected skin.

It may be triggered by:

How is Vulvodynia diagnosed?

The diagnosis is made from the description of the pain at the vaginal opening

Pelvic exam may reveal normal looking tissues with tight pelvic muscles and pain on touching with a cotton swab.

What treatment options are available?

Your individual management will be discussed during the consultation.

Please visit http://www.pelvicpain.org.uk for more information.