Pain inside or around the vagina is a common complaint from our patients. Many of our patients have visited several medical providers with no answers. Vaginal pain can be an extremely disruptive and debilitating condition. If you google vaginal pain you’ll often come across different conditions that start with the letter “V”. Vaginismus, Vulvodynia, Vestibulodynia and Vulvar Vestibulitis are the most common terms. Not only does this cause confusion among women researching their symptoms but it also confuses some medical providers. Many providers have not received training in treating the “V” conditions and unfortunately, that often means patients are left feeling that their symptoms are all in their head.
I have already discussed vaginismus in a recent blog so today we’ll talk about vulvodynia. Vulvodynia is a chronic condition (at least 3 months) characterized by pain and burning in the vulva (tissue outside of the vagina). In the absence of infection or other known disease vulvodynia is the umbrella term that also includes vestibulodynia which is synonymous with vulvar vestibulitis. There are two main subtypes of vulvodynia: Provoked Vestibulodynia (PVD) previously known as Vulva Vestibulitis and Generalized Vulvodynia (GVD) previously known as Essential Vulvodynia.
Well, don’t worry. We fully understand vulvodynia and how it can negatively impact your life. Our medical providers keep abreast of new research and treatments and our sexuality counselors offer compassion and support as we navigate the path from treatment to resolution together. Regardless of the “V” condition you may have, we have the answers. Your vagina and surrounding tissue should only cause you pleasure and not pain.