Vaginismus? Vulvodynia? What?

People ask all the time about the difference between Vulvodynia and Vaginismus, so here’s a brief explanation: Vulvodynia is chronic unexplained pain in the vulva that lasts for over 3 months. The pain can be described as burning, stinging, rawness, or even itching. It can occur with intercourse, but frequently women will have pain with …

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What is Vulvodynia?

Vulvodynia is an unexplained pain at the vaginal opening for greater than 3 months.  Other terms are vulvar vestibulitis, vestibulodynia, or vulvar vestibulitis syndrome. Some studies show that as any as 16% of women have suffered from vulvodynia at some point in their lives, but it is difficult to estimate, because many women don’t report …

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Can a UTI Cause Chronic Vulvar Pain?

I was recently asked if a urinary tract infection could lead to chronic vulvar pain. A urinary tract infection is when bacteria invades the urinary tract, and causes such symptoms as burning with urination, frequency of urination and the feeling of an urgent need to urinate. Although a urinary tract infection(UTI) does not cause any …

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Understanding Vulvodynia

If you have vaginal pain with intercourse, you may have been diagnosed with vulvodynia. And you may feel terribly confused by all the information you are getting from your doctor or from looking up the condition on line. And that’s totally understandable because the truth is that there can be some disagreement by doctors themselves …

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Birth Control Pills and Vulvodynia

A recent study published in The British Medical Journal found that low-dose estrogen plus levonorgestrel birth control pills seem to be the safest in terms of cardiovascular risk.  It is important to note that all hormonal birth control pills have the potential to cause vulvodynia. The tissue in the vulvar vestibule has androgen receptors so …

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Being unavailable: The burden of vaginismus.

Like other types of sexual dysfunction, vaginismus can be like an ugly octopus that has multiple legs extending into various areas of a woman’s life. The effects can be pervasive and show up in her confidence, in her relationships, in her body image, in her sexuality, and her overall sense of well-being. Many patients have …

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The game isn’t over.

“Yikes, have you seen your vagina lately?” “You have the vagina of a ninety-year old woman.” “Can’t have intercourse? You’d make a great nun!” The above phrases were shared with me by patients and attributed to professionals they had consulted regarding their sexual dysfunction. Needless to say, the endeavors were not only futile in solving …

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