What are the symptoms of vulvodynia?


Quick Answer

The primary symptoms of vulvodynia include burning, stinging, soreness, rawness, itching and throbbing in the genital area as well as pain during intercourse, states Mayo Clinic. Symptoms may affect the general vulvar area or concentrate on a specific area such as the vaginal opening.

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Full Answer

A burning pain often described as an acid- or knife-like pain is the most common vulvodynia symptom, says WebMD. Symptoms can appear constantly or intermittently, and activities such as exercising, inserting tampons, bicycling, having sexual intercourse, walking and sitting can trigger symptoms. The vulva generally does not change in appearance, but it may become slightly inflamed. Symptoms normally begin suddenly and may last several months to several years.

Women should talk with their doctors or ask for a gynecological referral if they experience vulvar pain, recommends Mayo Clinic. The doctor can rule out other conditions such as yeast infections, bacterial infections, diabetes and vestibulodynia, a similar condition that produces pain only when the patient applies pressure to the area. The doctor can then prescribe treatment options based on the patient's symptoms. There is no cure for vulvodynia, but a number of pain treatments and self-care options exist to help patients control symptoms and return to their daily activities, states WebMD. Women with vulvodynia should avoid chemicals or other items that may irritate the vulva. For example, avoiding contact with scented toilet paper and shampoo can prevent irritation and pain.

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