Recognizing Vulvodynia: do you experience any of the following?
- Itching or burning in the vulva that is not alleviated with topical creams
- Burning or itching experienced with wearing underwear or tight pants
- Pain with tampon use or intercourse
- Pain with light touch to vaginal area
- Frequent yeast infections which are treated, however itching persists
If the answer is yes, you could be suffering from vulvodynia. Vulvodynia is defined as vulvar discomfort, most often described as burning pain, occurring in the absence of relevant visible findings or a specific, clinically identifiable, neurologic disorder.
Vulvodynia is often a diagnosis of exclusion, therefore other skin conditions, infections, cancer, and other neurologic disease needs to be ruled out by your doctor. Common co-morbidites seen with vulvodynia include: interstitial cystitis, fibromyalgia, major depressive disorders, dyspareunia, overactive pelvic floor.
Pelvic floor PT can help these symptoms.
At your initial evaluation, your therapist will examine your hips, spine, and low back as well as your pelvic floor to determine what area needs focus on. Part of your treatment may include use of a dilator.
Resource: Herman & Wallace, Pelvic Floor Function, Dysfunction and treatment(Level 2B), St. Louis, MO, December 5-7, 2014.