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Highlighting Vulvodynia Symptoms and Treatments


Vulvodynia is the described as a pain of the vulva area of a woman. The exact cause of Vulvodynia is unknown; most doctors believe that it may be a result of a series of factors. It could be due to an injury or irritation of the nerves that are in and around the vulva. Others believe it has to do with an individual likelihood of getting yeast infections, or an allergic reaction to some chemicals in the soap or detergent that you use. Some individuals with this condition have a past history of sexual abuse also. The pain can last for a couple of months and make the easiest of tasks difficult for the individual inflicted.

Diagnosis of Vulvodynia

The diagnosis of this aliment can be a difficult one; many times it is done by eliminating other illnesses first. A physical examine will be conducted; including a careful examination of the vulvar and vagianal area. This is done to first rule out sexually transmitted diseases, infections or any other types of skin disorders. A swab of the area is done, and then the Q-tip test is often given. This is done to locate the area in which the pain is most severe. A biopsy of the area might also be done; a piece of the tissue is routinely removed from the area, and examined under the microscope. In some cases, a colonoscopy may also be done, in order to examine the vulva area.

Symptoms of Vulvodynia

The main symptoms of Vulvodynia include pain, a sensation of burning, irritation or rawness in the vulva area. A rash also will commonly develop around the area that can be sore and painful to the touch. Individual may also experience psychological symptoms, such as depression.

Treatments for Vulvodynia

While there is no cure for Vulvodynia, individuals do have some treatment options available to them.

First, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. These are used to help with the treatment of the bacteria and with any secondary infection that may occur.

Secondly, you may be given anti-convulsing drugs. These drugs are given if it is believed that the underlying pain is a result of some nerve damage. These drugs are taken in high doses, so you will have to watch for the side effects that are associated with them.

Thirdly, antidepressants are also given. These help with the depression that is caused by Vulvodynia. It can also help with the chronic pain.

Fourth, anxiolytics can be given. These are anxiety reducing or sedative type drugs. These help to decrease the level of anxiety and stress caused by the illness.

Fifth, anti-inflammatories can be used. This is the least expensive and usually the first option used. Many of these ant-inflammatories can be purchased over the counter. They include: zinc lotion, ointments, vitamin E oil, and cold compresses. These can help with the irritation, the burning and the rash.

Sixth, acupuncture may be recommended. Since acupuncture is designed to relieve pain in any part of the body, it is not necessary for the person performing the acupuncture to know exactly where the pain is.

Seventh, local anesthetics, these medications such as lidocaine can provide an individual with some temporary relief of the pain.

Eighth, sitz baths, it has found that bathing the vulva area in a saline solution can help to ease the soreness, and irritation that accompanies this aliment.

Ninth, exercise, when you exercise your body releases endorphins and this can help to manage the pain. While some exercises may be difficult to do, they are some that can be done such as stretching that can be very beneficial.

Finally, and only used for very severe cases, surgery. They are two types of surgeries that can be done, scalpel and laser. In scalpel surgery, part of the sensitive area is removed and the skin around it is pulled over. Recovery for this type of surgery takes a few weeks. Laser surgery, involves using lasers to remove the damaged area. Recovery time for laser surgery is considerably longer and it can be more painful. Again, surgery is only used as a last resort.

While many treatments are available for individuals suffering from Vulvodynia, there is no one treatment that works for everyone. It takes a combination of treatments to attack and alleviate all of the symptoms. The key is to work with your doctor, and be honest about what you are feeling. If something is not working, you need to tell them that, so that they can try another option.

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