Vaginal Pain (Vulvodynia) (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
In this Article
- Vaginal pain and vulvodynia facts
- What are vaginal pain and vulvodynia?
- What causes vaginal pain and/or vulvodynia?
- What symptoms are characteristic of vaginal pain and vulvodynia?
- What are risk factors for vaginal pain and vulvodynia?
- What diagnostic tests are used to evaluate vaginal pain and vulvodynia?
- How are vaginal pain and vulvodynia treated?
- Medications and other medical therapies for vaginal pain and vulvodynia
- Home remedies for vaginal pain and vulvodynia
- What are the complications of vaginal pain and vulvodynia?
- What is the outlook (prognosis) for vaginal pain and vulvodynia?
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
What diagnostic tests are used to evaluate vaginal pain and vulvodynia?
There are no specific tests that confirm vulvodynia, and the diagnosis is made based upon the characteristic symptoms. However, since vulvar and vaginal infections (yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, vaginitis) are sometimes associated with burning and itching, cultures or other diagnostic tests to rule out infections may be ordered.
How are vaginal pain and vulvodynia treated?
Vulvodynia can be managed both by medical treatments and self-care (home remedies). Not all treatments will be effective for every woman, and a woman may have to try different treatments to find the most effective option for her.
Medications and other medical therapies
Some of the medications that have been useful include:
- Topical estrogen creams
- Topical or local anesthetics
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Anticonvulsants (anti-seizure medications are sometimes useful in managing chronic pain)
Other medical therapies for women with severe vulvodynia include injections of interferon or nerve blocks, in which medications are injected to reduce signaling from nerves in the affected area. Biofeedback training and pelvic floor exercises have been helpful for some women. Finally, surgical removal of affected tissue can be of benefit in women with vulvodynia due to vulvar vestibulitis syndrome, a particular type of vulvodynia that is located at the area of the hymenal ring.
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