In a pelvic exam, your physician inserts two gloved fingers inside your vagina. While simultaneously pressing down on your abdomen, he or she can examine your uterus, ovaries and other organs. Before diagnosing vulvodynia, your doctor will ask you questions about your medical, sexual and surgical history and to understand the location, nature and extent of your symptoms. Vulvodynia treatments focus on relieving symptoms. No one treatment works in every case. For many, a combination of treatments works best.
I resented the fact this had not been discussed with me in more detail, and that no other options had been suggested.
The GP referred me to a psychosexual clinic at yet another hospital. My frustration peaked here as the doctor focused on vaginismusa condition where the muscles of the vagina seize up involuntarily, often due to psychological trauma.
This was not the condition I had, but the doctor continued to bring it up and implied my problems were emotional rather than physical.
Once again, I felt my description of my symptoms was being ignored. But, worse than this, it felt like my problems were being dismissed as the result of stress or hysteria, rather than something entirely physical. My partner and I had got married, and I stopped discussing my symptoms with him, and with my GP, and tried to ignore the damage the pain was doing to my marriage.
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I felt I was letting him down, and we both buried our emotions, failing to communicate. I experienced pain every day, just taking a shower, or wearing certain clothes, and after a difficult couple of years I eventually went to a private pain clinic to see a specialist.
His experience in the area, coupled with his optimism, was almost overwhelming at this stage. He immediately discussed several options, introducing me to the possibility of non-surgical procedures including radiofrequency therapy and physiotherapy.
The pelvic physiotherapist I am now seeing has already found muscular issues relating to pelvic floor dysfunction, which we are working on.
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This is something the GP and gynaecologists had never mentioned to me. Throughout my ordeal I was dismayed by the complete lack of knowledge of the healthcare professionals I was referred to. Some statistics suggest one in six women will suffer from vulvodynia at some point.
Vulvodynia, simply put, is chronic vulvar pain without an identifiable cause. The location, constancy and severity of the pain vary among sufferers. Some women experience pain in only one area of the vulva, while others experience pain in multiple areas. The most commonly reported symptom is burning, but women's descriptions of the pain vary. Vulvodynia is a chronic pain condition that affects a woman's outer genitals, including the vulva. WebMD explains how vulvodynia is diagnosed and treated. Vulvodynia confirmed and quantified with algometer. 9 validated questionnaires (pain, sexual functioning, anxiety, depression) before and after Non?invasive brain stimulation at 2 mA for 30 sec (sham) or 20 minutes (treatment) Both groups improved slightly, treatment not superior to placebo or statistically significant.
Huge amounts of time - and NHS money - were wasted while I was reassessed for conditions that did not match the symptoms I was discussing with staff. Share on: Facebook Twitter.
Show references Stewart EG. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of generalized vulvodynia. Accessed May 1, Spadt SK, et al. Treatment of vulvodynia vulvar pain of unknown cause.
What is vulvodynia?. National Vulvodynia Association.
Frequently asked questions. Gynecologic problems FAQ American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
THINGS THAT HELP MY VULVODYNIA - UPDATE #2
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Single with Vulvodynia Affection and Socialization. 35 year old Lynn Warner* of Montauk, New York likes being single, "I don't like the idea of being tied to one person. Having vulvodynia can impact women's personal lives in fundamental ways, and it's not always clear how to deal with those issues. Fortunately, the National Vulvodynia Association has created a supportive network of women who have been through those challenges and can offer advice to singles and couples dealing with the disorder. Phyllis Mate, President and Co-Founder of the NVA, said she. Mar 28, I have vulvodynia - but countless gynaecologists dismissed my agony This article is more than 3 years old Statistics say that one in six women will contract this painful condition.
Instead, medications used in other neuropathic disorders have been borrowed, including:. Where conventional medicine proves unsatisfactory, patients frequently turn to alternative practitioners.
Few data are available on which to base recommendations for or against such treatments.
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A GP should be able to provide empathy and education. Give the patient the opportunity to discuss her problems. Encourage perseverance with treatment. Refer to a specialist where diagnosis is in doubt or for multidisciplinary treatment.
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Vulvodynia can have a significant detrimental effect on quality of life. It may have an adverse effect on the psychosexual health and quality of life of her partner. The natural history of this disorder is not clear. There is a high placebo effect in trials, suggesting high rates of spontaneous improvement in symptoms. Many treatment options have shown good success rates.
However, improvement may take time and a combination of therapies. J Low Genit Tract Dis.
Sadownik LA ; Etiology, diagnosis, and clinical management of vulvodynia. Int J Womens Health.
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Psychol Health Med. Epub Feb J Womens Health Larchmt.
Epub Aug 8. Andrews JC ; Vulvodynia interventions-systematic review and evidence grading. Obstet Gynecol Surv.
Leo RJ, Dewani S ; A systematic review of the utility of antidepressant pharmacotherapy in the treatment of vulvodynia pain.