vulvodynia

Treat Vulvodynia Naturally

Vulvodynia or chronic vulva pain is distressing and causes problems with interpersonal relationships and psychological well-being. Not to be confused with pruritus vulvae, vulvodynia is extremely painful but lacking in anatomical or neurological reasons behind the pain. It can be generalized, localized, provoked, unprovoked, or any combination of these. It can be aggravated by tampons, sex, allergies, STD’s, may affect the urethra or anus, and may worsen during the menstrual cycle.

 

How do I know if I have vulvodynia?

  • Burning
  • Stinging
  • Rawness
  • Aching
  • Soreness
  • Throbbing
  • Itching
  • These symptoms may be present:
  • All the time
  • Once in a while
  • During certain activities such as exercise, intercourse, walking or even resting
  • In one area or all around the vulva

 

How do I prevent vulvodynia?

You may not be able to prevent vulvodynia as the cause is not clear. You can, however, take steps to help prevent flare ups.

  • Avoid irritants such as soaps, panty liners or non-cotton underwear.
  • Avoid wipes, deodorants and douching.
  • Be wary of lubricants and spermicides. Never use any that have caused problems before.
  • Keep the area as clean as possible.
  • Avoid risky sexual behaviors that can lead to contraction of STD’s such as HPV.

How can I treat vulvodynia?

  • Take a lukewarm or cool sitz bath to help relieve pain.
  • Apply an ice pack to the area after intercourse.
  • If an ice pack doesn’t work, try a heating pad.
  • Work on relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation.
  • Try massage therapy, pelvic floor muscle exercises, acupuncture, chiropractic and biofeedback to help calm the body, soothe inflammation and eliminate pain.
  • Follow an elimination diet. Begin but cutting out all foods that can cause allergic reactions; gluten, dairy, alcohols, caffeine and sugars, for six weeks. Then begin adding them back one at a time with a week between each addition. Immediately cease eating anything that coincides with a return of symptoms and eliminate it from your diet.
  • Avoid any foods that make your urine more acidic such as spinach, celery, blueberries and strawberries, or sweet potatoes.
  • Try to get some exercise to help release endorphins. Avoid bicycling and pool swimming as both can aggravate vulvodynia.
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