Vulvod i nia is a feeling of pain that occurs in the vulva, which is the outer part of the female genital organ. Vulvod i nia can cause complaints in the form of sensations such as burning, stabbing, or heat in the vagina.

Vulvodynia can be experienced by women of all ages. Patients can experience pain that occurs occasionally or continuously for more than 3 months. In addition to increasing anxiety and triggering depression, vulvodynia can also cause sufferers to have difficulty having sex.

Causes of Vulvod i nia

Vulvodynia is not related to infections and sexually transmitted diseases. The cause is not known for sure. However, there are some conditions that are thought to trigger vulvodynia, such as:

  • Injury, irritation, or damage to the nerves around the vulva
  • History of vaginal infections
  • Allergies or sensitive skin
  • Hormonal changes
  • Muscle spasms or pelvic floor muscle weakness

In addition, there are several factors that can increase the risk of women experiencing vulvodynia, namely:

  • History of sexual harassment
  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder ( PTSD )

Symptoms of Vulvod i nia

Symptoms of vulvodynia can appear suddenly or continue continuously for months or years. Vulvodynia is characterized by the appearance of uncomfortable sensations in the vagina, such as:

  • Itching
  • Burning sensation
  • Stinging or stabbing sensation
  • Pain during sexual intercourse ( dyspareunia )
  • Pain when sitting, cycling, or using a tampon

In some women with vulvodynia, the vulva can experience inflammation or swelling. However, in most cases, the vulva often looks normal.

When should you go to the doctor?

Consult a doctor if you feel pain in the vagina, because the complaint could be an early sign of vulvodynia . You are also advised to see a doctor immediately if symptoms occur repeatedly and worsen.

Patients who have been diagnosed with vulvodynia are advised to undergo regular treatment. This treatment aims to relieve pain and prevent complications.

Diagnosis of Vulvod i nia

The diagnosis of vulvodynia begins with questions and answers about the patient's symptoms and health history. Next, the doctor will examine the vagina, both inside and outside. A sample of the patient's vaginal fluid will also be taken and examined, to find out the possibility of infection in the genital area.

The doctor can also perform a cotton swab test , which is by applying gentle pressure to the vulva area to assess the severity of the pain.

If there are wounds, lumps, or discoloration on the vulva, the doctor will perform a biopsy (tissue sampling) to be examined under a microscope. The purpose is to find out whether or not there is abnormal tissue in the vulva.

Vulvod i nia treatment

The treatment of vulvodynia aims to reduce the pain and discomfort experienced by the patient. The following are some handling methods that can be used to deal with vulvodynia:


Medicines given to overcome vulvodynia include:

  • Antidepressants and anticonvulsants , to treat nerve pain
  • Ointments, such as creams and ointments that contain anesthetics to relieve pain
  • Nerve block, which is an injection drug that can interfere with the pain signal from the nerve to the brain so that the pain is reduced


Another method that can be done to overcome vulvodynia is therapy, among others:

  • Physical therapy , to strengthen the pelvic muscles and reduce muscle spasms with a number of exercises, such as Kegel exercises
  • Biofeedback , to help relax the vaginal muscles so that the pain is reduced
  • TENS ( transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation ), to help relieve pain using low voltage electric current
  • Counselling, to restore self-confidence and overall quality of life, including the quality of sexual relations


Vulvodynia can be treated with a vestibulectomy . This operation is performed to lift the tissue in the diseased area. Vestibulectomy may be an option if other treatments have not worked.

Independent treatment

In addition to receiving treatment from a doctor, there are several self-treatments that can be done at home to relieve pain caused by vulvodynia, namely:

  • Using a cooling gel to compress the vulva
  • Take a sitz bath 2-3 times a day using warm or cold water mixed with Epsom salt or colloidal oatmeal for 5-10 minutes
  • Clean the vulva area gently using warm water and dry using a towel
  • Use lubricant when having sex, but avoid lubricant products that contain alcohol, flavorings, warming substances, and cooling agents
  • Use a soft seat pad if you have to sit for a long time, to reduce pressure on the vulva area
  • Manage stress well and get enough rest

Complications of Vulvod i nia

Vulvodynia can cause several health complications, such as:

  • Fear of sex
  • Vaginismus or tightening of the muscles around the vagina
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Problems with a partner
  • Decreased quality of life

Prevention of Vulvod i nia

The cause of vulvodynia is not known for certain. Therefore, this condition is difficult to prevent. However, lifestyle changes are believed to reduce the risk of this condition occurring.

Some steps that can be taken to help prevent the occurrence of vulvodynia are:

  • Choose a detergent that has been tested to be safe for the skin when washing underwear
  • Use unscented toilet tissue to clean the vagina
  • Wearing cotton underwear
  • Avoid using creams or soaps that contain fragrance on the vagina
  • Do not soak in hot water pools or pools that contain a lot of chlorine
  • Always rinse the vulva with water after urinating and having sex
  • Wearing loose pants or skirts and not wearing socks
  • Keep the vulva dry by not sitting for long periods in wet swimwear or damp clothes
  • Change bandages and pantyliners routinely
  • Perform pelvic examinations, internal organs, and pap smears regularly
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