Any pain in the lower abdominal region, below your belly button, is pelvic pain. It can happen for a number of reasons. These include irritable bowel syndrome, appendicitis, painful ovulation, ectopic pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
If the pain is localized to the outer part of your vagina (the vulva), you have vulvodynia. This condition can affect your personal life, causing problems with sex, sleep, sitting for long periods, and even your clothing options.
Women in and around Wellesley and Hudson, Massachusetts, looking for relief from vulvodynia or other pelvic conditions can find it with Dr. Neeraj Kohli and his skilled team at BostonUrogyn.
Vulvodynia is a pelvic condition marked by constant or intermittent pain in your vulva for three months or longer. A definitive cause of vulvodynia isn’t completely understood, but suspected causes include neuropathic, hormonal, musculoskeletal, and genetic issues.
Women with vulvodynia often are also dealing with conditions such as fibromyalgia, painful bladder syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, and temporomandibular disorder. Risk factors also include anxiety, depression, a history of abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The pain associated with vulvodynia may come in a variety of forms. It may be triggered only by touch, be limited to specific areas of the vulva, or affect the entire surface. While the vulva often looks normal with vulvodynia, it may also be swollen or inflamed.
Common signs of this condition include a sensation of burning, stinging, rawness, soreness, throbbing, itching, and dyspareunia (painful intercourse).
Vulvodynia is common but underreported. The best way to get effective treatment is to see your doctor with symptoms so you can get a proper diagnosis.
To help narrow down the cause of your pelvic pain to vulvodynia, they ask about your surgical and medical history, including if you’ve been treated for vaginal infections, if the pain gets worse with sex, or if you’re experiencing vaginal dryness.
Once vulvodynia is diagnosed, treatment depends on the factors causing the pain. Antibiotics can be applied if your condition is related to infections or trigger avoidance if there’s an allergic response at work.
General treatments for vulvodynia include pain-relieving creams, low-dose tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), anticonvulsants, biofeedback, and cognitive behavior therapy.
There’s still a lot to be discovered about what causes vulvodynia, but whatever the cause, we can help you manage this condition. If you’re ready to be free of the pain of vulvodynia, call the office or make an online appointment with Dr. Kohli and BostonUrogyn today.