Chronic vulvar pain, then it’s important to know that your gynecologist can help. Vulvodynia is a real condition that can negatively affect your everyday activities, so achieving relief as soon as possible can ensure you can enjoy life again..Vulvodynia (Vul-voe-DIN-e-uh) is chronic pain or discomfort around the opening of your vagina (vulva) for which there’s no identifiable cause and which lasts at least three months. The pain, burning, or irritation associated with vulvodynia can make you so uncomfortable that sitting for long periods or having sex becomes unthinkable. The condition can last for months to years.

If you have vulvodynia, don’t let the absence of visible signs of embarrassment about discussing the symptoms keep you from seeking help. Treatment options are available to lessen your discomfort. And your doctor might be able to determine a cause for your vulvar pain, so it’s important to have an examination.

Vulva

The main vulvodynia symptom is a pain in your genital area, which can be characterized as:

  • Burning
  • Soreness
  • Stinging
  • Rawness
  • Painful intercourse (dyspareunia)
  • Throbbing
  • Itching

Your pain might be constant or occasional. It might occur only when the sensitive area is touched (provoked). You might feel the pain in your entire vulvar area (generalized), or the pain might be localized to a certain area, such as the opening of your vagina (vestibule).

Vulvar tissue might look slightly inflamed or swollen. More often, your vulva appears normal.

A similar condition, vestibulodynia, causes pain only when pressure is applied to the area surrounding the entrance to your vagina.

When to see a doctor

Although women often don’t mention vulvodynia to their doctors, the condition is fairly common.

If you have pain in your genital area, discuss it with your doctor or ask for a referral to a gynecologist. It’s important to have your doctor rule out more easily treatable causes of vulvar pain — for instance, yeast or bacterial infections, herpes, precancerous skin conditions, genitourinary syndrome of menopause, and medical problems such as diabetes.

It’s also important not to repeatedly use over-the-counter treatments for yeast infections without seeing your doctor. Once your doctor has evaluated your symptoms, he or she can recommend treatments or ways to help you manage your pain.

polycystic ovary (or ovarian) syndrome, also known as PCOS occurs when women have an excess of male hormones. It usually goes undetected by women and hard to diagnose because there’s not a specified test. ⁣

If you are experiencing any of these, speak to your doctor — the sooner you know the better. There are medical and holistic ways to treat it.