Vulvodynia

California Spine & Pain Institute

Pain Management located in West Hills, CA & Encino, CA

Women who have vulvodynia, which involves chronic pain in the vulva, often try a multitude of treatments only to find that many do very little to relieve the pain. Magued Fadly, MD, QME, at California Spine & Pain Institute in West Hills & Encino, California, can help with interventional pain treatments, such as nerve blocks that stop pain signals from being sent to the brain. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone today.

Vulvodynia Q & A

What is vulvodynia?

Vulvodynia refers to a condition in which women experience chronic pain or discomfort in the vulva, which are the external structures surround the vaginal opening. The condition can have many causes, including injury and increased nerve sensitivity. Vulvodynia is characterized into different types:

  • Generalized vulvodynia: Pain throughout the entire vulvar area
  • Localized vulvodynia: Pain felt in one part of the vulva
  • Provoked vulvodynia: Pain triggered by an activity or contact with the area
  • Provoked vestibulodynia: Pain that’s triggered by an activity, but it only occurs at the vaginal opening

What causes vulvodynia?

Vulvodynia may be caused by:

  • Injury or irritation to nerves surrounding the vulva
  • Increased density of nerves in the vulvar vestibule
  • Abnormal nerve response or hypersensitivity
  • High levels of inflammatory substances in the vulvar area
  • Altered hormone receptors in vulvar tissue
  • Pelvic floor muscle weakness or spasms

Genetic factors may also make you more susceptible to vulvodynia. In some cases, the problem may develop due to a vaginal infection or allergies.

What symptoms might I develop due to vulvodynia?

Although pain is the most common symptom, it can manifest in different ways for each woman. You may experience pain that feels:

  • Burning
  • Sharp
  • Cutting
  • Stinging
  • Aching

Many women also develop itching or general irritation. The pain can occur occasionally or become a constant problem.

If your vulvodynia is provoked, your symptoms may appear during sex, when inserting a tampon, after urinating, during exercise, or while you’re sitting.

How is vulvodynia treated?

There are many possible treatment options for vulvodynia. It may take trying different treatments to find one that works for you and relieves your pain. A few standard treatment options include:

  • Topical medications, such as a local anesthetic or hormonal creams
  • Oral medications, such as antidepressants
  • Physical therapy to strengthen pelvic floor muscles
  • Alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and trigger point massage

Dr. Fadly can help relieve the pain of vulvodynia with interventional treatments, such as nerve blocks, which target the nerves sending pain signals from the vulvar region to your brain.

With a nerve block, Dr. Fadly injects an anesthetic into the targeted nerves. This stops nerve signals, so your brain never receives the pain message. During the procedure, Dr. Fadly uses imaging to see the nerves and to ensure your injection is precisely placed at the target nerves.

To learn whether interventional procedures can relieve your vulvodynia pain, call California Spine & Pain Institute or book an appointment online.