Vulvodynia - is a pathological condition characterized by chronic pain in the vulva. Vulvodynia is rarely accompanied by physical trauma and in this regard, the disorder is classified exclusively as psychosomatic or even psychogenic.
Vulvodynia has long been excluded from the field of medical research. However, the problems associated with this pain syndrome were reviewed and re-evaluated only in recent years. Despite the explosion of interest at present, vulvodynia remains a complex medical problem, which neither sexologists nor gynecologists .
Symptoms of vulvodynia
Sexual relationships for a woman suffering from vulvodynia are a real test. For the first time, vulvodynia was described by Dr. Friedrich in the late 80s of the last century, and until now the leading clinical lines of symptoms are signs analyzed by the author. These are:
- erythematous manifestations on the vulva of varying degrees of intensity;
- hypersensitivity of the vulva tissue;
- possible dyspareunia (pain during intercourse);
- vaginal discomfort during the act.
The symptoms described by Frederick are supplemented by the following symptoms: irritation, dryness, burning, mucosal damage, de-epithelization.
Causes of vulvodynia
Among the possible causes of the disease, repeated bacterial infections of the bladder and vagina play an important role. The expression of the disease is significantly affected by psychological and sexual aspects. Many women with vulvodynia experienced sexual harassment and violence.
Diagnosis of vulvodynia
Vulvodynia is diagnosed in 8-12% of women who have undergone gynecological examination. Diagnosis of the disease is difficult, because the doctor must evaluate and analyze all the alarm signals.
The smear test described by Friedrich helps diagnose vulvodynia: with a cotton swab, the doctor gently presses at some specific points on the threshold of the vagina. A woman suffering from vulvodynia reacts in an exaggerated manner, complaining of a painful feeling of pain. In fact, the doctor should actually .«guess» the woman’s problem and prescribe the most appropriate treatment.
Treatment of vulvodynia
In the therapeutic strategy aimed at healing vulvodynia, the leading place belongs to psychotherapy. Some women may be prescribed oral pain medications, as well as local anesthetic creams. For a long time, however, these agents cannot be used, since undesirable side effects are possible.
Curious is the importance of diet in the treatment of vulvodynia. Products with a high content of oxalates (pumpkin, eggplant, rhubarb, beer, cocoa, chocolate, etc.) should be avoided, since these substances are excreted in the urine and can form microcrystals in the kidneys, exacerbating the patient's condition. In extreme cases, the disease requires surgical care.