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What are some strategies to control vulvodynia pain?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

To get to the bottom of vulvodynia pain, women should receive a full gynecological examination that includes a visual, sensory and internal inspection to see if there is any other reason for the pain—infection, injury or skin dermatitis—and to isolate the affected anatomy. The approach to evaluating vulvodynia pain takes an expert who is sensitive and knowledgeable in the nuances of vulvar conditions.

Many women who have vulvodynia will develop personal strategies that help to control the pain. Here are some tips for everyday living:

  • Wear 100 percent cotton underwear during the day and wear nothing at night and avoid using panty liners or wearing pantyhose.
  • Don't use harsh soaps or douche but instead cleanse with natural emollients such as olive oil and sweet almond oil or just plain water.
  • Use non-propylene glycol lubricants during intercourse to improve elasticity of tissue.
  • Dab the vulva with cool water after urinating.
  • Apply cool ice or gel packs before engaging in a triggering activity.
  • Eat a low-oxalate diet (also prevents kidney stones) to reduce the calcium oxalate crystals in urine that might irritate vulvar tissue.
  • Use a soft doughnut-shaped pillow if you need to sit for a long time.

This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com.

 

Dr. Charla Simon, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

Some of the common therapies tried for vulvodynia are pelvic floor physical therapy, tricyclic antidepressants, topical local anesthetics, topical estrogen cream and in resistant cases surgical removal of the painful area.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.