The mystery of vulvodynia

Although vulvodynia is a condition that affects many women – studies estimate between 6-20% of women – it is still frequently missed or misdiagnosed, even among clinicians specializing in womens’ gynecologic health. Many women suffer from vulvodynia for years, often seeing multiple providers and being subjected to many unnecessary tests and ineffective treatments, prior to …

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There is Help for Vaginal Pain

It’s unlikely that British philosopher Francis Bacon imagined that his phrase “knowledge is power” would find its way into the blog of a sexual dysfunction clinic centuries after he coined it. But In an interview with Scienceline, our Clinical Director, Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus, recalls his words of wisdom when she says: “It breaks my …

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Diagnosing Dyspareunia (Vaginal Pain)

Dyspereunia. Admittedly, it’s not a flowery word, and it’s not a walk in the park for those who are diagnosed with it. Dyspereunia is an umbrella term that describes several types of negative pelvic sensations that women may experience. Discomfort in the vulvar region or pain with intercourse, vaginal muscle spasms that prevent penetration – …

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Vaginismus? Vulvodynia? What?

People ask all the time about the difference between Vulvodynia and Vaginismus, so here’s a brief explanation: Vulvodynia is chronic unexplained pain in the vulva that lasts for over 3 months. The pain can be described as burning, stinging, rawness, or even itching. It can occur with intercourse, but frequently women will have pain with …

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What is Vulvodynia?

Vulvodynia is an unexplained pain at the vaginal opening for greater than 3 months.  Other terms are vulvar vestibulitis, vestibulodynia, or vulvar vestibulitis syndrome. Some studies show that as any as 16% of women have suffered from vulvodynia at some point in their lives, but it is difficult to estimate, because many women don’t report …

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Can a UTI Cause Chronic Vulvar Pain?

I was recently asked if a urinary tract infection could lead to chronic vulvar pain. A urinary tract infection is when bacteria invades the urinary tract, and causes such symptoms as burning with urination, frequency of urination and the feeling of an urgent need to urinate. Although a urinary tract infection(UTI) does not cause any …

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Understanding Vulvodynia

If you have vaginal pain with intercourse, you may have been diagnosed with vulvodynia. And you may feel terribly confused by all the information you are getting from your doctor or from looking up the condition on line. And that’s totally understandable because the truth is that there can be some disagreement by doctors themselves …

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Vulvodynia – Do I really need surgery??

There is a certain type of vulvar pain which until now was basically untreatable without surgery. The good news, we always told patients, was that with the right surgery there is a 98% chance that you will be pain free. The bad news, unfortunately, was that the surgery is pretty miserable. You’re out of work …

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Birth Control Pills and Vulvodynia

A recent study published in The British Medical Journal found that low-dose estrogen levonorgestrel birth control pills seem to be the safest in terms of cardiovascular risk.  It is important to note that all hormonal birth control pills have the potential to cause vulvodynia. The tissue in the vulvar vestibule has androgen receptors so …

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