Painful sex can have several causes, one of which is vulvar vestibulitis – pain in the area where your vulva and vagina meet. If you're experiencing pain during intercourse or at other times when there's pressure on your vulva, the experienced team at Louisiana Center for Women's Health in West Monroe, Louisiana, can help. They use a combination of treatments to address the cause of your vulvar vestibulitis, resolving the pain and other symptoms. Call the office to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.
Vulvar vestibulitis, or VVS, affects your vulva – the female sexual organs on the outside of your body. It's a type of vulvodynia (pain around the vulva) that affects the vestibule, where your vulva meets the vaginal opening.
You may have primary vulvar vestibulitis, which begins when you start having sex or using tampons; or secondary vulvar vestibulitis, which only sets in when you've already been having sex without any pain for some time.
The main vulvar vestibulitis symptom is pain, which may be present whenever there's pressure on the area, such as pressure caused by riding a bike or wearing tight clothes. Using a tampon and having sex are likely to be painful, and sometimes even touch or sitting down can cause pain.
Other symptoms you experience with vulvar vestibulitis can vary, but may include:
Vulvar vestibulitis symptoms may be mild or cause serious interference to your everyday life and relationships.
Vulvar vestibulitis seems to be a neuroinflammatory condition, which means it’s a result of inflammation and nerve activity.
The initial inflammation may start for a number of reasons, including bacterial or yeast infections, which create pain.
The nerves that sense this pain produce chemicals to promote further inflammation, triggering more pain and starting a vicious cycle that may last for years.
Several risk factors can aggravate vulvar vestibulitis, such as foods that contain high levels of acid, new infections, and low levels of the female sex hormone estrogen.
If the Louisiana Center for Women's Health team diagnoses vulvar vestibulitis, they can recommend some self-help treatments to relieve some of your symptoms.
You should avoid tight clothes that press on your vulva and wear fabrics like cotton that allow the skin to breathe. Steer clear of anything that could irritate or put pressure on your vulva, like scented pads or tampons and riding a bike.
The Louisiana Center for Women's Health team also provides expert treatment for vulvar vestibulitis, including:
Most women find their vulvar vestibulitis symptoms improve using one or more of these treatments. Relationship counseling can also be beneficial if you're having problems with your sex life.
If you're experiencing pain that could be due to vulvar vestibulitis, call Louisiana Center for Women's Health and schedule a consultation with a member of their caring team, or book an appointment online today.