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Women’s Sexual Health: Treating Vulvodynia and Dyspareunia

admin Women's Health

Some of the more common women’s sexual health problems includes vulvar pain, called vulvodynia, and pain with intercourse, or dyspareunia. These problems can be overwhelming for many women.

Evidence shows that more than 21% of women have some form of sexual pain. Women have complained of dyspareunia for centuries, and just recently the area of dyspareunia and vulvodynia has become more specifically defined.  With the additional attention to these conditions, appropriate treatment recommendations have also been developed. 

Symptoms

Vulvodynia can be chronic or persistent vulvar pain or discomfort. Symptoms are commonly described by patients as burning, stinging, irritation or rawness. 

To diagnose vulvodynia and plan for treatment, doctors look for the following:

  1. Lasting at least 3 month in duration
  2. No clear identifiable cause
  3. May have associated factors
  4. Can be localized
  5. May be provoked (insertional or contact)
  6. Intermittent, constant, immediate, or delayed
  7. Can be caused by a specific disorder

The psychological impact of chronic vulvodynia, dyspareunia, and painful sexual exchange is evidenced often by feelings of hopelessness, depression, and anxiety.  These feelings are often compounded as they affect an intimate part of the body, an area often embarrassing or difficult for patients to talk to their health care provider about. 

OGA offers a multidisciplinary team approach to help patients with sexual and vaginal pain. In our clinic, your specific concerns can be carefully and confidentially evaluated and treated.  There’s no need to continue to live in pain — several treatment options are available and we can create a treatment plan that works best for you. 

If you think you may be suffering from one of these conditions, please call OGA at 208-888-0909 to make an appointment. We are happy to discuss treatment options with you!

*** This article is not intended to be medical advice and should not replace the advice of your treating medical professional. ***