What causes Vulvodynia to flare-up?


In vulvodynia the nerve endings in the skin of the vulva appear to become over-sensitive and send abnormal signals which are felt as a sensation of pain. This may be caused by a variety of contributing factors including:
  • Nerve injury or irritation
  • Past vaginal infections
  • Hypersensitivity to yeast infections
  • Allergies or sensitive skin
  • Hormonal changes
  • Frequent antibiotic use
  • Muscle spasm or weakness in the pelvic floor, which supports the uterus, bladder and bowel
As vulvodynia is a general term for chronic pain or discomfort around the opening of the vagina that cannot be linked to a specific cause, it may have several possible triggers.

Common triggers include:

  • Touch, such as sex or inserting a tampon
  • Pressure, such as tight, restrictive clothing or prolonged sitting
  • Irritants such as soap, detergents, shower gels and bubble baths
  • Stress

Things you can do to help with vulvodynia:

It’s important to keep your vaginal area cool and dry. Wear smooth, well fitting underwear made from natural fibres and loose-fitting skirts or trousers so as not to block airflow to your genitals. After exercise remove wet or sweaty clothing as soon as possible.
Use emollients as a substitute for soap, try to avoid scented soaps and lotions. You can also use petroleum jelly before swimming to protect the vulva from chlorine.
Pain management
Painkillers like paracetamol are unlikely to help with the pain, instead try a doughnut-shaped cushion for pain when sitting and apply cool gel packs to your vulva to soothe the pain.
Other lifestyle changes:
  • Try not to avoid sex or touching your vulva completely, as this may make your vulva more sensitive
  • Try to reduce stress, as it can increase the pain of vulvodynia
How your doctor can help:
  • Prescription medication
  • Physiotherapy referral – pelvic floor exercises can help relax the muscles around the vagina
  • Therapy and counselling referral - can help you cope with the impact vulvodynia has on your life and can also help women who are affected to restore a physical relationship with their partner
  • Rarely surgery to remove part of the vulva
To learn more about how DermaSilk can help with vulvodynia visit our website today.

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