Vulvodynia – Treatment and Remedies of Vulvodynia
A wide variety has been observed deciding over the possible causes and the treatment options available for Vulvodynia. But treatment of Vulvodynia would require proper diagnosis. All other vulvovaginal problems must be ruled out to see if this syndrome is the only exclusion. The signs and complaints in a patient is mostly an indication in diagnosing the syndrome But for confirmation and estimating the severity, a cotton “swab test” is performed.
Treatment of Vulvodynia
No particular method or approach of treatment is basically followed. many patients have shown improvement in their symptoms using a variety of treatments. Some find a complete relief from a method while others do not respond at all to the same method of treatment. Since most methods of treatment are still under experimentation and study, so these are not covered by insurance policies.
The choice of method again depends on the preference of the physician, affordability by the patient and it’s preference and response of methods in subsiding the symptoms. The following methods of treatment are followed to cure Vulvodynia.
- Over the Counter Care:
- Wear undergarments made of cotton
- Avoid using synthetics
- Avoid using anything that can cause irritation at the vulvar area (like – laundry detergents, douching, soaps, perfumes, shampoos)
- Always clean the vagina using only plain water
- Do not use soaps over your vulvar region
- Use cotton sanitation pads during menstrual cycles
- Rinse and pat dry the vulva after urination
- Use a pad if needed to sit for longer time
- Lubrication may be used during the purpose of intercourse or daily to minimize irritation.
- If you are complaining of yeast or fungal infections, do not use glycerin-based lubricants.
- For irritations, neem oil can be used as a topical application to serve as an anti-fungal.
- It is safe to use Pjur water-based lubricants. These are recommended by doctors also.
- Oilve oil and Vitamin E may be avoided depending on your infection. Because when these are applied topically, can increase the chances of bacterial growth.
- A low-oxalate diet is very helpful for people with high levels of oxalate in urine. This can cause exacerbating irritation.
- A calcium-citrate supplement is often helpful for those with a low-oxalate diet.
- But no proper evidences have been found supporting the fact.
- Alternatives to Penetration:
- Since penetration is often the source of pain, so patients may explore other sexual activities besides penetrative intercourse.
- In this case, you may seek help from a sex therapist to learn techniques to manage sexual intimacy even without penetration.
- Variable success has been found using topical creams and gels. Topical creams including estrogen and/or testosterone is mostly used.
- A compound pharmacy is generally considered mentioned below –
- oral medicines (with testosterone)
- antidepressants (nortriptyline, amitriptyline) for pain disorders
- anti-anxiety drugs
- injectable medications (including anesthetics, tricyclic antidepressants topical form, estrogens or local steroids)
- Biofeedback, Physical Therapy and Relaxation:
- Biofeedback is often performed by physical therapists.
- They insert a vaginal sensor sensing the strength of the muscles. This sensor would also help in getting a better control on the muscles.
- The patient will be able in feeling the difference between contraction and relaxation.
- Sessions include Kegel exercises, relaxation, direct manipulation of the muscles, physical pressing on and stretching the muscles.
- Vestibulectomy is the surgical method of treating Vulvodynia.
- During vestibulectomy, the innervated fibers are excised. An extension is performed at the vaginal area.
- The vaginal tissue is pulled forward and sewn. The sewing is performed in place of the removed skin.
- But the rate of success varies varies within 60 – 93%.
Home Remedies For Vulvodynia
A few people do not prefer opting for any of the methods of treatment mentioned above. Based on their affordability and preference, people prefer using home remedies to cure this syndrome. The following methods of home cure treatments are followed.
- Cold compresses.
- Placing cool compresses directly on external genital area will help in reducing the itching and pain.
- Say no to synthetics.
- Tight fitting pantyhose and nylon-wear undergarments must be avoided.
- Only cotton-based undergarments must be worn. Tight garments restrict the airflow to the genital areas. This may lead to increase in temperature and moisture level in that area causing irritation.
- But cotton-made garments can increase the dryness and allow ventilation.
- Sleeping without any undergarments is better.
- Avoid hot tubs.
- Hot tub and hot baths can increase the discomfort and itching. So avoiding those is preferable.
- Do not use chemicals.
- Excessive hygiene should be avoided.
- What it refers to is washing and scrubbing the affected area too harshly or very often must not be encouraged. It would also increased irritation.
- Always use plain water instead of using soap or other cleansing agents.
- Gently clean the vulva and pat dry it every time you urinate.
- Using a preservative-free emollient after bath, is a good practice. This will help in creating a protective barrier.
- Use lubricants.
- Sufferers who are sexually active, must consider using lubricants before getting indulged in sexual intercourse.
- Take recommendations from your physician.
- ou may use antihistamine at bedtime to reduce itching. This will then help you in having a disturbance less sleep.
- Avoid triggers.
- Look for triggering factors that are making the pain and discomfort worse.
- Once you find the, avoid them. These factors have been seen varying from woman to woman.
- Most common factors includes – creams. bath products, clothing dyes, soap, laundry detergents, contraceptive devices etc.
- Also avoid bleached and colorful toilet paper.
- It is always ideal to use only white, unbleached toilet paper and those sanitary products which are 100% cotton-based.
- Stay active.
- All chronic pain and discomfort are dealt best by regular exercises.
- But if any exercise is putting on extra pressure on the vulva directly, then stay away from those.