How Underwear & Sanitary Products Can Exacerbate Vulvodynia

“Although everything may look perfectly normal down there, a whopping 10% of women suffer from Vulvodynia. – An unrelenting inexplicable pain in the vagina & around the vulva, which can feel like a red hot poker, throbbing, stinging & burning away. And as if that’s not enough, these most unwelcome sensations are often exacerbated by sanitary products, underwear, & more”

So How to I Prevent Further Irritation?

Whether your symptoms are under control or not, employing a preventive strategy is absolutely crucial to your well-being. Moreover, it is highly recommended by Vulvodynia Pain Specialists. So to that end, try to incorporate the following tips.

Clothing & Laundry

• Only wear pure cotton, all-white underwear
• Never wear tights (go for stockings or knee or thigh high hose, instead)
• Make sure that your skirts & trousers are loose-fitting
• Only wear cotton pajama bottoms
• If you go to the gym or swimming baths, as soon as you have finished working out or swimming, take off your exercise gear or wet bathing suit, immediately
• Only buy dermatologically-approved laundry detergents
• When you are doing your washing, never use fabric softener on your undergarments
• Always double-rinse any clothing or underwear which has come into contact with your vulva [1].

Upgrade Your Hygiene Protocol

• Only purchase unscented, white soft toilet paper
• If you are suffering from irritation & burning, have a cool sitz bath, & use lukewarm water. (Note: a sitz bath is type of therapy which involves sitting in shallow warm water. It is designed to ameliorate itching, pain, & other symptoms in the genital & anal regions. It can also help to keep these areas clean if you can’t take a bath or shower)
• Do not get any shampoo on your vulvar region
• Do not use any perfumed soaps, creams, shower gel, bath products, or feminine hygiene products, as these can act as irritants
• Only use lukewarm or cool water to wash your vulva
• Every time you urinate, rinse your vulva with water straight away
• Be mindful so that you urinate before your bladder becomes full
• Avoid being constipated by adding fibrous food to your diet, & drinking 6 to 8 glasses of mineral water every day
• Only buy tampons & menstrual pads which are 100% [1]

Book an Appointment With A Vulvodynia Specialist
Having a consultation with an experienced Pain Specialist can prove highly beneficial, and you will be told about the latest cutting-edge treatments. The doctor will devise a holistic Personalised Treatment Plan, which is likely to involve more than one modality.


[1]. National Vulvodynia Association (2021). “Self-Help Tips.”