Self-Help Tips to Relieve & Manage Vulvodynia

While you are looking for an experienced Vulvodynia Pain Specialist who can successfully treat your vulvar pain; there are a number of excellent tried & tested coping measures/tips which can help you ameliorate your symptoms & stave off further irritation. In fact, even when your Vulva Pain Consultant gets your symptoms under control, you can still use these simple tips as a preventive strategy

Laundry & Clothing

• Only use pain white, 100% cotton underwear with a guzzet
• Never wear tights, and instead opt for knee high hose or stockings that go up to your thighs
• Only wear loose-fitting skirts or trousers, and avoid shorts
• If you exercise or swim, be sure to remove your exercise kit and wet bathing suit immediately after you have finished
• When you do your laundry, only use a dermatologically-approved detergent
• Always rinse your underwear and any other clothing which has come into contact with your vulva
• Never use any form of fabric softener on your undergarments [1,2]


• Go to the bathroom to pass urine before your bladder is full
• After you urinate, gently rinse your vulva with water
• Only use good quality white, soft, unscented toilet paper
• Relieve any irritation or burning by sitting in a cool or lukewarm sitz bath
• Be sure not to drip any shampoo on your vulvar area
• Never use any perfumed cream or soap, feminine hygiene products, or bubble bath
• Only use lukewarm or cool water to wash your vulva
• Be sure to only purchase tampons or sanitary towels which are 100% cotton
• Avoid being constipated by adding sufficient fibre (either from fresh fruit or wholegrain food, or in supplement form); and very importantly, be sure to drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water each and every day [1,2]

Sexual Intercourse

• Only buy lubricants that are water-based
• Ask your Vulva Pain Specialist to prescribe you a topical anaesthetic, such as Lidocaine gel 5%. Once you apply it, it is normal to experience a stinging sensation for several minutes
• In order to ameliorate a burning sensation post-intercourse, simply apply a frozen blue gel pack or ice (wrapped in one layer of a hand towel ), for a quarter of an hour
• In order to prevent infection, once you have had intercourse, pass urine and rinse your vulva with cool water
• Do not use spermicides or contraceptive creams [1,2]
• Regularly report your symptoms to your Pain Specialist. These can be written in a ‘Pain Diary.’


[1]. National Vulvodynia Association (2022). “Improving Women’s Health.”

[2]. The Mayo Clinic (2022). “Vulvodynia.”