Vulvodynia and Your Mental Health

“DSM-IV-diagnosed mood & anxiety may influence the development of unexplained vulvar pain – a chronic disorder that affects millions of women. Moreover, research suggests that the development of vulvodynia may lead to a new or recurrent mood or anxiety disorder” [1]
Furthermore, Vulvodynia, depression & PTSD may have a common pathophysiological & risk profile” [2]

If you are experiencing symptoms of vulvodynia, or vulvodynia along with any of these aforementioned associated mental health symptoms, book a consultation with an experienced Vulva Pain Specialist, who will put you on a Personalised Treatment Plan

Did You Know?

Are you aware that women who suffer from vulvodynia, may have more brain activation within the areas of the central nervous system which are linked to pain and sensory processing? Well, studies show that:

“Activation in a sensory integration brain region involved in pain & sensory processing, has been found to be associated with anxiety disorders such as PTSD, as well as vulvar pain” [2]

In addition to the aforementioned, the neurotransmitters/hormones, serotonin and noradrenalin, have been associated with the underlying pathophysiology (the disordered physiological processes associated with disease or injury) of long-term pain. Moreover, they are understood to be linked to depressive disorders and anxiety.

Research findings from a number of studies: “negate the belief that depression & anxiety are solely secondary to the diagnosis of vulvodynia. Scientists support the hypothesis that psychiatric disease plays a significant role in the way vulvodynia develops” [1]

How Does a Psychologic Experience Lead to Chronic Vulvar Pain?

One viable cause is a biological mechanism which involves inflammation. Studies have shown evidence which links individuals who suffer from psychological stressors, to physiological changes in their immune, endocrine and central nervous systems [1].

“A review & meta-analysis of 30 experimental studies showed that circulating inflammatory factors are responsive to acute psychological stress” [1]

When Should I Visit A Vulva Pain Doctor?

If you are experiencing any form of vulva pain, or a combination of the latter in conjunction with one or more mental health issues, then arrange an online or in-person appointment with a Vulva Pain Specialist as soon as possible. This will ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis, and halt any potential degeneration.

If you are like the many Vulva pain suffers who have not been given effective treatment by your GP, then you should also contact a Specialist Vulva Pain Doctor. This is because they have had extensive training and experience in the fields of vulvodynia and vulva pain; as well as its links to mental health.


[1]. Khandker et al. The influence of depression and anxiety on risk of adult onset vulvodynia. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011 Oct;20(10):1445-51

[2]. Iglesias-Rios L, Harlow SD, Reed BD. Depression and post-traumatic stress disorder among women with vulvodynia: evidence from the population-based woman to woman health study. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2015 Jul;24(7):557-62