Vulvodynia: The Unseen Struggle

“If you have pain in your vulva, you’re not alone. Around 16% of women will have vulvar pain lasting longer than 3 months. They aren’t neurotic or promiscuous. – It’s likely they’re suffering from a condition called vulvodynia. The condition occurs in women of all ages & ethnicities, regardless of education, skin type, sexual preference or relationship status” [1]

People Just Don’t Know About It

So many people just don’t know about vulvodynia, and this includes some of the women who are struggling with it. In fact: “about half of our species has a vulva, yet surprisingly few know what, or where, it is. The vulva refers to the external genitalia of females: the clitoris, labia, vaginal opening and Bartholin’s glands, which provide the natural lubricant for the vagina.” [1]. This provide an abundant provision of specialised nerves, and when sexually stimulated, these nerves can help generate great pleasure and sexual satisfaction.

Fast Fact

Did you know that: “the vulva doesn’t extend to the vagina itself, which, contrary to common parlance and high-profile art exhibitions, is on the inside, not the outside?” [1].

Bringing Your Struggle to an End

No one should have to silently suffer the often brutal symptoms of vulvodynia (knife-like, burning, and stabbing pains), not to mention the knock-on psychological effects, and in some cases, the resultant relationship issues. So what’s the best way forward?

Booking an Appointment With a Vulvodynia Pain Specialist

Having an online or in-person consultation with a Vulvodynia Specialist, is the first step towards getting your life back on track. Unfortunately, as the majority of GPs do not have the in-depth training that is necessary to give an accurate diagnosis; or knowledge of the latest cutting-edge vulvodynia treatment protocols, seeing a specialist is vital. Moreover, due to their experiences with countless vulvodynia patients, and hearing their individual stories, they are more likely to be more sensitive to your situation. And they will have more time to discuss things with you compared to a a rushed GP appointment.

What Will Happen at My Appointment?

Your Pain Specialist will look at your medical history, and then ask you a number of questions. – Vulvodynia is different for everyone, so it is important that you tell him/her as much as possible. One good strategy is to compile a Volvodynia Diary. – In this, you can note the times of the day and night that you experience symptoms, how long they last for, and what you are doing at the time. You can also make a record of anything which ameliorates the pain. – For example, having a warm bath. This record will be very beneficial for your Pain Specialist, so have it ready to show them.


[1]. Reddick, R. (2016). “Does your vulva hurt? You could have vulvodynia. The Conversation.