What is the Difference Between Vulval Pain and Vaginal Pain?

“Pain in the pelvic area, vagina & vulva, can have many causes, or no apparent cause. You might feel discomfort in your lower back & abdomen area. Or, you might only have pain in your vagina or vulva, the external area of the female genitalia” [1]

If you’re suffering long-term pain in your pelvis, vagina or vulva, don’t be embarrassed to seek medical assistance—a Vulvodynia Specialist can help get you back on track

Unless you have studied human biology, you may not be familiar with the difference between the vulva and the vagina. – So to that end, you will not know whether you have vulvar pain or vagina pain. – Therefore, it’s crucial to get down to the basics, and understand which is which.

In a nutshell, the vagina comprises an internal tube which links up the womb (uterus) to the outside of the body; whereas the vulva is the generic name that is used to describe the outside parts of the female genitalia. For example, the vulva incorporates: the vaginal opening, the urethral opening (which urine passes out of), the clitoris, and the inner and outer lips (labia).

However, even though these descriptions are crystal clear in relation to parts of a female body, it is not always easy for someone with vulva or vagina pain, to be specific about where the pain is emanating from; moreover, in a large percentage of cases, women are not familiar about the success of various types of treatment programs. – In such instances the best course of action is to book an online or in-person appointment with a Vulvodynia Consultant.

The Impact of Vulva & Vaginal Pain

“The pain can be a dull ache or a sharp throb. If the vulva is affected, there might be stinging, burning & itching. No matter whether the pain is steady or intermittent, it can have a profound effect on how a woman goes about her day, from choosing her apparel each morning to making it through the workday. For many sufferers, sitting at a desk for an extended period is excruciating. Chronic pain can affect work, relationships, travel & fitness” [1]

What Happens During A Consultation With a Pain Specialist?

During this time, the Pain Doctor will review your medical history, ask you various questions relating to your pain, and if necessary, ask you to attend the clinic to have an examination and various tests. They will then be able to determine whether the pain is likely to be emanating from your vulva, vagina, or both. Further, once an accurate diagnosis is established, the Vulvodynia Doctor will set up a holistic Personalised Treatment Plan. – This is likely to involve both conventional and cutting-edge treatments and therapies.

Note: it is a good idea to compile a daily ‘Pain Dairy.’ This should be marked with hourly slots over 24 hours, thus allowing you to make entries relating to when the pain came on, and how it felt during the day, evening or night. You should also make a note as to what you were doing at the time, and it anything ameliorated it.


[1]. Cristiana Care (2020). “Chronic pelvic pain of vagina and vulva.”