What is Vulvodynia & How is the Pelvic Floor Involved?

The word vulvodynia describes a symptom, which literally means pain (dynia) in the vulvar region (vulvo). It is used to refer to the symptoms of long-term or recurring discomfort & pain in that area. A Vulva Pain Specialist is the best medic to consult for an accurate diagnosis, & a multi-modal Holistic Personalised Treatment Plan, which includes pelvic floor therapy

“Pelvic floor muscles are often in spasm in women with vulvodynia, & 80% of vulvodynia patients suffer from pelvic floor muscle hypertonicity (too much muscle tone)” [1]

The Low Down on Pelvic Floor Muscles

Pelvic floor muscles refer to the layer of muscles which support the pelvic organs (for example, the bowel, bladder and uterus). These muscles extend to the lower part of the pelvis, where they act to support the pelvic organs in that region. In addition to this, the muscles in the pelvic floor provide holes for passages (for example, in women this includes the anus, vagina, and urethra).

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 women experience sexual dysfunction and sexual pain
  • Research shows that 28% of the female adult population suffer vulvodynia all their life
  • 45% of vulvodynia sufferers who complained of pain, stated that it had a damaging effect on their sexual relationships; while 27% noted that it adversely impacted their lifestyle [1]

Pelvic Floor Muscle Dysfunction as Related to Vulvodynia & Vestibulodynia

If we put a spotlight on this scenario, we see that elevated muscles tone generates a reduction in both oxygen and blood flow to the pelvic floor muscles. This can result in a build up of lactic acid. Of note, symptoms of pelvic floor muscle hypertonicity, comprise: “generalised vulvar pain or burning; tenderness where the muscle inserts in front of, and behind (4, 6, and 8 o’clock), the vestibule, which creates unbearable pain during sexual intercourse, among other issues [2].

“When treating women with chronic pain, physicians & other health-care providers (those outside the psychosexual counselling realm), have struggled to deal with their patients’ co-morbid sexual dysfunction, with 38% of patients thinking that the problem “will just go away” [2] – It won’t…

So turn your life around by booking an appointment with a Vulvo Pain Specialist right away!


[1]. Hartmann, D. (2010). “Chronic vulvar pain from a physical therapy perspective.” Dermatologic Therapy23(5):505-13.


[2]. Sarton, J. (2022). “Treatment for Vulvodynia: Here’s why you need pelvic floor physical therapy.” Pelvic Healing.