Since vulvodynia is not simply a gynecological condition, many experts favor a multi-disciplinary approach to its management.
Vulvodynia treatment may involve visiting a:
- gynecologist or vulvovaginal specialist,
- pain management specialist,
- urogynecologist, and/or
- physical therapist.
Also, because vulvodynia typically affects a woman’s sexual relationships and emotional well-being, your provider may recommend a psychologist or couples/sex therapist.
Because we don’t know what causes vulvodynia, treatments are directed towards alleviating symptoms and usually provides moderate pain relief. Some women experience relief with a particular treatment, while others do not respond or experience unacceptable side effects.
No single treatment is appropriate for all women with vulvodynia and it may take time to find a treatment, or combination of treatments, that alleviates your pain.
Women with PVS may be candidates for surgery. Success rates for surgery vary from 60% – 90%.
Current vulvodynia treatments include:
- Discontinuation of Irritants
- Oral “Pain-Blocking” Medications
- Tricyclic Antidepressants
- Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors
- Topical Medications
- Topical Hormonal Creams (e.g., estrogen, testosterone)
- Topical Anesthetics (e.g., lidocaine)
- Topical Compounded Formulations (e.g., anticonvulsant, antidepressant)
- Pelvic Floor Muscle Therapy
- Nerve Blocks
- Neurostimulation and Spinal Infusion Pump
- Surgery (for women with Provoked Vestibulodynia)
- Complementary or Alternative Medicine
To read articles on these treatments written by vulvodynia experts, please visit our Newsletter page.