To improve the ability of health care providers to correctly diagnose and treat vulvodynia, the National Vulvodynia Association has partnered with medical experts in women’s health – gynecologists, family practitioners, physical therapists, and nurses – to develop a women’s health tutorial on vulvodynia.
Because vulvodynia symptoms mimic those of common vulvovaginal infections and there are typically no visible abnormalities, adolescents and women with vulvodynia are often misdiagnosed. It can take many months or even years to be properly diagnosed. Research shows that many women often see 3-5 providers before receiving an accurate diagnosis, leading to increased pain and emotional distress, and impaired quality of life.
This women’s health tutorial was developed for those who routinely care for women and adolescent girls. It covers prevalence, symptoms, differential diagnosis and treatment options.
Upon completion of the tutorial, the participant should be able to:
- Recognize vulvodynia as a prevalent, misdiagnosed, and under-researched chronic pain disorder affecting millions of women and adolescent girls
- Define vulvodynia and its subtypes
- Summarize what is known about the pathophysiology of vulvodynia
- Identify the infectious, inflammatory, neoplastic and neurologic disorders that need to be ruled out in order to make a diagnosis of vulvodynia
- Perform a comprehensive exam to diagnose the condition
- Implement an individualized, multidisciplinary treatment regimen
We sincerely hope that more medical professionals will complete this women’s health tutorial to ensure that women receive the care they need. We encourage you to present or refer your colleagues to this tutorial. References can be accessed here.