Vulvodynia Treatments

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,
  • dermatologist,
  • neurologist,
  • 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 provoked vestibulodynia 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
    • Anticonvulsants
    • Opioids
  • 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.