Skip to content

    Women's Health

    Select An Article

    Vulvodynia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

    (continued)
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Treatment of Vulvodynia: Self-Care

    Here are a few things women can do to help relieve symptoms of vulvodynia or keep them under control.

    Avoid Potential Irritants

    It may help to avoid things that could be irritating the vulva. These might include certain soaps, medications, or douches. Here are a few tips:

    • Use dermatologically approved detergent and don’t use fabric softener on panties.
    • Use unscented toilet paper that’s soft and white.
    • Wear 100% white cotton underwear, menstrual pads, and tampons.
    • Avoid getting shampoo on the vulvar area.
    • Avoid perfumed creams or soaps, pads or tampons, and contraceptive creams or spermicides.
    • Avoid hot tubs or pools with lots of chlorine.
    • Rinse the vulva with cool water after urination and intercourse.
    • Avoid foods that make urine more irritating. This may include foods such as greens, beans, berries, chocolate, or nuts.
    • Wear loose-fitting pants and skirts; don’t wear pantyhose.
    • Keep the vulva clean and dry.

    Help Ease Pressure

    Certain activities put pressure on the vulva. To ease the pressure:

    • Use a water-soluble lubricant during sex.
    • Avoid activities that put direct pressure on the vulva. This includes bicycling and horseback riding.
    • Sit on a foam rubber doughnut.

    Relieve Pain

    These steps may help relieve vulvar pain:

    • Soak in lukewarm or cool sitz baths.
    • After intercourse, apply ice or a frozen gel pack wrapped inside a hand towel.
    • Alternatively, topical heat applied with a heating pad can reduce pain in some women with vulvodynia.
    • Try relaxation techniques.

    Treatment of Vulvodynia: Medication, Therapies, and Surgery

    There is no one treatment for vulvodynia that works for all women; you may need to try a combination of treatments for the best results. These are types of treatment for vulvodynia your doctor may suggest. Also, remember that chronic pain can affect you emotionally. Consider therapy or a support group.

    Medications

    Therapies

    • Physical therapy, which involves exercise to strengthen pelvic muscles and lessen muscle spasms
    • Biofeedback, which helps you learn to relax vaginal muscles to lessen pain
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    hands on abdomen
    Test your knowledge.
    womans hand on abdomen
    Are you ready for baby?
     
    birth control pills
    Learn about your options.
    insomnia
    Is it menopause or something else?
     
    woman in bathtub
    Slideshow
    period
    VIDEO
     
    bp app on smartwatch and phone
    Slideshow
    estrogen gene
    Quiz
     

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Blood pressure check
    Slideshow
    hot water bottle on stomach
    Quiz
     
    question
    Assessment
    Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror
    Quiz