If you have this condition, prepare to experiment with a lot of different methods. Consider seeing a vulvovaginal specialist, dermatologist, or neurologist in addition to your gynecologist. They may recommend some or all of the following treatments:
In this technique, electrical sensors are placed on certain parts of your body. They give information about your body's response to pain. For vulvodynia, biofeedback therapy focuses on helping you relax your pelvic muscles. When you anticipate pain, you may contract those muscles, which can actually cause you to have pain.
You have certain nerves that carry pain signals from your vulva, or vaginal area, to your spinal cord. During a nerve block, your doctor injects anesthetic into those nerves to stop the signal. This may provide short-term or long-term relief, especially if other treatments haven't worked.
Pelvic Floor Therapy
The muscles of your pelvic floor support your uterus, bladder, and bowel. When you're in pain, you may tighten these muscles without even knowing it. Pelvic floor therapy -- a form of physical therapy -- involves exercise to relax those muscles, which may be causing additional pain when they're tight.
Trigger Point Therapy
When you have a knotted muscle in your neck, a massage helps smooth it out and get the blood flowing again. Trigger point therapy does something similar. This form of massage therapy locates the trigger point, or contracted muscle that's causing pain, and works it out.
This is usually the last resort, if it’s used at all. Your doctor might recommend it if you have localized vulvodynia (doctors call this “vestibulodynia”), which means you feel pain in the skin around the opening of your vagina. Removing that tissue surgically may relieve the pain.
When looking for ways to relieve the pain caused by vulvodynia, you may lock in on the right path quickly. Or, it could take weeks or months to find the right combination of treatments. Be patient during the process. Every step toward a life with less pain is the right one.