The exact cause is not known. It may be due to:
- Injury from things like an infection or an allergy
- A problem with how the body responds to pain
- Emotional or mental stress
The main symptom is vulvar pain that lasts more than three months.
A woman may have:
- Pain after pressure is applied to the vaginal opening
- Pain with sex or inserting tampons
The goal of treatment is to ease pain. Options are:
- Supportive care, such as mild soaps, cold packs, and using lubrication during sex
- Medicines to ease pain, such as:
- Topical medicines that are put on the skin, such as corticosteroids, estrogen, or anesthetics
- Antiseizure medicine
- Physical therapy to strengthen and relax the pelvic muscles to ease pain
- Counseling to learn how to cope with the pain
- Procedures, such as:
- Botulinum toxin injections
- Nerve stimulation
- Surgery to remove painful tissue
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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