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Conditions

Vulvodynia

Vaginas

This unpleasant condition causes chronic pain and discomfort in the vulval area, with the most common symptoms including stinging, burning, irritation and rawness. The condition can vary in severity; for some they experience only mild discomfort, but for others it can severely inhibit their normal lives and prevent enjoyment of sexual activities. There are treatments available, including anti-depressant and anti-convulsant drugs, but there are also creams and gels that can be applied to help with the pain. With up to 15% of women suffering with this condition, you can be sure that you’re not alone, and your GP will be able to help.

Comments and Questions

The EB doctors have been looking at your comments and have answered some of the common questions below. Remember that it is always best to check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

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I was told that I have Vulvodynia by my GP after 3 years of tests, and no results. I have acute pain in my clitoris, with a sore vagina, and the pain often goes into my lower abdomen as well as down my legs. I have attacks on and off now , after suffering for about 4 months at one stage. I cannot take Amytryptiline as I have a heart condition, and sleeping tabs have to be carefully monitored as I get extreme reactions as if I am stoned !!! (not good at work the next day !) I have found that Calendula cream helps with the pain, but apart from that I just suffer in silent misery as it seems do many others.I think I will go back to my GP and have another moan, though sympathetic, he can do little it seems. Night is the worst, oh for a sleeping draft that when I wake won't make me feel as if I had a night on the tiles ! Thanks for all the other comments, at least I feel there are others out there who can know what it's like to suffer.





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Please help!! When I was 14 I began to hav SERVERE pains mainly in the lower left of my stomache, sometimes on the right side too. When this happened I could not move until it passed as it hurt so much. I got referred to the hospital, at first they thought it was my appendix but the pain was in my left side not my right so this got ruled out, and after running many tests got told by a nurse that I must be faking it because I must be geting bullied at school and was therefore wasting the hospitals time. I could not believe this and was affraid to go back to the doctor for many years. The pain happened at random times, more common if I was due on my period but it would go away for months and then accure and then go away again. (This is still the case today but not as bad). I am now 20 and have only slept with 2 people. My 1st boyfriend was when I was 17 and I was with him for 8months and intercourse was normal and pain free until the end of our relationship and I started to get a slight pain. A long time later I started seeing my current boyfriend (who I have been with for over 2years now) and for a long time intercourse was fine. Once the pain began it got worse and worse. Once he inserted his penis and began penatration I felt a burning sensation and as though I suddenly became very tight! It is very uncomfortable and sometimes if I fight through the pain, the pain goes for a short time and sex is enjoyable, however, this causes the burning feeling to persist and worsen for a while after sex. Before now it has caused bleeding as I've tried to continue. Sometimes he can't insert his penis at all as it hurts no matter how gental he is, and I am very swollen and too tight. I went to my doctor and she told me I HAD and STI and didn't believe it was anything else. I got tested and was clear, as I thought. I kept having a lot of swelling in my stomache and no matter what I ate it was swollen. A doctor told me it was to do with when I ate, my intestings spazemned and that caused my stomache to swell. This has also caused problems such as constipation so I have been on tablets for IBS (eventhough I was tested and the results came back saying I don't have it) I am unsure whether these tablets are actually working or not, and when I go back to the doctor, they just prescribe them to me again! I still have problems now and though I have been to the doctors VERY regularly over the last 18months they keep telling me nothing is wrong! I have been on the pill since after my 1st boyfriend (as I had bad periods) and have stayed on it since so I do not think that has had any effect. I found trying to eat really healthy, lots of fruits and vegtables, non-fatty foods does help. During Christmas time the pain completely disappeared and it was great (I don't know why).. but it can back! It has't been as bad since and I am convinced eating better is helping, but I don't know how to make it go away. I'm so desperate!! My boyfriend is so supportive and has tried to help me find different ways to stop the pain but nothing works. I have been to different doctors and nurses at my surgery at home as well as different ones at university and everytime I say it hurts when I have sex I get told that it must be because of IBS so my stomache swells and thats why it is painful. I'm sure this is not it, PLEASE can anyone suggest what this might be and how I can treat it!!?????????????? Thank you for reading :) .





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Is there a cream or gel i can get over the counter of a pharmasist?





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I suffer from vulvodynia. I spent six months in discomfort before being diagnosed. I normally suffer with cystitis and get an attack once or twice a year. I was prescribed a really strong antibiotic and got really bad thrush. It seems after that I started getting this burning sensation. My GP couldn't see anything wrong after serval visits and different creams and pills. I finally went to my local GUM clinic where they diagnosed me with having vulvodynia. I'm currently taking 20mg amitriptyline every day and it has seemed to be working until the other day when my husband and I got alittle carried away, because things were feeling better, and now the burning sensation is back. I have always found it slightly painful during intercorse, but with this burning sensation I don't want any of it.But by not have intercorse regularly is it going to get worse when we do? Also are there some lubricants that can irritate it more? I've read the other posted comments and will try some of thing mentioned. Its nice to know I'm not the only one with this condition.





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Help! I dont know if this is what I have but it sounds very similar. The only difference is that the skin around my clitoris is peeling off which is leaving me in serious discomfort! I havn't yet been to the doctors as I have been so embarrased. It isn't there all the time but I do have it once a month for about two weeks which is killing my sex life. Please help!





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I have been having terrible pain in the lower abdomen,it has been feeling hot and swollen inside my vagina as well. After passing water, it really stings badly. My vulva area looks red,stings and is very sore. My doctor has given me three lots of antibiotics,which have not worked. Luckily. i was due to see my gaeny after having my ovaries removed, therefore i mentioned this problem to him. I came out wanting to cry, as he told me it was all in my head, and that i was probably stressed. I dont know what do do now, can anyone help me?





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after watching the program & feeling that i could relate to many of the problems raised i thought i would post about changes i've made & the few things that have helped me......toilet paper! honestly! think about it, we wipe all the time....i know now that if i use andrex i will be sore, using non bleached / nature friendly ones are best for me. i first started down this route as i found that my problems became worse during my period & so worked out which sanitary towels caused the most irritation (tampons? god no! OWWW!) i use a non-bleached towel i also started using a 'moon cup' (not quite as hippyish as it sounds!) which was a slight improvement. obviously blood is an irritant for me as now my periods have decreased (due to having a coil fitted) my flare ups have decreased also. sex can be a problem but rinsing using plain warm water helps. i also know that i can only use pears soap, most others (including fragrance free brands etc) make me sore as do ANY feminine wipes! these things help me...if they help anyone else, i'll be very glad.





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l have found putting the tens machine on my inner thighs is brilliant. lt really has worked for me.





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I'm post memonpausal and had been suffering for years. As the above comments some doctors were lovely others just plain rude. My job made me travel a lot and/or sat in a office all day. A combination of sex with my partner, a shower and day driving in the car was disastrous. I seemed to be allergic to many of the creams the doctors gave me or suggested. Callendula oil helped lubrication but afterwards made me itch. After trawling the web and buying some rubbish stuff, I also found Bio-Fem Instant Active Gel - can be sourced from larger Boots. I find it the most helpful and the most effective for external feelings - I used to have to drink galleons all the time and visit the loo regularly as the sensation made me feel I needed to go. Its not totally cured the internal barbed wire effect however although even this has improved. I feel really guilty for my partner who is desparate for me to enjoy sex rather than tolerated it for him. I was prescribed the low dose anti-depressant but that just seemed to numb mind and body and I lost all libido. Diligently using bio fem following intercourse, or a bath and also when I can feel tingling below has definitely helped me. As I've rejected using the prescribed anti-depressants and seen the specialists at the local hospital twice, I feel a bit on my own now and at a loss to know what to do but I'll also try some things that have been mentioned above you never know. I would be nice to be able to wear jeans every day without worrying that I should wear them two days on the trot just in case.





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I was eventually diagnosed with vulvodynia about 3 years ago after seeing many diferent gynacologists. I had been prescribed so many different creams for thrush that I could open a pharmacy! I, too, had been told that this pain and burning was all in my head until I finally saw a fantastic gynacologist who straight away told me that I had vylvodynia. It was a relief to know that I wasn't going crazy. I have tried all the creams and for me these only aggravate the condition. The anti-depressants didn't ease the pain at all. I do find that it flares up more before my period so was interested to read about the oestrogen. I have reconciled it in my head now and realise that I just have to live with it. I do have an amazingly supportive husband which helps enormously but I feel very guilty that our love life has suffered so much because of this condition. I am sorry that I do not have anything positive to add or a miracle cure.





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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